REAL FOOD MEDIA PROJECT ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF
FIRST-EVER FOOD AND FARMING FILM COMPETITION
Revival of Community, Pride in Farming and
Respect for Labor at the Heart of Sustainable Food Stories
SAN FRANCISCO — March 4, 2014 — A stunning range of food and farming stories from across North America took top honors in the first annual Real Food Media contest, which today announced its final five winners in the food movement’s newest, most vibrant competition for short films about sustainable food and farming. Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to the top five films, chosen from a treasure trove of over 150 submissions from 25 states and the District of Columbia and 4 countries around the world.
The winning films, though diverse in style, perspective, and place, share common themes: revival of pride in farming as a way of life, resilience of rural communities and cities growing food sustainably, and renewal of respect for the labor and natural resources at the heart of food production. The winning films are:
Grand prize: Homeward, by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine of The Perennial Plate in Minneapolis, MN
After watching friends and family leaving their community in Mexico for the United States, entrepreneurial farmers in Hidalgo created a thriving cooperative, keeping their families together with organic oregano. As the grand prize winner, Homeward will be screened at the Food & Farm Film Fest in San Francisco in April 2014.
1st runner up and People’s Choice winner: Green Bronx Machine, by Brendan Van Meter of Suffern, NY
Green Bronx Machine feeds the minds, hearts and stomachs of students in the poorest congressional district in America. Stephen Ritz and his community plant school gardens and harvest organic citizens. *Green Bronx Machine was also selected as the ‘People’s Choice’ winner, earning nearly 2,000 online votes from the film’s supporters.
2nd runner up: A Greene Generation, by Tim Grant of Charlotte, NC
In rural western North Carolina the Greene family runs a small, organic, family farm. 14-year old Nathaniel Greene and his siblings are passionate about caring for their pigs, their land, and about producing good food.
3rd runner up, tied: Who Keeps the Beekeepers, by Timothy Powers of St. Petersburg, FL
We’ve heard about the bees, but what about the beekeepers? The voices of the last remaining beekeepers talk about the future of our food supply.
3rd runner up, tied: The Gift, by Jean-Marc Abela of Montréal, Québec
On a small speck of land off the island of Vancouver, Dan Jason farms seeds. In this poetically shot short film, Jason shares his vision of the bounty of nature.
The archive of over 150 short films may be one of the largest ever created in service of the good food movement. The contest, directed by national best-selling author and sustainability advocate Anna Lappé, is an initiative of the Real Food Media Project and an extension of the highly regarded Food MythBusters series, viewable at www.foodmyths.org.
A prominent panel of judges representing diverse perspectives on the food system made the selections. Judges included: Michael Pollan, Padma Lakshmi, Alice Waters, Byron Hurt, Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner, Norman Lear Center’s Johanna Blakley, Sundance Institute’s Keri Putnam, The Jamie Oliver Foundation and organic farmer Emily Zweber.
“What impressed me about Green Bronx Machine is the huge impact this urban farming project is having on an entire inner-city community. Not only are kids learning about healthy plants and vegetables, but they are learning team work, hard work, and the dedication to see a project through,” said judge Emily Zweber of Zweber Farms in Elko, Minnesota.
Seen through the lens of these filmmakers, these stories illustrate the deep connections between all of us to our food, farmers, beekeepers, seeds and soil.
“The Gift reminds us that we have the power in our own hands to feed the world. It’s hope for mankind in a small package.” said judge Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef host, cookbook author, actress, and model.
The contest generated over 100,000 views of the top finalists’ films, with votes coming in from over 40 countries — planting the seeds for what may become an annual event that taps the storytelling artistry and passion so prevalent in the good food movement. The Real Food Media Project is a collaborative initiative to spread the story of food with this film contest, creative films, a web-based action center, and grassroots events. Visit www.realfoodmedia.org to learn more and to view the top 10 films and final five winners. Engage with us on Twitter via @FoodMythBusters and @AnnaLappe with hashtag #RealFoodContest and on Facebook at Real Food Media Project.