Farm to Fork Documentary - Fast Food to Sustainable Food
FARM to FORK is a feature documentary that follows food from the farm to the table through the eyes of at risk youth.
FARM to FORK is a feature documentary that follows food from the farm to the family table through the eyes of at risk youth who were raised in urban food deserts. The subjects are all participants in the Sustainable Life Project (SLP), a culinary arts and job training program run by the Tender Greens Restaurant group, for young adults (18-24) who have aged out of the foster care system.
The goal of the Sustainable Life Project (SLP) is to use food at all stages of production to transform individuals and communities. The SLP’s focus is with transitional youth who too often fall through the cracks of society between adolescence and adulthood. The project is designed to showcase the value of locally sourced food, sustainable farming methods, and the relationship that a chef has with farmers and food purveyors. By introducing these young people to the power of sustainable food, they hope to break the cycle of poverty through job training and career planning.
Tender Greens is an LA based restaurant group dedicated to serving fresh, healthy, chef-inspired dishes at an affordable price. They do “slow food done fast”. The philosophy is infused in everything they do: the beef is hormone and antibiotic free, the chickens are free range and raised on non-GMO feed, the tuna is fished sustainably, and the produce is grown locally (within 100 miles of LA). As a corporation, Tender Greens believes in establishing partnerships with their ranchers and purveyors. These partnership create a food chain that is sustainable economically and environmentally. The ingredients that they source are as fresh as possible which helps to deliver the freshest experience for the customer. They are a leader in the democratization of healthy eating in California.
The film follows eight youth who have been accepted to the twelve week SLP program. Each week, the program has three components: a culinary arts class, a restaurant internship, and a farm visit. At Inner City Arts in Downtown Los Angeles, the youth learn culinary art skills in the kitchen classroom . The youth intern at one of the Tender Greens restaurants where each week they work in a new station of the kitchen, starting at the dish station and working their way up to mirroring the sous chef. The weekly farm visits include vegetable farms, a pig ranch, a chicken processing facility, a fish factory, a salumi factory, an urban farm, a cheese monger and a local brewery.
The students who graduate from the SLP are offered full time jobs at Tender Greens. For the final project, the students are given a basket of food. Using what they’ve learned in the SLP, the students create three unique dishes that could potentially be served on the menu at Tender Greens. They are evaluated by a group of restaurant professionals and, if approved, the meals will be sold as a special at Tender Greens.
Food is the basic building block upon which our nation can be rebuilt. Food is medicine and a reformed national diet can lead to less spending on major health care challenges that we are facing in the 21st century as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise. “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese” (letsmove.gov).
African American and Latino communities are directly affected by food related health challenges due to economic, educational, and geographical factors. They live in parts of the country defined as “food deserts” where low incomes are abundant and grocery stores are scarce. The food choices in their neighborhoods consist of mainly fast food restaurants and convenience stores which sell cheap, unhealthy, and highly processed food.
Food inequality is one of the great challenges of our time. With proper education about the consequences of unhealthy eating, people will be better equipped to make smarter food choices. As the demand for locally sourced, sustainably farmed food grows, the supply will also increase, and our society have a healthier future.
Documenting the work of Tender Greens can be a positive example of corporate responsibility for organizations to follow. If every corporation can affect 20-30 young people every year, we’ll be on our way to a healthier society.
Unlike previous food documentaries, this film will seek solutions to national challenges of food inequality by telling personal stories at the root causes on a local level.
OUR PROJECT GOAL
Our goal for this project is $30,000. We spent 4 months shooting the film. We spent every class and farm visit with the SLP group, and we filmed every stage of the internship process. If we reach our goal, we will be able to hire an editor who will assemble a rough cut of the film. A rough cut is an edited movie before all of the fancy post-production stuff (sound effects, music, color correction, and graphic) get added. We will also continue to check in with the graduates from the program to follow them as they grow into their professional careers. We will also interview "food experts" about slow food, sustainability, healthy eating, and food deserts in and around Los Angeles.
THE FARMERS and ARTISANS
- Scarborough Farm (Oxnard, CA)
- La Brea Bakery (Culver City, CA)
- Jones Coffee (Pasadena, CA)
- Jidori Chicken (Los Angeles)
- Drake Family Goat Dairy (Ontario, CA)
- International Marine (Los Angeles)
- Silverlake Farms (Los Angeles)
- La Espanola Meats (Harbor City, CA)
- ReRide Ranch (Lake Hughes, CA)
- El Segundo Brewery (El Segundo, CA)
KEY CREATIVE PERSONNEL
MATTHEW ARNOLD DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
Matthew Arnold is an award winning filmmaker, photographer, and veteran technology educator. His first feature, The Long Green Line is a profile of one of America’s greatest teachers, Coach Joe Newton. The film is a testament to the power that a healthy sports program can have on a young person’s life. The Long Green Line was voted #10 Best Sports Film of All-Time by ESPNrise.com. His follow up project was the webseries Legends of La La which follows fictional record producer, Nick Silver, as he navigates the current singer/songwriter scene in Los Angeles.
More info at: www.eyeda.com
DIEGO TORROIJA DIRECTOR of PHOTOGRAPHY
Diego is an award winning commercial cinematographer with a deep history in design. Over the last 10 years Diego has worked with many national and international brands including Orbitz, Intel, Holiday Inn, Puma, Clairol, Doritos, Honda, Universal , Disney, Cox Communications, PGA, 3M and Rooms To Go. In addition to his commercial work, Diego has directed and photographed many music videos.
More info at: www.usphotograp.com
MUSIC in the video:
THE SKYWALKERSKevin Writer and Douglas James are The Skywalkers. This Los Angeles based duo have written and produced for, Akon, Mariah Carey, T-Pain, Jesse McCartney, X-Factor, America's Got Talent as well as many others. Twitter.com/KevinWriter Twitter.com/dojamusic
COYOTE GRACE via: http://www.konsonant.com/
Risks and challenges
We will submit the completed film to film festivals, and we may or may not get accepted to these festivals. We will also try to partner with a production company to contribute any necessary funds needs to complete the film (beyond our kickstarter pledges). Our goal is to have this film seen by as many people as possible, and if necessary, we will self distribute the film through our social networks and video on demand outlets.
As for pledge fulfillment, we have partnered with a fulfillment house in Chicago to handle all of our physical shipping needs. They are equipped with USPS, UPS, and FEDEX shipping capabilities and they will process our orders in a timely fashion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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