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Thursday
Aug302012

Bringing it all back home.

We had an absolutely wonderful time screening the film for the first time in Alabama. The Sidewalk Film Festival and our screening sponsor Freshfully did so much to promote the event and there were an estimated 1,500 people at the Alabama Theatre! That's me, that tiny dot on the stage, during the Q&A after the film. We were also thrilled to take home the Best Alabama Feature Award! We had a great and enthusiastic audience and I'm really excited to screen the film elsewhere in Alabama and in other parts of the country too. To that end, we've got a handful of new screenings posted over on the Screenings page. I'm particularly excited about the upcoming Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Birmingham screenings. The Tuscaloosa screening will feature an amazing fundraiser beforehand - The Garden Party - to support our efforts with the Druid City Garden Project. We certainly hope you'll come out and support the work of DCGP.

Read this nice review of the movie from the Magic City Post. We also got a nice boost from Garden and Gun and a great story in the Birmingham News. Thanks to everyone for helping make the night such a nice homecoming.

If you didn't make it out to Sidewalk, be sure to catch the film as we travel around - we'd love to see you at a screening!

Tuesday
May012012

All the news that's fit to print...

The crowd at the Yale Environmental Film Festival in New Haven

We've had quite an active few months over here at Eating Alabama headquarters. First, there was the World Premiere at SXSW where we had four tremendous screenings in Austin. The first two were near capacity and the final two were completely sold out! That's probably due to some really positive press the film recieved during our week there. You can read the Austin Chronicle's preview of the movie here, and a couple of other reviews here and here. The final screening was filled with local food advocates from the Sustainability Food Center in Austin and a handful of farmers, too! Next the film screened at the Yale Environmental Film Festival in New Haven, Conneticut. It was the film's first soujourn into Yankee territory and fortunately everything turned out okay... The movie was warmly recieved and I was thrilled to be part of a conversation afterwards about the local food scene in New Haven. I've always hoped that the film would be a conversation starter. I also stayed to do a filmmaking workshop after the screening, and the Yale environmental magazine wrote up a really fabulous review of the movie. 

Discussing the film with Jeremy Oldfield of the Yale Sustainable Food Project

Next it was on to Durham, North Carolina, where the film played at the Full Frame Film Festival. There, we had another sell out and the biggest crowd yet - about 500 folks! It was great to play the film in front of such an outstanding audience, and I was fortunate to recieve another couple of reviews, too. 

Q&A after the screening, with Fiona Otway whose short played before EAThe last screening of the bunch was at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, South Carolina. There we had two screenings, again both sell outs! But the best news of all was that Eating Alabama won the grand jury prize at the festival - the so-called "Top Grit" prize! We're ecstatic to say the least, and very humbled that so many audience members are responding positively to the film. We do hope you'll stay tuned here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages for news about upcoming screenings, and I hope we'll see you out at one soon! 

Friday
Mar092012

We got posters!

wood typeI've always had a thing for the handmade. I think that was a big impetus in making this film in the first place. In college, me and my roommate Joey (who scored the film) started collecting letterpress posters from Hatch Prints and Yee-Haw Industries. Letterpress posters are a midcentury fetishists dream - their look and production represents that happy moment when the handmade could be reproduced more rapidly but without the soulless anonomity of complete mechanization. There's a parallel with Jefferson's ideal of society finding an agrarian middle ground, but I digress... So when Rashmi and I were married, we hired Bryce McCloud at Isle of Printing to print our wedding invitations. Years passed, we moved out West then came back South, and we became close friends to dozens of book makers and letterpress printers. But I've always loved Bryce's work. So when the movie was getting finished, I called him up to see if he'd like to print some posters. 

Another friend, Amanda Buck, designed the title card in the film (not to mention this here website!) and is an insanely talented graphic designer and part-time letterpress printer herself. So she's working on her own version of a poster. I asked Bryce and Amanda to just do whatever they thought appropriate after watching the movie, and I think both of their designs are totally unique and inspired reactions to the film. I was fortunate to visit Bryce a few weeks back at his shop in Nasvhille and took some photos of the production. After those you'll see a couple from Amanda's work (she's in Chicago these days), and the final image is of the more conventional poster Bartley and I designed for the SXSW screening. If you'll be in Austin, we'll be selling Bryce's letterpress prints and our in-house posters at the screenings. And all three of the print designs will be availble via the website in the very near future. 

Bryce at home in his shop

Bryce and Justin Gaar (who shot a lot of the film)A print hanging at Isle of PrintingThe wooden template, ready to printThe finished product (but not a great picture of it...)Amanda's background layer on the press

The letters meet the press...The (nearly) finished product!The SXSW show poster designed mostly by Bartley

Thursday
Mar012012

Scoring "Eating Alabama"

One of the things that drew me to film as a storytelling medium was the ability to synthesize image, words, sound, and music. It's the only medium where you've got that many tools at your disposal. So, in finishing "Eating Alabama," it was important to me to get the music right. Joey Thompson, one of my oldest friends and my college roommate, is an incredibly talented musician with a really great band called The Archibalds. I talked to Joey about scoring the film and he was immediately on board. Last October, we met out in Austin to work at Superpop Records to record the necessary tracks for the film. We had a great time, and I shot some video during the session. There are a few tracks from other folks in the film too - a song from Erik Friedlander, a track by Dosh, and a piece by John Smith, formerly of the Dexateens. Of course The Dexateens make an apperance too. 

See you in 10 days in Austin!

Wednesday
Feb152012

Birmingham News and Alabama Premiere!

There's a nice article in the Birmingham News today about the film. But the most exciting part is that it makes public the news that "Eating Alabama" will have its Alabama premiere at the Sidewalk Film Festival in August! We'll be adding more festival screenings in the meantime, but mark your calendars for the last weekend in August - we'll see you in Birmingham if not before!