Friends,

Thank you for your interest in our upcoming film, Fantastic Fungi.

Imagine, if you will, an organism that feeds you, cures you, reveals secrets of the universe, may have advanced the proto-human brain, and today could help save the planet. An organism that seems to be conscious. Now imagine that it’s in the ground beneath your feet.

We’re moving through an old-growth forest, brushing past primeval ferns and moss-bearded trees, peering through the eyes of a hiker at a world arrayed in a thousand shades of green. “Something is aware of me as I pass,” says the hiker, pointing to the ground. The camera pushes down to his footprint. Something is stirring. Tiny buds of life in the shallow imprint rise as if awakened. “Most of us have no idea that a form of intelligence is living in the ground beneath us.”

The hiker is mycologist and author Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading fungi researchers and our guide on an extraordinary film adventure in Fantastic Fungi. He’s not talking about aliens or mythological creatures but mushrooms and other fungi — life forms we’ve long taken for granted. In the findings of advancing science, they turn out to be not only critical to life on Earth but equipped with the astonishing capacity to feel. “They are conscious, I believe.”

In gratitude,

Louie Schwartzberg