“This intimate story of a family and a garden center under siege is supported by beautiful cinematography and underscored by a tender suite of original music. It’s a heartfelt film that offers big insight about the hidden gifts of the pandemic.” Joyce Kulhawik (Emmy award winning movie & theater critic)
“Everyone heard about the challenges to small businesses but you lived it and this brings it home in such a tangible way. I really haven’t ever seen anything like it before.” – Anonymous TV Producer
“ I liked the way the camera always returned to these beautifully calming shots of plants reinforcing the essential idea that nature can be an incredible source of comfort and refuge in a troubling world.” Thad Russell (Senior Critic, RISD)
“We cried, we laughed and it opened up a conversation with our daughter about how covid affected our lives.” (Audience Review)
During the 2020 Pandemic you heard on the news the struggles that small businesses faced. “Growing Through Covid-19” gives you an intimate look inside what really happened.
This feature length, independent documentary brings to life the dramatic story that a 144 year old, family run Garden Center endured. In March of 2020, the family seriously considered shutting down their business forever. With an original musical score and an abundance of beautiful plants throughout, the film shows how they quickly changed their business to adapt to the times and reopen. During the pandemic's darkest hours, they helped thousands of new people try gardening for the first time and witness the grounding comfort and satisfaction they received from putting their hands in the dirt.
“The uncertainty in March was unlike anything
I’ve ever seen for
Dan Russell Skehan
Russell Family 5th Generation
“We started our garden during the pandemic.
It kept us sane in
New Russell’s Customer
“I'm hoping that COVID
has actually changed
the way we are.”
Russell Family 4th Generation
A feature length documentary film about the fight of a
small business, and the healing power of gardening.
~ Executive Producer ~
Elizabeth is thrilled to make her film producing debut with a beautiful, multi generation story. Writing, producing, directing and acting in TV & radio ads for decades, she has shared her passion for nature and the importance of local businesses. Speaking at Garden Center Trade shows, local high schools and colleges allows her to influence future generations on the importance of creating and marketing ethical independent businesses. She’s best known as the 4th Generation President, VP of Marketing and buyer for Russell’s Garden Center.
~ Editor ~
Myra Boutros is an accomplished editor from Beirut, Lebanon who edits from the heart. She recently finished working as an associate editor on the feature-length film "Weed & Wine." Myra moved to Boston in 2012 and has worked as an assistant editor on shows for PBS and American Masters. She was also an associate editor on the award winning documentary PBS Nova.
~ Cinematographer ~
P.H. O'Brien has been working as a documentary cinematographer for decades. His past credits as a cinematographer include Steve James' (Hoop Dreams) Reel Paradise, Head Games and The War Tapes which one Best Documentary Film at Tribeca in 2006. Additionally his documentary film Six Days to Air... The Making of South Park was nominated for an Emmy.
~ Colorist ~
Rob Bessette is the owner/senior colorist at Color Refinery, a high end post production facility focusing on color grading. With over 15 years of experience, Rob has pretty much seen it all, ranging from regional commercials to Oscar winning features. He prides himself on his creative aesthetic and attention to detail while working alongside some of the best cinematographers and directors in the business.
~ Director & Writer ~
Originally hailing from a theatrical background, in 2016 she won the Directors Guild of Great Britain award for "Best Newcomer Director." Since then she has migrated into the film industry. Focusing on Directing projects around nature and featuring strong characters. Genevieve is also a Coordinator and Line Producer for large commercials in the Boston area. Recent credits include the 2020 Democratic convention and the “Smaht Pahk” Superbowl ad, and Director of Hasbro’s "My Little Pony" Commercial.
~ Cinematographer ~
Nikki is a passionate verite based cinematographer from Boston. She most recently worked as a camera operator on the PBS series "Frontline." As a cinematographer she works on promotional videos for non-profits and independent documentaries for television and film. Her work has taken her all over the world from South Sudan to Thailand to Ireland.
~ Musical Score Composer ~
Aljosa was originally trained as a classical pianist but he has felt drawn to film music and composition for years. He's studied Orchestration for Film and TV with the Berklee College of Music and has since composed for narrative shorts, documentaries and branded content. Aljosa crafts music with a natural sound and a classical backbone.
~ Audio Mixer ~
After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art, McCleary spent his early career in the trenches as a location sound recordist. He opened Heart Punch Studio in 1987. A three time Emmy nominee and a Jackson Hole Wild Life Film Festival winner, Greg believes collaboration with all members of a production team is essential. No film is just about one specific craft - it is always the sum of all the players.
~ Sound Recordist ~
Mario is a seasoned sound recordist in the Boston Film Industry. Working both as a Union member on large national commercials & campaigns and independently on more creative documentary projects. Mario enjoys his free time gardening and directing his own documentary projects.