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Exclusive new clip, Oscar buzz, more… Let’s check in on “Food Chains” one month out from Nov. 21 national release!

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Please click above to view the exclusive clip!  We apologize for not being able to embed the video directly.

Please click above to view an exclusive clip of “Food Chains” on Indiewire! We apologize for not being able to embed the video directly.

Film industry starting to take notice as Indiewire, Awards Circuit run stories on “Food Chains” ahead of its Thanksgiving release!

The theatrical release of a feature film on the Campaign for Fair Food has always seemed, quite honestly, a little surreal, but as we reach the one month mark in the countdown to its November 21st release, it’s becoming more real by the day.

Above is an exclusive clip shared with the online industry blog Indiewire for a quick story on the film, presented with this introduction:

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With all things “organic,” “artisanal,” and “locally sourced” being among the food trends of the past several years, it can be very easy to forget about the human cost of the “farm-to-table” approach. For all the advances made as such, the food industry is still far behind the times when it comes to the conditions of farm workers, and the upcoming documentary “Food Chains” aims to shine a light on those concerns.

Directed by Sanjay Rawal, the film chronicles the modern day farm workers rights movement, taking us into the lives of the people who pick our food and get it on a truck long before it arrives on shelves or is ready to be ordered in restaurants. In this exclusive clip, we see quite clearly the conditions many farmworkers live in, the long hours they work to support their families, and the sacrifices endured to make ends meet.  read more

The clip is an excellent vignette of farmworker life, the life that is changing today in Immokalee thanks to the Fair Food Program.  Definitely take a couple of minutes to check it out, then make sure to see the film in its entirety next month. 

oscarBut you’re going to have to line up early to get tickets when you do, if the early Oscar buzz is any indication!  Awards Circuit magazine — motto: “Where Oscar Week Never Ends” — has put “Food Chains” in the conversation for the 2015 Oscar for Best Documentary.  In a story entitled, “2015 Predictions – Best Documentary Feature,” the farmworker documentary came in at #18 on the list — not top five, true, but nothing to sneeze at either, considering the hundreds and hundreds of documentaries produced each year and the intense competition out there.  

In fact, the listing is a huge surprise, given that the film hasn’t even been released yet.  Screenings in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have all helped raise the film’s profile and generated great word-of-mouth buzz.  The next screening is tonight, in fact, in Los Angeles at the International Documentary Association’s screening series, to be followed by a Q&A session with “Food Chains” Executive Producer Eva Longoria.  That will be followed by mid-November gala premieres in LA and New York, which should also help fuel awareness of the film ahead of the first round of Oscar voting in late November. 

But the Oscar documentary short list is apparently not released until mid-December, and if “Food Chains” is to have any chance of being on that list — and if the Campaign for Fair Food is to have any chance of receiving the national visibility that such a distinction would bring — the Fair Food Nation is going to have to do its part!  

It’s time to start spreading the word about the “Food Chains” theatrical release on Facebook and Twitter and to join social media events around the film like this week’s Food Day twitter campaign (more details coming soon on the Food Day event, so stay tuned!).  More and more TUGG screenings — check out this link if you don’t know what a TUGG screening is yet — would help spread the word, too, as well as social media promotion around those screenings in towns and cities across the Fair Food Nation.  If you’d like to learn more about how to get a TUGG screening in your community or how to help get the word out about “Food Chains”, you can email the film crew at Rebecca [at[ Picturemotion [dot] com.

We’ll close with a bit of trivia:  The last and only farmworker-related documentary to get a nomination was “Fighting for Our Lives”, about the UFW’s 1973 grape strike. The film received a nomination in 1976.  A lot has happened in the intervening 40 years, including the emergence of a 21s century farmworker movement in the Campaign for Fair Food.
 

 

Divestment? Now there’s an interesting idea for a campaign…

The exciting new documentary “Food Chains” is having an impact even before it’s released, prompting one Berlin Film Festival goer to divest 50,000 shares in Wendy’s after seeing the film… Well this was a surprise.  And a thought-provoking one at that. This week, news reached the CIW via the “Food Chains” crew that a certain Mr. James Scurlock had written to inform them that he had decided to sell his family’s holdings in Wendy’s until the hamburger giant joins the Fair Food Program!   Apparently, Mr. Scurlock had attended the big “Food Chains” premiere in Berlin last February and was so moved by the film and the […]

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Fear and Fair cannot coexist…

Last month’s horrific massacre of student human rights activists in Guerrero serves as an awful reminder of why there will be no “Fair Food Program” in the foreseeable future of Mexico’s tomato industry… Mass graves.  Horribly disfigured corpses.  Police complicity in the ultraviolence of all-powerful drug gangs. Since 2005, stories like these have played out across Mexico’s headlines day after day, month after month, year after year.  But the details of last month’s mass killing and disappearance of student activists in the southern state of Guerrero stood out above the ever-growing body count in Mexico’s drug and corruption wars.  From a […]

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Must-see new video puts the Fair Food Program at center stage!

  New video a preview of things to come this fall as the Fair Food Program gets ready for prime time… It has been quietly taking shape in Florida’s fields for four seasons now, laying a foundation, building its track record, and reinforcing its gains.  Through the painstaking efforts of over 30,000 farmworkers, 30 farms, a dozen major retail food brands, and more than two dozen dedicated human rights defenders, the award-winning Fair Food Program has helped usher in a new day for Florida farmworkers, and in the process has reshaped an industry from “the worst to the best” workplace environment in US agriculture.   And now, the […]

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A call to a different kind of action! “Food Chains” director calls on Fair Food Nation to mobilize for film release…

Film’s national release coming up fast! As the November 21st nationwide release of “Food Chains” rapidly approaches, we are thrilled to be able to share the list of cities in which a full theatrical launch is planned (a “full theatrical launch” is when a film is screened at a proper theater for a week or more).  Thus far those cities include: English language: New York City, Los Angeles (Pasadena), San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Chicago and Bonita Springs (FL), with the possibility of Miami Spanish language: Salinas (CA), Pittsburgh (CA), Bakersfield (CA) Food Chains will be released in more major cities on November 28th, including […]

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One final, unforgettable moment from last week’s CGI meetings in New York…

  In CNN interview, President Clinton calls the Fair Food Program, “brilliant,” adds, “You’ve got a success model, and you ought to put the pedal to the metal…” Last week’s ceremony at which the CIW was honored with the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award was a night that will not soon be forgotten.  But the three days that followed the award ceremony — the actual business end of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting — were every bit as exciting.  Here’s a thumbnail summary of the week from the Rev. Noelle Damico, a longtime CIW ally who witnessed the scene […]

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Hot off the digital press: A social media round-up and a beautiful new image for 21st century food justice!

Clinton Global Citizen Award sparks surge of social media about @CIW and the #FairFoodProgram… Sunday’s Clinton Global Citizen Award ceremony in New York was a truly unforgettable celebration of the remarkable progress achieved in Florida’s fields through the Fair Food Program.  Over 1,000 people squeezed into the Sheraton ballroom in Times Square for an evening line-up that included the Clinton family, Leonardo DiCaprio, Seth Myers, the Roots, Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant and hundreds of leading figures in the world working for social, economic, and environmental justice.  But as amazing as the scene was inside the room, the crowd outside was even more impressive.  So strong was […]

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President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor CIW with Global Citizen Award!

President Bill Clinton calls CIW’s Fair Food Program “the most astonishing thing politically happening in the world we’re living in today” On Sunday, September 21, 2014, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) for “defending the human rights of farmworkers across the United States”. The Global Citizen Award was presented to the CIW by actress and activist Eva Longoria. The CIW received the Award alongside actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Atifete Jahjaga, the President of Kosovo. President Barack Obama will also speak at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. At the end […]

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The largest climate march in the history of the planet…

  CIW joins over 300,000 in People’s Climate March in advance of Clinton Global Citizen Award ceremony… As we wait for tonight’s Clinton Global Citizen Award ceremony to get underway, here is a quick dispatch from the streets of New York! This afternoon, over a dozen CIW members joined people from all over the globe — New York families, Superstorm Sandy survivors, indigenous groups, Chinese farmworkers, and everyone in between — in what is being called “the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet”  Organizers estimate that a record-breaking 310,000 individuals came out to join the People’s Climate March, […]

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Lost in the flood: Two great stories on the FFP get left behind in deluge of big news…

With all the recent news surrounding the Clinton Global Citizen Award and the fast-approaching release of “Food Chains,” some stories just get lost in the flood.  However, two such stories from recent days were too good leave behind forever, so we thought we’d take advantage of this brief break in the action to reach back a couple of weeks and share them with you today. First up is a beautifully written reflection by the Editor of the Sarasota Magazine that brought you last month’s must-read article, “Fairness in the Fields: A Sarasota Organization Brings Hope and Justice to Florida’s Tomato Fields”.  The Editor’s piece is […]

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From the director’s chair: An update on the film “Food Chains”…

  See how you can organize to bring the film to your city, school, or place of worship this fall! As many readers of this site already know, the documentary Food Chains, which chronicles the CIW’s battle for Fair Food and the issue of farm labor exploitation around the country, will be opening in theaters nationwide on November 21st.  What does that mean, exactly?  Will you be able to go to your local cineplex to see Food Chains?  Will it be available on cable and iTunes and other digital media? We asked Food Chains director Sanjay Rawal to give us a brief […]

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Clinton Global Citizen award makes the headlines…

From Food Chains director Sanjay Rawal, in the Ft. Myers News-Press: “It begs this question of companies like Publix, Ahold, Kroger and Wendy’s: When hundreds of CEOs, heads of state and thought leaders are gathered to [honor the CIW and the Fair Food Program], why are you so stubbornly against progress in America’s fields?” News of the Clinton Global Initiative’s selection of the CIW to receive the 2014 Global Citizen Award — to be presented this coming Sunday at a gala ceremony in New York City — made the headlines far and wide this past weekend.  Media outlets from the Hollywood […]

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BREAKING: CIW to receive 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award!

Clintons to honor CIW for groundbreaking impact of Fair Food Program at gala award ceremony in New York City on September 21… The news was announced on the Clinton Global Initiative website Thursday afternoon: Clinton Global Citizen Awards Established in 2007, the Clinton Global Citizen Awards embody President Bill Clinton’s call to action by honoring outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership. These citizens have proven that diverse sectors of society can work together successfully to devise solutions that effect positive, lasting social change. Nominated by Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members and other global leaders, honorees are […]

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“I believe that we will win!” Youth gather in Immokalee for 2014 Encuentro…

  Boot the Braids, Food Chains documentary make #Encuentro2014 a smashing success… This past weekend, 70 students and youth from across the United States rolled into Immokalee for the Student / Farmworker Alliance’s annual Encuentro.  As always, these young leaders came to learn about the fifteen-year history of students and youth taking action with Florida farmworkers, and to write their own chapter in that extraordinary history by laying the groundwork for the season to come in the Campaign for Fair Food. Throughout the weekend, SFA’s core Fair Food activists dove headfirst into workshops, discussion groups, strategy sessions, and even a CIW theater piece, […]

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Better late than never… A Labor Day action report from the Publix AND Wendy’s fronts!

After a relatively quiet summer — punctuated, of course, by some great protests around the country — the Fair Food Nation marked the end of the season with two gorgeous, creative actions for Labor Day (yes, we know Labor Day was last weekend, but we had a busy week this past week!).  Instead of heading to the beach, farmworkers and allies packed their cars with brightly colored artwork and bullhorns, determined to celebrate the true meaning of Labor Day by recognizing the invaluable contribution of the men and women who work hard every day to put food on our tables.  Here in Florida, they gathered in Tampa for a […]

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Entertainment Weekly gives “Food Chains” a plug, runs exciting new trailer!

  Countdown begins to big Thanksgiving Week release… Entertainment Weekly ran a piece yesterday in its “Inside Movies” column plugging the documentary “Food Chains” — the film featuring the Campaign for Fair Food as a long-sought solution to the exploitation and abuse of this country’s farmworkers — highlighting the stars who contributed to the film, and reminding readers of its fast-approaching Thanksgiving Week release date.   Here’s the report, entitled “Eva Longoria explores ‘Food Chains’ in new documentary from ‘Fast Food Nation’ writer,”: As executive producer Eva Longoria points out in her new documentary Food Chains, the hands that sort much […]

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