Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) is taking a film festival across the US this month in celebration of Earth Day.
The Whole Foods Market "Do Something Reel Film Festival" launched on April 1, and is traveling to 70 cities screening a collection of six provocative films that focus on food, environmental issues and everyday people with a vision of making a world of difference.
"Through our Whole Foods Market Do Something Reel Film Festival we want to raise awareness of environmental and food issues, and support filmmakers who are creating films that inspire people to question the impact our choices have on our health, body and environment," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. "We see film as an inspirational medium that can spark an active dialogue and encourage people to take action locally."
A portion of all tickets sales from the Film Festival will go towards a film production and development grant that will encourage filmmakers to continue making stories about the environment in the so-called green film genre. Grants will be awarded for filmmakers at varying stages of development–from conception through completion.
Unlike larger destination festivals, "Whole Foods Markets Do Something Reel" Film Festival will be held in movie theaters across the country in communities near Whole Foods Market stores. The festival will also feature filmmaker discussions, either in person or via Skype.
The six films chosen for the inaugural Festival cover a broad range of topics. They include:
Bag It! – In this highly entertaining and eye-opening film, filmmaker Suzan Beraza follows Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic-reliant world. Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics.
Lunch Line – This deeply affecting film from filmmakers Mike Graziano and Ernie Park follows six kids from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago as they set out to fix school lunch–and wind up at the White House. Their unlikely journey parallels the dramatic transformation of school lunch from a patchwork of local anti-hunger efforts to a robust national feeding program.
On Coal River – A compelling and transcendent narrative on the human costs of coal and strip-mining, this provocative film from filmmakers Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Woods follows the journey of a former coal miner and his neighbors, residents of Coal River Valley in West Virginia, as they transform from so-called victims to fearless and informed experts on mountaintop removal.
PLANEAT – This visually stunning film from filmmakers Shelley Lee Davis and Or Shlomi tells the story of the scientists, farmers and chefs tackling one of the greatest problems of our age: Western culture’s love affair with meat and dairy. Through an extraordinary personal and mouthwatering culinary journey we discover the wide range of medical and environmental benefits of eating our veggies.
Urban Roots – Filmmaker Mark MacInnis tells the powerful story of a group of dedicated Detroiters working tirelessly to fulfill their vision for locally grown, sustainably farmed food in a city cut off from real food and limited to processed fast food. This group has taken on the enormous task of changing this reality.
Vanishing of the Bees – Narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page, this cautionary tale from filmmakers George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen reveals the mystery of the disappearing bees, and the links to industrial farming and our attitude toward the natural world. Starring in this real-life drama is a commercial bee farmer who sounded the alarm when his bee colonies collapsed and his business was decimated.
As part of the Festival, Whole Foods Market will also stream the documentary, "Dig It" on Earth Day, April 22. This energetic, call-to-action film features the members of the band Pearl Jam as they participate in tree-planting actions and beautification efforts in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The festival is presented in association with Applegate Farms and RiceSelect, with additional support from EVOL Burritos, Food Should Taste Good, and Siggi’s.
Additional information about the festival, a complete schedule of events in each of the 70 markets and details about the grant program are available at the link below.