As you've likely noticed, TK and I have recently produced a flurry of blog content. What we haven't done for a while though is give a comprehensive update on this whole project - not since I posted The Résumé back in July! So here goes...
New Product Line - Version 1.2
We recently produced a 53:30 version of PolyCultures in hopes of being included in PBS' Independent Lens series. We're inserting 2:30 of "value added" on the edges and calling it the 56-minute cut (i.e. the length it'll be if/when it airs). This cut obviously does not have the depth of its 100-minute predecessor (v1.1), but the core messages are retained and the flow is much better - it's much more enjoyable, if I do say so myself ;-)
In the process we kicked out two other cuts that are each about 27 minutes long. The first is about urban food access issues and solutions to that, such as City Fresh and urban gardening. The second is about the problems with conventional agriculture, ecological agriculture as an alternative to that, and a look at how that alternative is being brought to scale. We think these cuts are great as an introduction to either subject and should fit well within a single class period for high schools or colleges. By the way, the movie is already being used in curriculum by such fine area schools as Case Western Reserve University, Gilmore Academy, and Padua Franciscan High School.
At present we have just home-burned DVDs of these new cuts, but we're happy to make any of them available to parties who wish to purchase a public screening license.
Speaking of screenings, we've had quite a few of them recently. In fact, in the months of August, September, and October we will have had 13 screenings that were presented by Tom, Brad, and/or myself in such locations as: Des Moines, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Athens, Youngstown, Oberlin, and of course several neighborhoods around Cleveland. In addition, there have been invite-only screenings in Chicago and San Diego - the latter was at a sustainable seafood restaurant called Sea Rocket Bistro, and here are a couple pics from the event:
Check out the "Recent Screenings" section to the right for details on each of these events. And definitely check out the "Upcoming Screenings" to the right for our upcoming screenings in Cleveland and California!
Food & Environmental Film Festivals
It was an honor to be a part of the film festival at what must be the nation's largest sustainable food conference in Des Moines (see my three-part series below). And it's going to be an honor to be a part of the nation's largest environmental film festival - PolyCultures has been chosen as an official selection for the 8th Annual Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival being held in Nevada City, CA on January 15-17, 2010! I'm hoping to be able to attend that one as well... looks like a great festival.
PolyCultures was an Official Web Selection of the 2009 Blue Planet Film Fest and recently received a 2009 Accolade Film Award.
Also, there's a great food film series going on Tuesdays this month at the Rocky River Nature Center, including The Future of Food, Fresh, King Corn, and Super Size Me. Tom and I have been going out to see these (again), sell PolyCultures DVDs, and show our trailers in promotion of our upcoming December screening at the Nature Center.
Addressing Food Gaps in Urban Areas
Tom and I both live in the heart of urban Cleveland and know how difficult it is to get fresh, healthy food nearby. We recently shot some footage of an area grocery store that was abandoned, resulting in a food vacuum in that community. We've incorporated this new footage into a new 5-minute piece on food deserts.
This coincides with a presentation we recently gave to the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition, in conjunction with Jenita McGowan's presentation of her related research in urban neighborhoods.
It seems from several recent comments on our About the Movie page that people are really digging City Fresh as a solution in underserved neighborhoods.
Along these lines, here's an insightful essay on the topic of urban farms that happens to mention PolyCultures, recently written by Marianne Eppig for her fine blog Renovating the Rust Belt.
Here's a little treat for making it to the end of this post. I found this bizarro site while fishing for PolyCultures stuff. My favorites include "polycultures food where we live: you will not seem the show of reasons that wonder like word tried that church for potential" and "Polycultures food where we live: enrique vergara, the responsibility of the american santo works, drew to happen by road phone blue demon a art of his own." As well, I learned that "Polycultures food where we live: there are other placing prizes in the 56k." Can't argue with that reasoning.