The Plow to Plate film series is dedicated to bringing informative, engaging films to both the Park Slope Food Coop Community and the wider community.

All events are free and open to the public!

August 2017: Portrait of a Garden
July 2017: El Remolino
June 2017: Super Size Me
May 2017: Soul Food Junkies
April 2017: No Screening
March 2017: No Screening
February 2017: No Screening
January 2017: No Screening
December 2016: Food For Thought
November 2016: Kombit
October 2016: Symphony of the Soil
September 2016: All In This Tea
August 2016: (no screening)
July 2016: The End Of The Line
June 2016: Vegucated
May 2016: Eat: The Story of Food
April 2016: King Georges
March 2016: Food Chains
February 2016: Sustainable Table
January 2016: Sushi: The Global Catch
December 2015: Carb Loaded
November 2015: Growing Change
October 2015: Weight of the Nation Part IV – Challenges
September 2015: Seeds of Time
August 2015: (no film)
July 2015: Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis
June 2015: Salmon Confidential
May 2015: Grazers
April 2015:The Future Of Food
March 2015: Seeds of Death
February 2015: Open Sesame
January 2015: Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives
December 2014: Food Design
November 2014: OMG GMO
July 2014: Nothing Like Chocolate
June 2014: Ted Talks Food
May 2014: Brooklyn Farmer
April 2014: Brewed In Brooklyn
March 2014: Weight of the Nation: Choices
February 2014: Hungry for Change
January 2014: Gasland 2
December 2013: Food Beware
November 2013: A Place At The Table
October 2013: The Corporation
September 2013: What’s For Dinner?
August 2013: Forks Over Knives
July 2013: Eat This New York
June 2013: Ingredients
May 2013: Weight of the Nation (Part 1)
April 2013: The Botany of Desire – Part 1 & 4 (Sweetness & Desire)
March 2013: The World According to Monsanto
February 2013: Food Matters
December 2012: Dear Mr Cuomo
November 2012: As We Sow
July 2012: TUPPERWARE!
June 2012: Double Feature: FARMLANDIA & FED UP!
May 2012: The Harvest
April 2012: Farmageddon
March 2012: Queen of the Sun
February 2012: Beer Wars
January 2012: Chow Down
December 2011: Asparagus!
September 2011: Two Angry Moms
May 2011: Bananas!
April 2011: The Garden
March 2011: King Corn
February 2011: All in this Tea
January 2011: Lay it on the Table: Three Short Films about Food
October 2010: Blue Gold
July 2010: Grapes of Wrath
June 2010: Juliette of the Herbs
May 2010: Black Gold
February 2010: A South Asian Journey: Women, farming, and festivals in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal:
January 2010: Fresh!
December 2009: The Real Cost of Food: Agriculture in California’s Central Valley:
November 2009: Manoomin: A Minnesota Way of Life
October 2009: Thirst!
September 2009: H2 Worker

 

August2017: Portrait of a Garden

The oldest and most beautiful “kitchen garden” in the Netherlands, owned by Daan van der Have who cares for it with 85-year-old pruning master Jan Freriks, belongs to an estate that dates backs to 1630. Rosie Stapel’s debut feature records their passionate oversight of the vegetables and flowering trees to which they are devoted. The two are marvelous company, whether shaping a black mulberry, debating the proper care for garlic, fennel, spring green cabbage, beetroot or Japanese wine berry, or contemplating their 15-year wait for pear trees to grow. Their connoisseurship, knowledge, and exacting care, bear beautiful fruit – and an elegant, meditative film.

July 2017: El Remolino (The Swirl)

Pedro is a farmer who defends his identity and his dreams; his sister Esther strives for a better future for her daughter as she shares her world through the lens of her small camera. They live in El Remolino, a tiny riverside community in Chiapas, Mexico, which is affected by strong floods every year. To them, life is like a swirl that spins them across the journey of their internal cycles and of the greater natural cycle of the river.

June 2017: Super Size Me

While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month. Morgan Spurlock’s first film, Super Size Me, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, winning Best Directing honors. The film went on to win the inaugural Writers Guild of America best documentary screenplay award as well as garner an Academy Award nomination for best feature documentary.

May 2017: Soul Food Junkies

Filmmaker Byron Hurt grew up eating lots of soul food: grits and scrambled eggs covered with cheese, buttered biscuits with gravy, bacon, and other fatty foods.

Soul food is a source of pride for many black people and can be good for you. But when it is cooked with lots of fat, sugar, and salt it can lead to obesity and other health issues.

In Soul Food Junkies, Hurt sets out on a culinary journey to learn more about soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. Through candid interviews with cooks, historians, scholars, doctors, family, and everyday people, the film puts this tradition under the microscope.

December 2016: Food For Thought

We want our food fast, convenient and cheap, but at what cost? As farms have become supersized,
our environment suffers and so does the quality of our food. Susan Rockefeller’s short film, Food for Thought, Food for Life (20 min.) explains the downsides of current agribusiness practices, and also introduces us to farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates who are providing solutions. The film is both poetic and practical; its powerful examination of the connections between our planet and our well-being is accompanied by specific strategies that protect both. With an eye towards a sustainable and abundant future, it offers inspiration for communities that are ready to make a difference.

November 2016: Kombit

The Plow to Plate Film Series brings the documentary “KOMBIT: The Cooperative” to the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn to celebrate a five-year pledge by Timberland to plant five million trees, that becomes a story of empowerment, friendship, and hope for the people of Haiti. Directed by the award-winning filmmakers at Found Object, the film chronicles an unlikely partnership between a Haitian agronomist and a former NGO leader who band together with bootmaker Timberland for a project that quickly evolves into an innovative and sustainable business model that improved farmers’ lives and is helping create a greener future for Haiti. Over the course of five years, the documentary follows the partnership between Timberland and SFA, revealing how a simple tree-planting goal empowered 3,200 farmers to restore their land and take control of their futures.

October 2016: Symphony of the Soil

Symphony of the Soil is a 104-minute documentary feature film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story. Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth. Yet most people are soil-blind and “treat soil like dirt.” Through the knowledge and wisdom revealed in this film, we can come to respect, even revere, this miraculous substance, and appreciate that treating the soil right can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems. In addition to the feature film, there are several short films, Sonatas of the Soil, that delve deeply into soil-related topics, and several short clips, Grace Notes, that are available to stream on the film’s website.

September 2016: All In This Tea

In All In This Tea (2007), Les Blank’s handheld camera takes us into the hidden world of tea by following world-renowned tea expert David Lee Hoffman to some of the most remote regions of China in search of the best handmade teas in the world.

The film moves from a modern, urban setting to a pastoral China rarely glimpsed by westerners. Scenes shot in cinema verite are interwoven with more formal presentations about the fundamentals of tea with tea authorities James Norwood Pratt, Gaetano Kazuo Maida, and Winnie W. Yu.

This helps make clear what is at stake, and thereby lends weight to Hoffman’s endeavor. It is hoped that the viewer will feel as if they have been somewhere they’ve never been before, and ask themselves what is out there that is worth preserving.

July 2016: End of the Line

The End Of The Line follows a coalition of activists – farmers, religious orders, environmentalists and constitutional conservatives – as they protect their land, liberty and even their lives from a controversial hazardous liquids pipeline in Kentucky.

The film documents the grassroots resistance to The Bluegrass Pipeline in 2013 and 2014 following the story all the way through to the pipeline’s unprecedented defeat. This documentary from award-winning filmmaker Sellus Wilder encourages viewers to consider the effects of their actions on the global energy paradigm.
This screening was graciously sponsored by Food & Water Watch.

June 2016: Vegucated

Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.

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May 2016: Eat: The Story Of Food

Food. It’s driven nearly everything we’ve ever done as a species, and yet it’s the most overlooked aspects of human history. In the beginning, our hunger drove us to hunt. Then, it led us to plant and settle, resulting in civilization. We conquered the land, and we went out into the ocean and the larger world. We filled our bellies, but it still wasn’t enough. We searched for flavor and convenience, adapting science and technology. Humanity’s appetite has shaped our history and altered the planet and future. This series is the epic story behind food and how it made us “us.”

April 2016: King Georges

Georges Perrier, a proud, quixotic French chef, struggles to save his world-renowned, 40-year-old-plus Philadelphia restaurant, Le Bec-Fin, from the forces of progress and the changing tastes of his customers.

“Poignant, emotional…steady stream of laughter.” -Variety
“A remarkably presented lion-in-winter story” -The Philadelphia Inquirer

For those of you who enjoyed our screening of King Georges and for those who were unfortunate to miss it, the following information from the film maker may be of interest to you.

Here’s a link to various ways you can still catch the film on demand & online (it will be on Hulu in the fall and onto Netflix, etc.): http://gowatchit.com/movies/king-georges-409420

And here’s the film’s website with details on King Georges social media: www.kinggeorgesfilm.com

March 2016: Food Chains

In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States.

Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger – earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this.
More information on the film’s website.

February 2016: Sustainable Table

Over nine months, director Mischa Hedges and his crew traveled the west coast to learn more about our food system. While interviewing farmers, agricultural experts, nutritionists and activists, Mischa and his team learned that the standard methods of producing food do not take environmental or human health costs into consideration.

They also spoke with farmers who are practicing more sustainable methods of producing food, and learned of the many alternatives to conventional agriculture.

The result is a 52 minute documentary that takes an unadulterated look into the food you eat, and how you can make a difference to your health and the environment by the food choices you make. What’s on your plate? Where does it come from? What effects does it have on the environment and your body? What can you do to help? More information on the Sustainable Table website.

January 2016: Sushi: The Global Catch

How did sushi become a global cuisine? What began as a simple but elegant food sold by Tokyo street vendors has become a worldwide phenomenon in the past 30 years. This feature-length documentary, shot in five nations, explores the tradition, growth and future of this popular cuisine. Beautiful raw pieces of fish and rice now appear from Warsaw and New York to football games in Texas towns. Can this growth continue without consequence? More information on the film’s website.

December 2015: Carb Loaded

Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat is a documentary film written and directed by Lathe Poland and Eric Carlsen. The film explores the exploding diabetes epidemic. Not by coincidence, Lathe was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010. He thought of himself as a healthy eater. He rarely ate sweets, never drank soda, and had no family history of diabetes. More information on the film’s website.

(no trailer available)

November 2015: Growing Change

Growing Change: A Journey Inside Venezuela’s Food Revolution investigates our current food system and solutions to world hunger. Contrary to popular belief, modern agriculture techniques are not a solution, but rather the very heart of the problem. Due to our chemical-based agriculture system, the Earth’s soil is depleting faster than it can be replaced; poor soil quality is a core problem facing farmers across the globe. The film offers inspiration and hope, and demonstrates how communities can take back control of the food supply and gain independence, while feeding those who would otherwise not be able to afford to eat.

October 2015: Overfed & Undernourished

Overfed & Undernourished is a feature length health and lifestyle documentary that examines a global epidemic through one boy’s inspiring and personal journey to regain his health from the inside out. Interspersed with interviews and advice from leading health and wellbeing experts from around the globe, providing simple solutions to improve the quality of our own lives, and ultimately asking the fundamental question… Are we really nourishing ourselves?
More information on the film’s website: www.overfedandundernourishedmovie.com/

September 2015: Seeds of Time

A perfect storm is brewing as agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler races against time to protect the future of our food. Seed banks around the world are crumbling, crop failures are producing starvation and rioting, and the accelerating effects of climate change are affecting farmers globally. Communities of indigenous Peruvian farmers are already suffering those effects, as they try desperately to save over 1,500 varieties of native potato in their fields. But with little time to waste, both Fowler and the farmers embark on passionate and personal journeys that may save the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.
More information on the film’s website: www.seedsoftimemovie.com/

(no trailer available)

July 2015: Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis

Childhood obesity is much more than a cosmetic concern. The health consequences of childhood obesity include greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other serious illnesses. The combination of these health effects and the dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates over the past three decades causes some experts to fear this may be the first generation of American children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis is the third part of a four-part series on HBO that explores the obesity epidemic in America.
More information on the film’s website: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/

June 2015: Salmon Confidential

Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC’s wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings. Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia’s most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants. The film documents Morton’s journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon. The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply.
More information on the film’s website: http://www.salmonconfidential.ca/

May 2015: Grazers

New York State loses a farm every three days, and with it a way of life, generations of farming knowledge, small town infrastructure and a whole landscape. For two years Jackson and Teale filmed with a group of fiercely independent farmers in upstate New York as they attempt to put together a cooperative to sell their grass fed beef and save their farms.

More information on the film website: www.grazersfilm.com

April 2015: The Future of Food

The Future of Food distills the complex technology and consumer issues surrounding major changes in the food system today — genetically engineered foods, patenting, and the corporatization of food — into terms the average person can understand. It empowers consumers to realize the consequences of their food choices on our future. See more information at the films website: http://www.thefutureoffood.com/

March 2015: Seeds of Death

The global launch of a second Green Revolution, spearheaded by genetic engineering corporations such as Monsanto and DuPont, shows every sign of being as catastrophic as the first revolution.

This film, by award-winning documentary film director Gary Null, takes on the seed cartel’s propaganda and political influence to expose a fabric of lies and deceit now threatening the safety and life of every species. The film’s message is clear: the future of food security that relies upon GMOs will devastate the planet and create catastrophic health and food crises for the world population.

February 2015: Open Sesame

One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk. This film will help others learn what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS. While the price of gold and oil skyrockets the fate of our most priceless commodity is ignored. Seeds provide the basis for everything from fabric, to food to fuels. They are as essential to life as the air we breathe or water we drink… but given far less attention. Over the past one hundred years, seeds have steadily shifted from being common heritage to sovereign property. This film tells the story of seeds by following the challenges and triumphs of some of their most tireless stewards and advocates. http://www.opensesamemovie.com

January 2015: Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives

Never-Before-Seen-Evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn. Monsanto’s strong arm tactics, the FDA’s fraudulent policies, and how the USDA ignores a growing health emergency are also laid bare. This sometimes shocking film may change your diet, help you protect your family, and accelerate the consumer tipping point against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

December 2014: Food Design

The sound of sausage: When a bite produces a distinct crunch, they taste particularly good. Fish sticks, on the other hand, don’t make such great noises, but they can be arranged nicely in the pan. And is it merely a coincidence that bologna fits perfectly onto a slice of bread, and that when combined, they make up a popular snack?

Designers create clothes, furniture, cars and all kinds of useful items. So why not food? Food designers work on things to eat, giving them a certain style and function. They not only make sure that food and drink fill our stomachs, but also that the eating process is practical and appeals to all the senses – so that we’re hungry for more.

FOOD DESIGN takes a look at the secret chambers of a major manufacturer of food, where designers and scientists are defining your favorite mouthful of tomorrow. It shows how form, color, smell, consistency, the sounds made during eating, manufacturing technique, history and stories are all aspects of food and eating that both influence food design, and are created by it.

November 2014:GMO OMG

GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what’s on your plate? – See more at: http://www.gmofilm.com/#sthash.Qd9rdsKp.dpuf

July 2014: Nothing Like Chocolate

Deep in the rain forests of Grenada, anarchist chocolatier Mott Green seeks solutions to the problems of a ravaged global chocolate industry. Solar power, employee shareholding and small-scale antique equipment turn out delicious chocolate in the hamlet of Hermitage, Grenada. Finding hope in an industry entrenched in enslaved child labor, irresponsible corporate greed, and tasteless, synthetic products,Nothing like Chocolate reveals the compelling story of the relentless Green, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company. Nothing Like Chocolate traces the continued growth of Mott’s co-operative, exposing the practices and politics of how chocolate has moved worldwide from a sacred plant to corporate blasphemy.

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June 2014: Ted Talks

Join bakers, chefs, food scientists, farmers and foodies for some truth about food. These discussions explore and celebrate all things food, covering flavor, sustainability, obesity, famine and more. Featured talks are “My subversive (garden) plot” – Roger Doiron shows how gardens can re-localize our food and feed our growing population; “The Global Food Waste Scandal” – Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, “Why Bees are Disappearing” – Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences, and Robyn O’Brien talks movingly about her child’s food allergies at TEDxAustin 2011.

May 2014: Brooklyn Farmer

“Brooklyn Farmer” explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City. As their growing operation expands to a second roof, the team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

April 2014: Brewed In Brooklyn

Sit back, crack open a cold one and see the history of the one time, and perhaps future beer brewing capital of the world, Brooklyn NY. Brewed in Brooklyn explores the origins of the brewing industry in Brooklyn from early 1800s up to and including the modern day craft brewers and home brewers who are helping to transform the borough into one of the most sought after places in the world to live and work. Rare footage, classic commercials and exclusive interviews make this a must see for beer lovers, historians and anyone who has ever called, or wanted to call Brooklyn NY their home.

March 2014: Weight of the Nation: Choices

The Weight of the Nation, Choices, poses a question that anyone who’s struggled with excess weight has asked: For all the remarkable high-tech tools available to medicine, for all the billions of dollars in drug research, there’s still no highly effective medication to prevent or reverse obesity – why?

Research shows that successful programs target both eating less and being more physically active. Maintaining a lower weight is an ongoing process that requires work and must be constantly monitored. Taking time to think about what we eat – and why we are eating – can be an effective way to attain and maintain a healthy weight.

February 2014: Hungry for Change

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight-loss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve and how to escape the diet trap forever.

January 2014: Gasland 2

In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated film GASLAND, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level (in 32 countries worldwide).

GASLAND PART II, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing our nation today. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are in Fox’s words “contaminating our democracy”.

December 2013: Food Beware

For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than we are. As the rate of cancer, infertility and other illnesses linked to environmental factors climbs ever upward each year, we must ask ourselves: why is this happening?

Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town’s mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground – children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves. Revealed in these moving and often surprising conversations are the abuses of the food industry, the competing interests of agrobusiness and public health, the challenges and rewards of safe food production, and the practical solutions that we can all take part in. Food Beware is food for thought – and a blueprint for a growing revolution.

Featuring original music by Oscar-winner Gabriel Yared.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – Berlin Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION – Montreal Festival of New Cinema

November 2013: A Place At The Table

50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all. – See more at: http://www.magpictures.com/aplaceatthetable/#sthash.zhNLhpV8.dpuf

October 2013: The Corporation

Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics with its insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal “person” to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics – including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

September 2013: What’s For Dinner?

What’s For Dinner? follows the rapid rise of animal product consumption in China, where consumption of pork—the country’s most popular meat—has doubled over the past ten years. Since China recently opened its doors to foreign agribusiness, both Western and home-grown fast food chains are now commonplace in urban areas, and contribute to a $28 billion-a-year business in the country.

August 2013: Forks Over Knives

FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

July 2013: Eat This New York

Best friends and aspiring restaurateurs Billy Phelps and John McCormick attempt to open a New York City eatery as some of the city’s best-known restaurateurs recall their own days of struggle in this documentary from filmmakers Kate Novak and Andrew Rossi.

From financial crises to kitchen problems and issues that nearly derail the venture before doors even open for business, Phelps and McCormick keep the dream alive by converting an old check-cashing shop into a retro speakeasy.

June 2013: Ingredients

At the focal point of this movement, and of this film, are the farmers and chefs who are creating a truly sustainable food system. Their collaborative work has resulted in great tasting food and an explosion of consumer awareness about the benefits of eating local.

Attention being paid to the local food movement comes at a time when the failings of our current industrialized food system are becoming all too clear. For the first time in history, our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than our own. The quality, taste and nutritional value of the food we eat has dropped sharply over the last fifty years. Shipped from ever-greater distances, we have literally lost sight of where our food comes from and in the process we’ve lost a vital connection to our local community and to our health.

A feature-length documentary, INGREDIENTS illustrates how people around the country are working to revitalize that connection. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, the film takes us across the U.S. from the diversified farms of the Hudson River and Willamette Valleys to the urban food deserts of Harlem and to the kitchens of celebrated chefs Alice Waters, Peter Hoffman and Greg Higgins. INGREDIENTS is a journey that reveals the people behind the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities.

INGREDIENTS is a seasonal exploration of the local food movement. Learn more at: http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/

May 2013: Weight of the Nation: Part 1

The first film in The Weight of the Nation series examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.
Bringing together the nation’s leading research institutions, THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION is a presentation of HBO and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.
The centerpiece of THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION campaign is the four-part documentary series, each featuring case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity. The first film, CONSEQUENCES, examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. The second, CHOICES, offers viewers the skinny on fat, revealing what science has shown about how to lose weight, maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain. The third, CHILDREN IN CRISIS, documents the damage obesity is doing to our nation’s children. Through individual stories, this film describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children. The fourth film, CHALLENGES, examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, food marketing, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity, American food culture, and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.

Learn more at: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/

April 2013: The Botany of Desire – Part 1 & 4 (Sweetness & Desire)

Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism and a student of food, presents the history of four plants, each of which found a way to make itself essential to humans, thus ensuring widespread propagation. Apples, for sweetness; tulips, for beauty; marijuana, for pleasure; and, potatoes, for sustenance. Each has a story of discovery and adaptation; each has a symbiotic relationship with human civilization. The film tells these stories and examines these relationships.

Learn more at: http://video.pbs.org/program/botany-of-desire/

March 2013: The World According to Monsanto

There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

Learn more and watch the film online at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

February 2013: Food Matters

“Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food” – Hippocrates. That is the message from the founding father of modern medicine echoed in the controversial new documentary film Food Matters from Producer-Directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch.

With nutritionally-depleted foods, chemical additives and our tendency to rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to treat what’s wrong with our malnourished bodies, it’s no wonder that modern society is getting sicker. Food Matters sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide ‘sickness industry’ and gives people some scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.

Food Matters is a 2008 documentary film about nutrition, exploring malnutrition and cancer causes. The film is presented in the style of a documentary, containing interviews, animations, and footage of various therapies and practices.

Learn more at http://foodmatters.tv/

December 2012: Dear Governor Cuomo

‘Dear Governor Cuomo’ is a concert protest film aimed at influencing New York state’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing – fracking – or adopt it. Featuring local activists including Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Natalie Merchant, Pete Seeger, Citizen Cope and scientists like Sandra Steingraber, the film – a blend of ‘The Last Waltz’ and ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ lays out the science and facts behind the decision and encourages the governor to join the anti-fracking majority in his state. Though focused on the issue in New York, the education, and incredible music, are relevant in the 34 states that already allow fracking.

November 2012: As We Sow

AS WE SOW documents the stories of survival and failure in the real heartland, a struggle pitting family against family, neighbor against neighbor, citizens against their government, and small, independent farmers against the giants of global agribusiness. At the center is the land itself: who will control it and how, and at what cost to people and communities, to animals and the environment, and, ultimately to our democracy.

You can learn more on the As We Sow website.

July 2012: TUPPERWARE!

In the 1950s, American women discovered they could earn thousands — even millions — of dollars from bowls that burped. “Tupperware ladies” fanned out across the nation’s living rooms, selling efficiency and convenience to their friends and neighbors through home parties. Bowl by bowl, they built an empire that now spans the globe.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents Tupperware!, a new documentary by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt (A Midwife’s Tale). Narrated by Kathy Bates, this funny, thought-provoking film reveals the secret behind Tupperware’s success: the women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds who discovered they could move up in the world without leaving the house. Tupperware! charts the origins of the small plastics company that unpredictably became a cultural phenomenon.

Visit the website at www.thetupperwarefilm.com for more information.

Farmlandia Select Scenes from Jan Weber on Vimeo.

June 2012: Double Feature: FARMLANDIA & FED UP!

Special post-screening Q&A with the Director of FARMLANDIA, Jan Weber.

FARMLANDIA: This new documentary uncovers a food and farm system made up of very different and often opposing views of how farming should be done, where it should be done, and to what end. Farmlandia lies at the intersection of Big Ag and the independent farmer and rancher, revealing the harsh realities of a distressed, dysfunctional—if not broken—food system and the seeds of a not-so-quiet revolution aimed at changing it.

FED UP: Using hilarious and disturbing archival footage and featuring interviews with farmers, scientists, government officials and activists, FED UP! presents an entertaining, informative and compelling overview of our food production system from the Green Revolution to the Biotech Revolution and what we can do about it.

May 2012: The Harvest

Every year there are more than 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, schools and homes to pick the food we all eat. Zulema, Perla and Victor labor as migrant farm workers, sacrificing their own childhoods to help their families survive. THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA profiles these three as they journey from the scorching heat of Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards and back south to the humidity of Florida’s tomato fields to follow the harvest.

From the Producers of the Academy-Award® Nominated film, WAR/DANCE and Executive Producer Eva Longoria, this award-winning documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these children who struggle to dream while working 12 – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed America.

March 2012: Queen of the Sun

From the director of The Real Dirt on Farmer John comes a profound, alternative look at the tragic global bee crisis. Juxtaposing the catastrophic disappearance of bees with the mysterious world of the beehive, Queen of the Sun weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heart-felt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world. Featuring Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva, Queen of the Sun reveals both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

In 1923, Rudolf Steiner, a scientist, philosopher & social innovator, predicted that in 80 to 100 years honeybees would collapse. His prediction has come true with Colony Collapse Disorder where bees are disappearing in mass numbers from their hives with no clear explanation. In an alarming inquiry into the insights behind Steiner’s prediction Queen of The Sun examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of biodynamic beekeepers, scientists, farmers, and philosophers. On a pilgrimage around the world, 10,000 years of beekeeping is unveiled, highlighting how our historic and sacred relationship with bees has been lost due to highly mechanized industrial practices. Featuring Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Gunther Hauk and beekeepers around the world, Queen of The Sun weaves a dramatic story which uncovers the problems and solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

April 2012: Farmageddon

Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent ac-tion, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family-operated farms selling fresh foods to their communities. Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems — most often the industrial food chain — policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.

Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasona-bly burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.

February 2012: Beer Wars

In America, size matters. The bigger you are, the more power you have, especially in the business world.

Director Anat Baron takes you on a no holds barred exploration of the U.S. beer industry that ultimately reveals the truth behind the label of your favorite beer. Told from an insider’s perspective, the film goes behind the scenes of the daily battles and all out wars that dominate one of America’s favorite industries.

Beer Wars begins as the corporate behemoths are being challenged by small, independent brewers who are shunning the status quo and creating innovative new beers. The story is told through 2 of these entrepreneurs – Sam and Rhonda – battling the might and tactics of Corporate America. We witness their struggle to achieve their American Dream in an industry dominated by powerful corporations unwilling to cede an inch.

This contemporary David and Goliath story is ultimately about keeping your integrity (and your family’s home) in the face of temptation. Beer Wars is a revealing and entertaining journey that provides unexpected and surprising turns and promises to change the world’s opinion on those infamous 99 bottles of beer on the wall.

January 2012: Chow Down

One man’s struggle to reverse his severe heart disease …. with diet.

“It’s very rare to get such insightful breakdowns of the human condition measured in a way that speaks across all backgrounds. There are no easy answers in changing diet, but there are solutions. “Chow Down” takes a realistic approach to the matter and should be required viewing for all adults in America.” – Anderson Vision

December 2011: Asparagus! Stalking the American Life

Special Screening with Filmmaker Q&A

For 30 years, Oceana County Michigan has been the Asparagus Capital of the World. Now its spear-struck residents and family farms take on the U.S. War on Drugs, Free Trade and a Fast Food Nation, all to save their beloved roots.
“This subtle but powerful film unveils intricate connections among community identity, family farming, national politics and international trade, while at the same time revealing the aplomb and good cheer of these indomitable, spear-struck Michiganders” – Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

September 2011: Two Angry Moms

Part exposé, part “how-to”, Two Angry Moms chronicles the efforts of leaders in the fledgling better school food movement as they take on the system nationwide. Two Angry Moms showcases programs that connect the cafeteria with the classroom and connect our kids with the earth. Over the course of a school year, we see a coalition drive dramatic changes in one Westchester, NY school district.

Two Angry Moms shows not only on what is wrong with school food; it offers strategies for overcoming roadblocks and getting healthy, good tasting, real food into school cafeterias. The movie explores the roles the federal government, corporate interests, school administration and parents play in feeding our country’s school kids.

Read more about Two Angry Moms on their website: http://angrymoms.org/

May 2011: Bananas!

Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez is on his biggest case ever. On behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers he is tackling Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility. Can he beat the giant, or will the corporation get away with it? In the suspenseful documentary BANANAS!*, filmmaker Fredrik Gertten sheds new light on the global politics of food.

Learn more at: http://www.bananasthemovie.com/