This Kickstarter campaign is meant to raise funds to finish production (sound mastering, editing, image licensing) and to promote the film series, FOOD SYSTEMS.
FOOD SYSTEMS is a three part film project that documents the food ecosystem that exists in a city, which in this case is Pittsburgh. In the past few years, Pittsburgh has emerged as a foodie town, scoring notable magazine articles and James Beard award nods. There is a well-deserved praise of restaurants and chefs. It is exciting, but there are also other stories to be told. FOOD SYSTEMS shares in the celebration and excitement that is tied to an emerging generation of creative cooks and a vibrant ethnic food scene, but also takes time to look at farm operations, food supply and distribution, access to healthy food, education, and a variety of solutions to growing food issues.
Working in these industries can be extremely difficult and it is often an uphill battle to better people's lives, one's living, or one's city. FOOD SYSTEM attempts to showcase the passion and craft that is given to these efforts.
The film is in three parts. For rewards, delivery will be upon completion of each part. This provides more immediate gratification for patrons (thanks!) who will need to wait a little longer for the final film to be completed.
FOOD SYSTEMS Chapter 1: A Night Out (~105 minutes)
This section starts with a brief history of Pittsburgh fine dining from the late 1970s, delving into La Normande and Baum Vivant, the tide-changing Big Burrito, Legume, and others. A brief "this is your life" segment on Kevin Sousa and the staff at Salt of the Earth showcase the steps one may take to owning a restaurant while also marking some fundamental changes in the local scene. From there, Lydiah's Coffeehouse and Nak Won Garden are showcased. Then, detours into how history is created, what it takes to make it in the service industry, and sexism. The film closes with surveys of a few neighborhoods that have experienced changes over the years: East Liberty, Homewood, and Downtown.
Estimated reward delivery: September 2015
FOOD SYSTEMS Chapter 2: Dinner on the Farm (~22 minutes)
This short film shadows four dinners: The Avenue B edition of Churchview Farm's Dinner Series and The Farmer's Table dinners at Jarosinski Farms, Bar Marco's Menuless Mondays, and Lewis Family Farms. Best advised to eat before or while watching.
Estimated reward delivery: as soon as the campaign finishes
FOOD SYSTEMS Chapters 3 and 4 (~ 95 minutes)
The last film in the series follows the food chain: Farms to distribution to supply to access and education. The plot is still being developed through interviews, but the film will cover the history of Penn's Corner, various farms (chicken, beef, trout, vegetable), local food availability, butcher shops, food co-ops, food quality, and food deserts. Solutions like community and urban gardens, new food salvaging initiatives, legislative changes, and education will also be covered.
Estimated reward delivery: January 2016
I would like to give a sincere thank you to everyone that has given their time and opened their kitchens to this project. All of the restaurants, writers, chefs, craftspersons, and makers have been more than supportive of this project.
A few stills:
While the list is continuously changing, the following people/entities are in the film:
Root 174 (Keith Fuller, Betty Hilliard)
Dish (Michele Savoia)
Cafe Zinho (Tony Pais)
Superior Motors (Kevin Sousa)
Dinette (Sonja Finn)
Big Burrito (Bill Fuller, Ben Sloan, Eli Wahl)
Bluebird Kitchen (Liz Moore)
Bar Marco (Jamilka Borges)
Legume (Trevett Hooper)
Salt of the Earth (Melissa Horst)
Eden (Hilary Zozoula)
Thai Gourmet (Vilavan Anan Vong, Oraphan Witayaprechia-Anan, Vichien Namsai)
Taste of India (Harjit Singh)
Edgar Best Taco's In Pittsburgh (Edgar J. Alvarez)
Nak Won Garden (Christina Beondy)
Felicia Lane Savage
Hal B. Klein
Lewis Family Farms
Lydiah's Coffee House (Lydiah Wanyoike)
Butcher on Butler
and many more . . .
Special thanks to Ehrrin Keenan and Marisa Manheim for some early conversations that assisted in shaping the scope of these films. Also, thanks to Le Rex for support and music.
Risks and challenges
Since starting this project a year ago, I have been spending most waking, non-work, non-music, non-dance moments thinking about, editing, filming, and crafting this project. My excitement and dedication to the project only grows as the edit and story develops.
Regarding film completion, Part 1 is 70% completed, Part 2 is 96% completed, and Parts 3/4 are 20% completed. As long as nothing disastrous like lost footage occurs, I am confident that I will finish the films. All footage is backed up in a redundant drive to minimize hard drive issues. I continually back up edits of the footage online and to another laptop.
The main challenge will be how far of a reach the film has. By doing the kickstarter campaign, I can guarantee that everyone who backs the project will see at least a portion of the project. The goal of the project is to raise funds to finish production, procure proper licensing, and push the film out into the world. The impact that the film has is uncertain and we won't really know the impact until we try to get the film into festivals, screenings, and online viewing. The more money we raise, the more options we have for pushing the film through various screening and promotional campaigns.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)