Archive for June, 2011

Interviewed on LEF’s blog

Posted on: June 13th, 2011 by jason No Comments

Sara Archambault of LEF Foundation, who has been a steadfast supporter of our film Betting The Farm from the beginning, interviewed us for LEF’s blog the other day about the process of shooting the film, the relationships we’ve built with our characters, and our brief video summary of the MOO Milk story for the New York Times:

Sara: You are shooting BETTING THE FARM at a time when a number of films are coming out exploring our relationship to food. Your film is unique in that it looks closely at farmers as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Can you talk about why you chose to focus on that experience?

Cecily Pingree: There have been a number of excellent films about food and food policy in the last several years, and we’ve learned that audiences really respond to these issues. They are vital human concerns, and they resonate across geographical, socioeconomic and cultural boundaries.

But we never set out to make a movie about the larger political and environmental issues at all. We stumbled on this story when we met one of the MOO Milk farmers, Aaron Bell of Tide Mill Organic Farm, while shooting another project. From the very beginning, we were interested in this story because of the people involved. Character-driven stories are what we like to watch, and what we get excited about, so it feels natural to us to focus on the lives of these farmers and their families rather than, say, the complexities of dairy pricing. That said, hopefully someone else will make that film!

Read the full interview here.

Think it’s interesting? Leave us a comment below or drop us a line!

‘Meet Your Farmer’ films screen in Machias

Posted on: June 9th, 2011 by jason No Comments

This is exactly what we hoped for when we made the Meet Your Farmer films with Maine Farmland Trust: consumers learning more about the importance of preserving farm land for future generations, and how they can help simply by buying locally-grown food.

More than 60 people, including our friends at Tide Mill Organic Farm, showed up to a Wednesday night screening of Meet Your Farmer, with an accompanying discussion.

Jane Bell (left) of Tide Mill Farm explains the products and history of the farm, located in Edmunds, at a "Meet Your Farmer" event held Wednesday night at the University of Maine at Machias.

Jane Bell of Tide Mill Farm explains their historic family farm.

More from Sharon Mack of the BDN:

They also were able to meet each farmer and ask questions about their individual operations. Samples from the farms were available, along with information on the Farm to School Program, scythes, the Machias Marketplace and Maine Farmland Trust, one of the event’s sponsors. Other sponsors included Washington County: One Community, Downeast Coastal Conservancy and the Washington County Food and Fuel Alliance.-Bangor Daily News

It’s great to see some Downeast farms getting much-deserved attention, and business, from their neighbors.

Focusing on King Middle School

Posted on: June 1st, 2011 by jason No Comments

Last week, we shot a short piece for Arts Engine and Teaching Channel about the awesome teachers at King Middle School in Portland, Maine. The school is amazingly diverse (students speak 29 different languages!) and is among the best schools in the state of Maine. We saw middle school classes doing field work on the beach in Biddeford Pool with marine scientists, producing their own plays at Portland Stage Company, and presenting research projects that analyzed a topic of interest and also explored ways in which statistical data can be (and frequently is) manipulated in the media. These are some smart kids.

Best of all, we got to work with two of our favorite collaborators, Joe Nelson of the The Toughcats and Lindsay Mann of Beechwood Film.

Arts Engine, in addition to producing a wide array of independent media, is a fiscal sponsor of documentary films, including our upcoming documentary Betting The Farm.