Announcing the 2015 Real Food Media Contest Winners

| Contest News

Joanna Dillon, Real Food Media Contest



Oyster divers in Long Island, Peace-building in the Congo,
Spoken word poet sounds the alarm on soda


SAN FRANCISCO — March 9, 2015 — A stunning range of food and farming stories win top honors in the second annual Real Food Media Contest, the food movement’s first and only competition for short films about sustainable food and farming. Winners were selected from among 175 submissions by the Contest’s advisors. Prizes were determined by the Contest’s prominent panel of judges, including journalists Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, Norman Lear Center’s Johanna Blakley, film critic Thelma Adams, Padma Lakshmi, Alice Waters, and Tom Colicchio.

All under four minutes, the winning films are diverse in style, perspective, and place, but share common themes: renewal of respect for the labor and natural resources at the heart of food production, empowerment of communities through advocacy, and celebration of sustainability along the food chain.

The Grand Prize winner is At Needle Point, a powerful spoken word piece about the crippling epidemic of diabetes. (This film also won the Student Prize). Directed by Jamie DeWolf from Alameda, California the short was produced in partnership with The Bigger Picture, a collaboration between Youth Speaks and the University of California San Francisco Center for Vulnerable Populations designed to combat the rising epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes by empowering youth to change the conversation. Tom Colicchio said, “This provocative film delivers a big message… If this doesn’t get through to people, I don’t know what will.” Contest Director Anna Lappé announced the Grand Prize winner on Saturday at TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat in New York City.

The Grand Prize winner and all the winning films are promoted by Contest media partners— including James Beard Foundation, Tastemade, and Slow Food USA — and are free to watch online or at more than 50 Pop-Up Film Festivals being hosted around the country. You can see the other winners and our film library of more than 40 captivating short films at


Additional Prizes include:

  • 1st Runner Up: Soft Slaughter | Allison Milligan, Boston, MA
    Disillusioned with conventional meat production, Mary Lake becomes a butcher and brings humility to the act of slaughter.
  • People’s Choice Award: Mama Adrienne | Austin Haeberle and Wendy Jacques, Maplewood, NJ
    For the women of Kinkala in the Republic of Congo, sustainable farming is about more than growing organic vegetables. Still recovering from a decade of violent conflict, these women know that sustainability means physical, economic, and emotional security – it means peace.
  • Best Underreported Issue: Our Work is Life | Luke McKinley, Seattle, WA
    A glimpse into the complex story of migrant farmworkers in the United States. Told primarily through the voices of indigenous Mexican campesinos, the film shows one group’s advocacy for dignity and fairness on a berry farm in Washington.
  • Best Food Producer Profile: Verrückt: The Snail Farmer of Vienna | Kevin Longa, Burlingame, CA
    Meet Andreas, who leaves a cushy tech job at IBM to resurrect the lost art of snail farming. Sustainable, efficient, and tasty, snail farming is a green alternative to mainstream meat.
  • Best Innovative Initiative: Growing Good Bugs | Julie Philips, Studio City, CA
    Meet hand-grown bugs and the freshest flies from California in this look into the role of beneficial insects in sustainable farming.
  • Best Cinematography: The Oyster Men | Peter Crosby and Show Love, Brooklyn, NY
    A small group of Baymen are committed to the rare practice of diving to hand pick wild oysters in the Long Island Sound. At once deeply rewarding and highly challenging, the practice is virtually unknown, yet produces some of America’s tastiest and most unique oysters.
  • Best Animation: FOOD | Siqi Song, Valencia, CA
    Stop-motion animation brings interviews with real eaters from around the world to life as ‘edible characters’ discussing the impact of our food choices.


About the Real Food Media Contest

The Contest, directed by national best-selling author and sustainability advocate Anna Lappé, is an initiative of the Real Food Media Project, which runs creative communications campaigns to spread the story of sustainable food and farming. Visit to learn more and to view the winning films. Connect with us online on Twitter via @RealFoodFilms and @AnnaLappe, Instagram via realfoodmedia, and on Facebook at Real Food Media Project.