| Contest News

‘People’s Choice’ open for audience vote on a favorite sustainable food and farming story

SAN FRANCISCO — February 12, 2014 — The nation’s newest, most vibrant competition for short films about sustainable food and farming — the first annual Real Food Media Contest — announces that it has chosen the top 10 films from among a bumper crop of over 150 entries. Public voting for the ‘People’s Choice’ film is now open to all food and farming community members at The top three films and ‘People’s Choice’ winners will be announced and cash prizes awarded on March 4, 2014.

National interest in our food system has reached an unprecedented level in recent years. The overwhelming response in both the sheer volume of films submitted and the breadth of topics — from the crisis in commercial beekeeping to the struggle of farmworkers in the Northwest to the success of an urban gardening program in the South Bronx — proves how hungry young filmmakers and community food advocates are for a deeper exploration of our food. The archive of over 150 short films may be one of the largest ever created in service of the good food movement.

The contest, directed by national best-selling author and sustainability advocate Anna Lappé, is an initiative of the Real Food Media Project and an extension of the highly regarded Food MythBusters series, viewable at

“I was blown away by the 156 submissions: creative filmmakers turning their lens on food, in all its beauty and complexity,” says Anna Lappé, director of the Real Food Media Project. “After a tough task of selecting the ten finalists, we’re thrilled to announce the official selections: from a doc-style short film about the threat of another Dust Bowl to a first-person narrative about a young berry picker in Oregon, each film is unique and powerful.”

A star-studded panel of judges will select the top film. Cash prizes will be given to the best 10 films and the People’s Choice winner, including a $5,000 grand prize and a screening at the Food & Farm Film Fest in San Francisco in April 2014.

Contest judges include:
• Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author, actress, model and television host
• Michael Pollan, journalist and author, Omnivore’s Dilemma
• Robert Kenner, Academy Award-nominated director, “Food Inc.”
• Eric Schlosser, journalist and author, Fast Food Nation
• Johanna Blakley, managing director, Norman Lear Center, USC
• Byron Hurt, director and producer, “Soul Food Junkies”
• Alice Waters, Chez Panisse and Chez Panisse Foundation
• Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute
• The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)
• Emily Zweber, organic farmer

“This contest is the first of its kind, creating an opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to make their mark. Now, more than ever, we need these stories to be told,” says Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and a contest judge.

“Corporate interests are investing vast sums of money in storytelling designed to influence Americans’ food choices. I am encouraged that so many original voices have come forth in this contest, keeping the food and farming dialogue in the hands of the people,” says journalist Michael Pollan, another contest judge.

The Real Food Media Project is a collaborative initiative to spread the story of our food with this film contest, creative films, a web-based action center, and grassroots events. Visit to learn more, view the Top 10 films, and vote for the ‘People’s Choice Award.’ Deadline for voting is March 2, 2014.