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Read Hank and Jilann’s Sundance Film Festival blog,

written as they went through the rollercoaster experience of premiering a film at this world-renown documentary film competition for the first time.

 

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See the film FOOD, INC!

Okay, anyone who eats must see the film FOOD, INC. Clearly, that means all of us. I watched it a couple of days ago and it is haunting me. In a good way. It's making me reexamine my thoughts and actions around food and I am already making changes in our family's food habits. I am taking immediate action. No more school lunches, no more Coke (which I LOVE), no more factory -farmed meat, which we didn't eat much of anyway, but absolutely NO MORE OF IT. The film is that affecting.

FOOD, INC. is documentary filmmaking at its best. The film is extremely engaging, informative, and well-crafted. My hat is off to Robby Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, Kim Roberts and the entire crew who made it.

We had the amazing fortune of talking to Elise on our DOC TALKS last night, and she revealed what a difficult film it was to make in a lot of ways. In one way, the filmmakers had the blessing of being fully funded while in production and post. We all know what a luxury that is. Participant Media and River Road financed the film (and Magnolia Pictures picked up the film for a wide release after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival).

But the difficulties in the story-telling were tremendous. The filmmakers faced the problem of not being able to tell the most multi-faceted story that they had hoped for, because of a virtual corporate black-out from the food industry. They wanted to interview companies like Monsanto, etc...to give them a fair shot at being involved in the dialogue of the issues raised, but Monsanto et al declined. They also had a tough time finding people who were able to speak out on the issues, but with perserverance, you will see, they found amazing, articulate and emotinally-affecting subjects.

Elise talked about how they heavily relied on a 1st Amendment lawyer, in order to avoid as much litigation with these corporations as possible. And many times she would lie awake at night wondering if they had covered their bases enough. In one instance, one of the huge corporations asked which farmers she had interviewed (this company black lists farmers who don't play by their rules), and in an effort to get an interview with this company, she revealed the names. (She first called the farmers and asked their permission to reveal their names.) In the end, the corporation didn't even consent to the interview. There were many dark moments like that in the making of the film.

But, it is so clear to me that Robby and Elise's (and the entire team's) courage is significantly benefitting us all. They really took personal risk to tell this vital story. And they told it beautifully. Thank you, guys. We salute you.

To find out more about the film, go to www.foodincmovie.com.

--Jilann

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