We extend our heartfelt thanks to the more than 600 supporters who pushed this Kickstarter campaign far beyond our wildest hopes. You have amazed us with your generosity, passion and determination to make this fundraising effort a resounding success. If you missed the chance to contribute through Kickstarter, you can still make a tax-deductible donation on our website at www.foodfightfilm.com.
We will post updates through Kickstarter as well as on our website and Facebook page. We look forward to continuing our dialogue, hearing from you, and sharing our progress.
Melissa and Jay
Throughout the summer of 2014, a corporate food fight played out in dozens of communities impacting tens of thousands of workers and the economies of three states. When the faction of the Market Basket board headed by Arthur S. Demoulas fired his cousin and archrival Arthur T. Demoulas as long-time CEO of the successful supermarket chain, it set off a firestorm that sparked one of the most unique corporate dramas in American history. It’s what the New York Times called “the last stand for the middle class.”
Within days of hearing the news that their beloved “Artie T” had been axed, several high-ranking managers resigned, others were fired. Truckers stopped trucking. Warehouses stopped supplying. Vendors stopped shipping. Customers stopped shopping. Employees picketed in parking lots. Practically overnight, the $4 billion dollar business, with 71 stores scattered across three states, ground to a halt. Governors from two states were called in to negotiate a settlement.
Throughout the entire summer, workers, managers and customers were galvanized. They didn’t want more money, better benefits or work conditions. They only wanted back Arthur T, widely revered as a quiet leader operating on simple, long-held family values learned from his grandfather who started the business nearly 100 years ago – treat your workers well and give customers “more for their dollar”.
What unfolded for the next seven weeks erupted into a major news story that gripped New England and churned across the country. It’s the saga of a Greek immigrant who lived the American dream, but whose descendants fought for control of the company with fundamentally different views of how to run a successful business. The conflict has become a poster child for the struggle of non-union workers and loyal customers to get a fair shake in a world where the 1% seems to pull all the strings. It is a distinctly 21st century drama where ideals, personalities, passions, old tactics and new tools turn conventional ideas about labor, management and consumers on their head.
Only one film crew was on the ground throughout the summer, following the fear, frustration, hope and courage of an unlikely cast of characters. By consistently being the crew that "kept showing up", we earned the trust - and unique access to - many people central to this saga. FOOD FIGHT is the inside story of the battle to save Market Basket, and about the power of ordinary, passionate people to rewrite corporate history.
We are pleased to be a project of the Center for Independent Documentary, a non-profit organization that has provided fiscal sponsorship and support for more than 200 documentaries since its founding in 1981. Films sponsored by CID have been seen on PBS, HBO, Sundance and many other stations, and have won hundreds of awards at festivals in the US and abroad. Your contribution to FOOD FIGHT is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.
A FEW ADDITIONAL NOTES
Some of you might have noticed that we launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign in mid-August for Arthur vs. Arthur, the original name of our film. Let us explain:
1. We launched the original campaign just days before Market Basket employees began raising money to help laid-off associates who were struggling to make ends meet during the seven-week work stoppage. We decided to bury our campaign so as not to distract or compete with efforts to support people with critical needs.
2. We changed the film's name as we came to see that the story is about much more than the feud between two cousins. Food Fight is a lively, character-driven, fast-paced, emotionally rich, and at times humorous exploration of the family, feud, rebellion and resolution of the Market Basket drama. It unravels the seeds of dissent and disagreement between the two sides of the Demoulas family to set the stage for the remarkable revolt in the summer of 2014. While most of the story takes place within Market Basket stores and grounds, we have several outside commentators - professors, politicians, journalists and labor activists - unpack the larger implications the story holds for corporations, labor and the American economy.
Risks and challenges
This Kickstarter campaign is part of a careful fundraising strategy that includes foundation support, license agreements for broadcast, theatrical and on-demand release, ancillary and DVD sales. With your support right now, we will be able to complete all interviews, get well into the editing phase, and solidify distribution plans for FOOD FIGHT - Inside the Battle for Market Basket.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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