You Are Here: Home » Blog » General » A Chemical Reaction Nominated for Three Emmys

A Chemical Reaction Nominated for Three Emmys

This is the back cover of the official DVD sleeve of the film, A Chemical Reaction.

Director Brett Plymale announced this morning that he has received notification of three Emmy nominations for the film A Chemical Reaction about the first town in North America to ban lawn and garden pesticides.

The film, shot and edited during 2008-2009, premiered at North American film festivals late in 2009 and early 2010 before embarking on a series of community screenings that are ongoing — including several next week during Earth Week in Canada. The film’s appearance on Maine Public Television in November of 2010 made it eligible for the regional Emmy Awards, which will be presented on May 14. The film will be up for “Best Documentary,” “Best Editing,” and “Best Videography.”

Brett Plymale, on the red carpet at the world premiere of his film in Montreal in August of 2009.

Brett Plymale, on the red carpet at the world premiere of his film in Montreal in August of 2009.

“Being nominated by New England’s chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a great opportunity to draw more attention to this important story,” said Plymale, who has been nominated several times previously for Emmys. “From the moment we started shooting this film I felt honored to be a part of this amazing story and this recognition really goes to all the people out there standing up for what they believe in.”

The award ceremony will come just nine days after the 20th anniversary of Hudson, Quebec’s, historic ban on lawn and garden pesticides. Sued by ChemLawn (now TruGreen), the town fought back all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court — where it won in an historic 9-0 decision in June of 2001.

Twenty years from the ban and a decade from the court decision, Hudson’s story still stands as probably the most epic example of the power of community activism anywhere in North America. The town’s role in the anti-pesticide revolution in Canada will be celebrated at the Awakening Festival on June 18.

The largely untold story, however, is that of Plymale, who committed more than six months of his life and career on a largely unpaid basis to make a film that will resonate for years to come.

Congratulations, Brett.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • Mitchell Cunningham

    You are the most brilliant of bullshit artists, Mr. Tukey. I’ve got to give you that. You’re costing the lawn chemical industry millions of dollars, while firing off this “Daily Blog” of yours. Then you have the imagination to make a film to make it appear as if the SafeLawns movement is going on all across North America.

    The truth is that most people don’t give a shit about lawn chemicals, and you and I both know that. Right? Admit it. But you have the lawn chemical industry chasing its tail in a circle with expensive lawyers and lobbyists while you call these shots from what I’m guessing is a little office with a little laptop somewhere in Maine. Laughing your ass off.

    It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. You should be written up in the history books.

    But let me warn you: watch your back.

    • Paul Tukey

      Is this a compliment, or a threat, or both? Call me. Let’s do lunch.

      • Carolyn Spector Gillis

        This is typical of the tactics of these people!
        I would consider they are threatening you, Paul!

      • Trish Damen


        I am happy to donate my legal time pro bono to protect “your back”. Call me any time.


  • Lianne Bridges

    Congratulations Brett and Paul. We the people of Hudson, Quebec are proud of our little town with a big heart. Thank you for telling our story.

  • Marie Palmer

    I too, was one of those people who didn’t care, simply because nobody informed me, and well, the back of the bag said it was safe after 24 hours. Then I had my first child and the red flags went up when I saw him digging in the lawn a week after I had fertilized. I did my own research and was horrified.

    The market is speaking, just like it did with smoking, and if the lawn chemical industry wants to hire expensive lawyers and lobbyists instead of seeing this trend as a market opportunity or diversifying, i.e. Phillip Morris buying Kraft Foods, then that is their own undoing. Speaking of going the way of tobacco, Reynolds American reported earnings per share were up 15.3% in 2010. Not too shabby for a pariahed industry.

    Thank you, Paul, for standing up.

  • donald

    I too, used to be one of those people that applied weed killer and fetilizer, so my lawn would look like golf course. Then one day, I decided I wanted chickens. I live in a more rural area, so I stopped using all chemicals, for the poultrys sake, as I wanted them to free range. Low and behold wouldn’t you know it, my lawn filled with indiginious wildflowers. People always driving by still, to view the natural beauty.
    At night, in the summer, my yard is a blaze with sparkling Fireflies. When I used the chemicals the fireflies weren’t there. Now it’s like flash photoghraphy at the superbowl during the Half-time show. Spectacular! And the areas I still mow, with mixure of grass and weeds looks just as good as any other lawn I’ve ever seen. And now it’s way less work and no cost $. So who’s the fool?

    • Paul Tukey

      Send along some photos!

Scroll to top