We are thrilled to announce that our film Betting The Farm, which follows the farmers of Maine’s Own Organic Milk Co., has been invited to premiere at Silverdocs in June! We are really excited to be a part of their great lineup of films this year. Check out the full lineup at the Silverdocs site.
Posts Tagged ‘film’
Along with several other filmmakers, I spent four days planning the outreach campaign for Betting The Farm, and thinking about the different organizations and campaigns that might be able to benefit from our film. When you’ve spent several months in the early stages of editing, making selects and screening footage for days on end, it can be difficult to imagine that your film will eventually be done and out in the world. But it will be! And hopefully, it will be part of the larger movement toward supporting small-scale farmers and food producers.
I came away from our final event—at which we met representatives from Slow Food USA, Food & Water Watch, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the Community Food Security Coalition, among many others—with a greater appreciation for the opportunity we have to fundamentally change the way we grow food, the way we shop for it, and the way we eat.
There are dozens of great organizations focusing on specific aspects of the food system and the local food movement. However, there is also tremendous untapped potential in communities across the country—whether rural or urban, affluent or struggling—to build what is now a matter of growing interest into a sea change.
It will take a galvanizing message to convince millions of Americans to join this movement. We need ordinary Americans, particularly those hit hardest by the current recession, to see the economic, environmental, and health impacts that a new agricultural model could have on their lives. And I think the best way to do that is by focusing on the stories of the people—like the farmers of MOO Milk—who are working to make this change.
We have months of work ahead of us on this film, but I am more hopeful ever that Betting The Farm can play a meaningful role in this large, diverse movement by telling an intimate, personal story.
ps. Check out the work of the other films and filmmakers that are part of Reel Food:
We’ve been lucky enough to get the support of many organizations and individuals for our first feature documentary, Betting The Farm, from Sundance to LEF to Chicken & Egg to, of course, our parents. But the latest is among the coolest: We’ve been invited to be one of seven film projects in Reel Food, a residential workshop organized by the folks at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Working Films, and Fledgling Fund.
Reel Food is a residential workshop that will bring together nonfiction media-makers who are telling powerful stories about food and agriculture with non-profit organizations that are working for healthy, just and sustainable communities. The intention of Reel Food is to hone filmmakers’ audience-engagement plans, seed collaboration and cross-promotion, and generate concrete partnerships between the documentary projects and NGOs.
After several years of filming (and intensive editing in recent months), we’re excited to have an opportunity to develop our outreach plans for the film. It’s exciting to imagine building a larger audience for this film with the help of some innovative organizations. Best of all, we get to meet and work with some amazing filmmakers. Can’t wait.
From the release:
Filmmakers selected are working in 9 countries and represent a broad range of experience, including Academy Award-winning documentarians Roger Ross Williams and Frieda Lee Mock as well as first-time feature documentary filmmakers.
That’s us! Read the whole press release on the Sundance website.
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!
Think it’s interesting? Leave us a comment below or drop us a line!
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.
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.
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.
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.