Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Documentary to Highlight Those Finding Solutions to Hunger, Poverty, Landlessness

Originally published in Food Tank

A documentary film adapted from the book Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé launched on Kickstarter in May 2017.

Fifteen years after the book’s original publication in 2002, Luis Medina, a graduate Food Studies student at New York University, hopes to bring these stories to the screen by traveling through four continents to discover people who find solutions to hunger, poverty, and landlessness in their communities.

“These stories need to be shared now more than ever. At this point in history, people fear for their democracy. Film has the power to engage our senses and compel us to act in ways a book does not,” says the director. “I believe all people want to make a positive difference in the world, to be of something bigger and life serving, but so often we are afraid and feel powerless. “Hope’s Edge” seeks to inspire us to take action by showing regular people around the world doing what we never thought possible.”

The book itself was a follow-up to Frances Moore Lappé’s 1971 bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, which challenged the idea that society needs to produce more food to feed the world.

According to the Friends of the Earth report Farming for the Future, we produce enough food to feed 10 billion people. Still, as consequence of a model of food production which significantly contributes to climate change, environmental degradation, and poor diets, around 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger.

Hunger is not caused by a scarcity in food, it’s caused by a scarcity in democracy and unequal access to land, water, credit, and fair markets, preventing people from acquiring the resources necessary to feed themselves.

“Hope’s Edge” finds new spaces for people to find the courage to take action by showing others effecting change, challenging inequalities, and finding solutions to hunger, poverty, and landlessness around the world.

Click here for the “Hope’s Edge” Kickstarter campaign.

Hope’s Edge

Read more on the Hope’s Edge website.

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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Press Release: Announcing Year 3 of Real Food Films Contest

Christina Bronsing-Lazalde
Real Food Media



Food Movement Changemakers Raj Patel & Bryant Terry, Media Innovators at Upworthy & Vimeo Join Panel of Judges and Partners to Select Top Digital Super Shorts on Sustainable Food



SAN FRANCISCO — October 23, 2015 — In the past two years, over 300 filmmakers from around the world have entered the world’s largest short films competition for films on food, farming and sustainability. Today, Real Food Media announces the launch of its third-annual Contest year with a call for submissions of super-short films on underreported issues, unique changemakers and creative solutions to foster a broad, public conversation about solving our global food system’s most intractable problems – from hunger to diet-related illnesses to environmental crises.


Details about guidelines can be found at Submissions are due by March 1st, 2016 at 9pm PST/12 midnight EST. The top ten finalist films will be announced April 1st, 2016 at Madrone Studios in San Francisco.


Contest judges include some of the nation’s most significant leaders in food, farming and film, from restaurateur Tom Colicchio to chef and author, Bryant Terry. “Each year I enjoy judging the short film competition,” says the James Beard Foundation’s Susan Ungaro, a contest judge. “These short documentaries offer of great overview of what’s important, what’s inspiring and what’s concerning in our complicated but joyous food world.”


Awards include a $5,000 Grand Prize, $2,000 for Runner-Up and special awards for Best Cinematography, Underreported Issue, Food Producer Profile, Innovative Initiative and Animation. Media partners include film festivals and online video platform, Vimeo, bringing wide distribution opportunities for films and valuable networks for filmmakers. (See below for complete list). Winning films have been shown around the world – from a festival in Istanbul to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City to Food & Wine’s online platform. In addition, the Contest works with dozens of universities on events and special programming, including with anchor partners Occidental College (Los Angeles) and Gustolab Institute for Food Studies (Rome).


“In two years, we have been blown away by the creativity and vision of filmmakers, both seasoned and new,” said Anna Lappé, national bestselling author and Real Food Media founder. “We’ve also been delighted by the reach of our free Pop-Up Film Fests, showcasing winning films. From New Zealand to Romania to across the United States, more than 200 communities have shown these powerful films, sparking conversation worldwide.”


“My first reaction when selected as a Contest finalist was a great sense of validation and honor knowing that my film was selected by judges who are luminaries in the world of food and sustainability. And then something really interesting happened after the contest; I began getting requests to screen my film at festivals across the web and the world. It’s amazing how the Contest became the catalyst to finding an audience for my work.”
– Dustin Hughes, 2015 Finalist


“The Real Food Media Contest gets to the heart of why I make films, which is to provide new perspectives on the way we eat and grow. Not only is it a great avenue to share these films, but it is also building a network of likeminded filmmakers. We’ve collaborated with other winners of the Contest and hope to do the same this year.”
– Daniel Klein, The Perennial Plate, current Contest judge and 2014 and 2015 Prize Winner


The 2015 Contest winners – including a youth spoken word about the ravages of diabetes, a meditation on humane animal slaughter and planting peace in the Congo – are part of the free Pop-Up Film Fest lineup. More information can be found at



Contest Judges:

  • Johanna Blakley, PhD, Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California
  • Philip Bloom, filmmaker
  • Dana Cowin, Editor in Chief, Food & Wine
  • Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Craft Restaurants and executive producer of A Place at the Table
  • Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO, International Culinary Center
  • Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders, Food52
  • Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, filmmakers, the Perennial Plate
  • Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author, actress, model, and television host
  • Jamie Oliver Food Foundation USA
  • Davia Nelson, audio storyteller, the Kitchen Sisters
  • Michel Nischan, President and CEO, Wholesome Wave
  • Eli Pariser, co-founder, Upworthy
  • Raj Patel, best-selling author and food justice activist
  • Maria Rodale, chairman and COO, Rodale Inc.
  • Brad Simpson, film producer, Color Force
  • Bryant Terry, award winning chef, author and activist
  • Susan Ungaro, President, James Beard Foundation
  • Karen Washington, farmer and activist
  • Alice Waters, owner, Chez Panisse, founder, The Edible Schoolyard Project
  • Emily Zweber, organic farmer, first AgChat Foundation executive director


Contest Media Partners:

  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Change Food
  • Devour! The Food Film Festival, Nova Scotia
  • Disposable Film Festival
  • Eat Drink Films
  • Edible Communities
  • Food & Wine
  • Food and Farm Film Festival
  • Food Book Fair
  • Food Day
  • Food52
  • GOOD
  • James Beard Foundation
  • Lexicon of Sustainability
  • Slow Food USA
  • SXSW Eco
  • Tastemade
  • Vimeo


Contest Advisors:

  • Haven Bourque, Founder, HavenB Media
  • Wendy Cohen, Partner and principal at Picture Motion
  • Danielle Gould, Founder and CEO, Food+Tech Connect
  • Fred Haberman, Co-founder and CEO, Haberman
  • Diane Hatz, Founder and Executive Director, Change Food
  • Saru Jayaraman, Founder and Co-director, Restaurant Opportunities Center United
  • Navina Khanna, Movement Strategy Center
  • Joann Lo, Co-director, Food Chain Workers Alliance
  • Mischa Nachtigal, Co-founder, Food + Farm Film Fest
  • Sanjay Rawal, Director, Food Chains
  • Eric Slatkin, Food + Video Director
  • Naomi Starkman, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Civil Eats


Anchor Schools:

  • Gustolab Institute Center for Food Studies: Rome, Italy
  • Occidental College: Los Angeles, CA


Contest School Ambassadors:

  • Berkeley Food Institute
  • Chapman University
  • Chatham University
  • Cornell Performing and Media Arts & Cornell Small Farms Program
  • DCTV
  • Green Mountain College
  • Indiana University – South Bend, Center for a Sustainable Future
  • Institute for Community Research, Food Justice Youth Corps
  • Johns Hopkins, Center for a Livable Future
  • Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Columbia University Teachers College
  • Shenandoah University, Blue Ridge Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Sterling College
  • The New School
  • Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
  • UC Davis
  • UC Santa Cruz: Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
  • University of California Los Angeles, Institute for Sustainability
  • University of Vermont



The Contest is directed by leading sustainability advocate and award-winning author Anna Lappé and is part of the Real Food Films initiative of Real Food Media. Real Food Films includes an annual contest for super-short films on food, farming and sustainability; an online video library for educators and advocates; and resources for Pop-Up Film Festivals around the world.



Real Food Media is a collaborative initiative, working with partners around the country to spark conversations about our food system, catalyze creative storytelling and connect communities for action. Real Food Media produces Real Food Films, a Food MythBusters series and other special partnerships, including the Voices of the Food Chain project with Food Chain Workers Alliance.



Twitter: @realfoodfilms

Instagram: @realfoodmedia

Facebook: realfoodmediaproject




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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Insiders Tip: How To Find Filmmakers

Photo: Bill Rice via Flickr

Do you have a great idea for the Contest and need help finding a filmmaker?

You’re not alone. Now in its second year, the Contest has spurred on collaborations with filmmakers and food systems leaders to create compelling content and launch stories in front of thousands around the world. Featuring cash prizes and opportunities to work with leaders in the food and film industry, here are some tips to find filmmakers who’d be eager to connect and capture your would-be stories. And who knows, you may be looking outside when you’ve got a budding filmmaker right under your nose. Maybe it’s you.


Finding Filmmakers in your Area

Here are a few tips to find great filmmakers:

  • Search for documentaries that are similar to the subject matter to what you’re planning to produce OR that has a style of filmmaking that you like. Look in the credits and see who produced it.
  • Search on Vimeo for films and shorts from your area and see who produced them. You can also search profiles for location. Send them a message on Vimeo and start up a conversation.
  • Every state has a local film commission with local listings. Make a call and ask for recommendations of contacts or send an email.
  • Try a Google search for “film and video production companies in (your city).” Read their company bio and see if they do documentaries and/or short films. (Be aware that these leads may not be interested in doing pro bono work unless: they’re interested in the prizes and publicity that could come their way, and/or they strongly believe in your cause. Even if they can’t help you, they might be able to point you in the right direction to other filmmakers who might be a good fit for your project.)
  • Call the film department at your local university. They might be able to make some recommendations. Many high schools also offer film and video courses.
  • Attend a local film festival and/or find the organization who organizes the festival and ask them to make recommendations on filmmakers who may be interested in your project.
  • Contact documentary filmmaking organizations such as the International Documentary Association or Center for Independent Documentary.
  • Leverage your development skills and collaborate with local talented filmmakers to apply for grant opportunities.
  • Join a filmmakers chat room such as Creative Cow or DVXuser and pitch your project. (Be aware that you never know who’s going to respond, so make sure you fully explore their films, experience and references.)
  • Try Spidvid which connects people who want to make videos and documentaries.



Pitching Filmmakers on your Project

Here’s the key thing to remember when approaching filmmakers: since most experienced filmmakers won’t work for free (they have to make a living just like everyone else), be creative about what you may be able to offer if funding is limited. Are you a farmer? Offer a CSA share! Are you a non-profit with expertise in an area they could benefit from? Offer your skills. Help them write a grant proposal for an upcoming project. Pitch the project to them highlighting the food and film industry leaders they’d get their work in front of including Contest judges, advisors, ambassador schools, and networks. The cash prizes are sugar on top of a meaningful new collaboration.


Become  the Filmmaker – yes, you!

If you’re interested in the Contest, chances are you’re drawn to film as a powerful way to tell stories. Yes? There are some incredible resources by filmmakers for filmmakers out there to help you learn and develop the skills to be capture your own impressive stories. Show us your reality as you know it best. According to the team behind Desktop Documentaries, there’s never been a better time to be a filmmaker. What was once reserved for an elite few, making documentaries is now within reach of anyone with access to a camera and the internet. There are loads of resources on the cheap to help you get there, including free video editing software and – you can even make a movie with your iPhone. Our media partner, Disposable Film Fest, was founded exactly for this reason – to celebrate the democratization of cinema made possible by low cost video technology: everyday equipment like mobile phones, pocket cameras, DSLRs and other inexpensive devices. If this sounds like an exciting chance to try your hand at filmmaking, we’d love to see your work. There are truly incredible stories, solutions, and innovations to be shared – the future of our food depends on us to spread them far and wide.

Step behind the lens! Follow your instinct. Now’s the time.

Some suggestions here are cross-posted from Desktop Documentaries, there’s plenty more information and resources on the website.


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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

2015 Real Food Media Contest Winner to be debuted at TEDxManhattan: March 7, 2015

Since its first year in 2011, TEDxManhattan has been creating a powerful platform for stories about innovations in food businesses and sourcing (are insects the future of food?), providing critical information about food workers and what’s happening behind the kitchen door, and – perhaps most importantly – uniting the many growing voices intersecting around issues of fair, safe, and sustainable food to take action and change policy. To date, its videos have now been watched nearly six million times. Our very own Contest founder, Anna Lappé, was a part of the lineup of speakers in 2013.

Change Food logo


TEDxManhattan is a project of Change Food, a non-profit organization helping to shift the U.S. food supply to a regional, sustainable food system where healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all. As founder of both, Diane Hatz is building a powerful connection between education and action. Diane believes that together, we can do more – she’s seen it in action. She believes the only way we’re going to create real change in the food system is by building bridges – this is how we will be even more successful in building momentum to amplify the impact and reach of this swelling food movement.

(We couldn’t agree more.)

We are thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2015 Real Food Media Contest will be debuted at TEDxManhattan this year.



Confirmed speakers for the 2015 event include:

  • Joel Berg, Executive Director, NYC Coalition Against Hunger
  • Henry Hargreaves, Photographer
  • Kendra Kimbirauskas, CEO, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
  • Nikiko Masumoto, Masumoto Family Farm
  • Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group
  • Danielle Nierenberg, Co-Founder and President, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
  • Ali Partovi, Angel investor/advisor, Facebook, DropBox, Flixster, Break Media, Causes, Farmigo & more
  • Stefanie Sacks, Culinary Nutritionist, author, host, “Stirring the Pot” radio show on Hamptons NPR
  • Anim Steel, Director, Real Food Generation
  • Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director, GrowNYC

Can’t be at the event in Manhattan? Host a viewing party!

The full day of talks will be webcast live from NYC, providing access to viewers worldwide. There is no fee associated with hosting an official viewing party, just compliance with TED’s rules. The day is scheduled to allow viewing parties time to hold discussions, bring in local speakers, and sample local foods. Learn more at

More information on remaining speakers and the TEDxManhattan program will be provided as details are finalized.

Read the press release here.

Change Food is a media partner with the Real Food Media Contest – don’t miss out on all the great resources through newsletters, the Guide to Good Food blog, and upcoming events with Change Food.

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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Study with Gustolab Institute Center for Food Studies

Announcing an exciting opportunity from Real Food Media Contest Ambassador, Gustolab Institute Center for Food Studies:



Looking for a place to do your Food Studies research project or (masters) thesis work?

Gustolab Institute Center for Food Studies is always looking for engaged and motivated graduate students. To apply, you should have finished your undergraduate studies, or you should be able to finish within a short time. Your background should be in Food Studies, Food Science, Environmental Studies, Economics, Political Science, Design and Critical Thinking, Food Education and Pedagogy, Urban and Community Planning, Communication and Media, Nutrition, Biology or related (food) areas. You will be part of one of our research groups that works within your area of interest. Graduate students from every part of the world are accepted.

This is a unique opportunity for students to display their talent within our field of research, on international research projects about Food Systems, Food Education and Pedagogy, Food Security and Food & Culture and to collaborate with some of our partners in the food field: FAO, BCFN Foundation, AMIExpo, SlowFood, Cerealia Festival, other U.S. University food-oriented research centers.



  • An international research and study environment
  • Individual supervision and mentoring
  • Modern facilities
  • Support, supervision, mentoring can be provided at distance (you can develop your research project in your country – we will help you and suggest how to collect your data, we will support you to organize your data, and we will work together on reporting your research results, and to give them visibility thanks to the collaboration with our academic and private partners)



We do not offer scholarships. We strongly believe in “collaborative and distance” work that is possible thanks to ICT technologies – so feel free to apply even if you don’t live and work in Rome. In addition, we help and support students and collaborators to apply for and obtain scholarships and grants (reference letter, research proposal, etc).


Gustolab is currently looking for:

Graduate students – specifically but not limited to Asia, Africa, South America and North America – with interest in food systems, methods for creating training for policy makers in the food field, educational assessments, urban and community planning, food security, food waste, sustainable agriculture, food design.


How to apply:

If you are interested in joining one of our research projects, contact our or write directly to the GL Institute Director, Dr. Sonia Massari at by August 31, 2014.



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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

This weekend! GreenFeen Juneteenth Summit in Brooklyn

Bridge11Registered guests receive a one-night hotel stay courtesy of our sponsor She Soars.

For a full description from the event website:

DiorNoel is the founder of GreenFeen, a startup recycling company designed to teach a sustainable culture. As an active member in her community DiorNoel will bring representatives from her networks to help Bridge the Gap for Juneteenth Summit.

Intergenerational relationships are accomplished through action. This summit will coordinate the various skills people have to build a greater network that help sustain local economies with an emphasis on old and new knowledge. By organizing people with common goals, DiorNoel uses her degree in Urban Sustainability to promote human interconnection.

Juneteenth is a nationally celebrated commemoration marking the official end of slavery in the United States. Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that the Union soldiers landed in Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now truly free.

To celebrate the past, present, and future experience of the African Diaspora, community activist DiorNoel will host the first Juneteenth Summit to include panel discussions, live performances, and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.

We celebrate the PAST by highlighting the farmer with a short-film screening from 2014 finalists of the Real Food Media Contest. We will also feature Executive Chef Linda Chesterfield who will do a healthy cooking demo. We celebrate the PRESENT with a mixer including young and seasoned professionals. We celebrate the FUTURE with a panel discussion on Sustainability and what it really means to cultivate this for the future.

The Professional is a person seasoned in their field of work, displaying advanced skill and the ability to educate the next set of employees. You are the leadership young professionals look to for guidance! Join us and become a team leader during our mentoring breakout sessions where your invaluable knowledge can help inspire younger generations.

The Young Professional is a person eager to learn more about their field by displaying ingenuity and passion for becoming a future leader. Whether you are in high-school, college, or a recent graduate YOU are the inspiration children look up to when they see your success! Join us for our mentoring breakout sessions where you have the opportunity to network and build your future.

Tickets are sold at


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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

Another great opportunity for reporting on food and important intersections around the world:

2014-2015 Competition Deadline: February 28, 2014 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

The Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.

The wide variety of new digital media tools and platforms has created an unprecedented opportunity for people from all disciplines and backgrounds to share observations and personal narratives with global audiences online. These storytelling tools are powerful resources as we seek to expand our knowledge of pressing transnational issues and build ties across cultures.

Through the Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, Fulbrighters will undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue, comparing and contrasting how that issue is experienced across borders. Utilizing a variety of digital storytelling tools, including text, photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations, and/or social media, Fellows will tell their stories, or the stories of those they meet, publishing their work on National Geographic media platforms with the support of National Geographic’s editorial team.

For the 2014-15 academic year, applications will be accepted for projects focused on one or more of the following themes:

  1. Biodiversity

  2. Cities

  3. Climate Change

  4. Cultures

  5. Energy

  6. Food

  7. Oceans

  8. Water


Read more and apply here

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Category Archive: Film + Media Opportunities

Hudson Grocery Co-op Seeking Filmmakers!

To the world of amazing filmmakers out there in Minneapolis/St. Paul area or near: there’s a story waiting to be told!

Help the Hudson Grocery Co-op get its big debut and enter a film about a great local project for the Contest.


READ ON to hear what they have in the works and get in touch with Ramona to lend your camera skills and love for local food to help this Co-op get some worthy attention:

hudson coop

Ever since the EconoFoods closed its doors on its downtown location, downtown Hudson and North Hudson have lacked a one-stop source of groceries.  An online survey issued by our group last fall indicated that many people drive to other towns, including Maplewood, St. Paul, and as far as St. Louis Park, to purchase fresh produce, grocery staples, and year-round supplies.

Hudson Grocery Cooperative proposes opening a community owned grocery store in the downtown neighborhood in an attempt to bring many of these grocery dollars back home to Hudson. With a downtown location, HGC will serve commuters heading north on Highway 35; visitors to our beach, library, galleries, restaurants, shops, and other downtown attractions; and local residents who will appreciate the convenience of a neighborhood store.

In addition to providing groceries to the community, HGC will grow the local food market by providing consumers a consistent source for locally produced goods, encouraging nearby family farms and independent businesses to sell products close to home, and partnering with other local food-based businesses to source local products. The Co-op will provide area farmers, including those who sell direct at Hudson farmers markets, through Community Supported Agriculture, and/or by subscription, a secondary market to vend their products. Because our cooperative is focused more on creating a healthy and sustainable local foods system and less on generating the largest profit possible, we have the flexibility to purchase items from many small vendors rather than one large, cost-efficient outfit.


Read more on the Hudson Co-op website, or follow their story on Facebook and Twitter.


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