I'm happy to announce the San Diego Premiere of PolyCultures: Food Where We Live. This will be a very special screening! It's the kick-off to this year's Cultivating Food Justice week. It's also the 15th event in "Food for Thought," San Diego Roots' film series - and the first to be introduced by one of the filmmakers.
It's an honor to be involved in this project - for those reasons, and also because it's a homecoming of sorts for me. I lived in San Diego for five years (until 2008), at first as a line cook and then developing a strong interest in sustainable agriculture while doing a tech job downtown. Acting on that interest, I spent the next three years in my hometown Cleveland, first collaborating with Director Tom Kondilas and Executive Producer Brad Masi to make this documentary, and later coordinating the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition. Cleveland will always be in my heart, but it feels great to be back in California and seeing some of the many inspiring projects happening out here through that lens (so to speak).
If you're in San Diego, I hope you'll consider joining us April 28th at Wild Willow Farm. This will be about the 20th time I've presented PolyCultures, and the first time I've screened it on a farm. Wood-fired pizza, good people, warm spring weather (hopefully!), localism in action - what more could you want?
For details click here. For clips and trailers, see the post right below...
If you haven't seen it before - and especially if you have - I encourage you to sit back and enjoy this movie trailer / music video put together by PolyCultures director Tom Kondilas. It's an achingly good song, and from the images and lyrics a distinct narrative arc emerges:
PolyCultures has spread the message of the "seamless web of sustainability" further than we could have predicted:
It's been viewed by over 10,000 - many of whom were inspired to do a little more (or a lot more!) to create an all-around healthier food system.
I think it's easy enough to see why when you watch this trailer highlighting the "problem > solution > action" theme of PolyCultures:
By the way, the music at the start there is gritty on purpose, just like we intentionally left in the endearing intro to the Harold Hartzler section everyone seems to love best:
A lot of people who support that kind of sustainably-produced food have the means to do so and an increasing number of options available. But how many people in poverty-stricken areas with limited food access could use to see the poignant message that in many locations the food system may be convenient but is actually pretty messed up... and to also see efforts happening around them that could soon be reversing that trend...
How many college libraries out there could put a couple copies of the DVD in circulation, giving many different types of courses an engaging teaching aid...? How many public libraries could lend a copy to community members who might be inspired to join a garden or host a CSA program...?
We want more people who see these clips or have caught a public screening to get a home-use copy and later lend it to friends... or maybe even think about setting up their own public screening.
After a long and somewhat trying winter, it seems PolyCultures is back on the scene.
Wednesday April 21 at 8p PolyCultures is slated to play before Food Inc. on WVIZ PBS Cleveland! Though some clips of the movie have been seen on television before this will be the official broadcast premiere of the latest 54-minute version of the movie (it's probably the best version:)!
You can also hear Maurice Small on 90.3's Around Noon Tuesday April 20th, check this link for that.
Michael Carissimi and Tom Kondilas also worked on a new 30 second promo that will be aired on PBS for the week preceding the show.
Whole Foods is also sponsoring a theatrical screening as part of its Let's Retake Our Plates Film Series. The 54-minute cut will play on April 30 at about ~7:00p for FREE at Lakewood Public Library - 15425 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH. Here's a Plain Dealer article about the series written by Kaye Spector.
I also had the opportunity to present PolyCultures in two historic venues...
...and give an interview that was streamed live and can be watched in its entirety here - about the movie and, more importantly, the movement in Northeast Ohio to provide impoverished neighborhoods with better food choices.
And all of this took place amid friendly folks strolling through the town from one venue to another, stopping here and there at unique restaurants and quaint gift shops. Doesn't get much better than Wild & Scenic!
While out in California, we received word that PolyCultures is an Official Selection of the Phangan Film Festival being held this February in Thailand. We're also part of the Frozen River Film Festival up in Minnesota, playing next weekend. On top of that, PolyCultures will be part of Case Western Reserve University Film Society's 6th Annual Local Filmmaker’s Night on Saturday, February 6th - great to be doing more with Tom's and my alma mater.
So, while we semi-hibernate on the distribution this winter, it's great to see that there's still interest in the documentary near and far. We have some big plans in the works for a spring-time relaunch... to coincide with the new growing season, of course.
That's a pic I snapped just outside the Rocky River Nature Center while attending their FREE four-part Bringing Nature Home Food Film Fest in October, where we shared trailers from PolyCultures and participated in after-film discussions. The festival has been extended to include PolyCultures on Thursday, December 10th from 7-9 PM!
Also, If you've seen PolyCultures, chances are you've seen or at least heard about King Corn. A couple months ago I had the good fortune to bump into and then chat with one of the filmmakers behind King Corn. This has led to the dual bill of their new project Big River alongside the freshly-released PBS cut of PolyCultures!
Rocky River Nature Center is located at 24000 Valley Parkway, between Cedar Point Road and Shepard Lane in North Olmsted. For more information, call 440-734-6660.