Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Celebrating Earth Day with the Do Something Reel™ Film Festival

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, April 22, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

Happy Earth Day! Hopefully your day includes doing something outside – riding your bike, cleaning up the neighborhood park or finally starting that compost pile – but we also suggest taking the celebration online.

After all, today we're launching the Do Something Reel Film Festival, an online collection of provocative, character-driven films that focus on food, environmental issues and everyday people with a vision of making a world of difference. Simply put, it’s a celebration of people who understand that small steps can create big change. How appropriate for Earth Day, right?

Each month the festival will launch a new film. Do Something Reel marks the first time these documentaries will be available to purchase and stream online, so make sure to watch them while they are available. The festival opens today with The Apple Pushers. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, the film follows five immigrant streetcart vendors who are offering fruits and vegetables in New York City neighborhoods where fresh produce isn’t widely available.

The film chronicles these vendors’ participation in a unique urban experiment called The NYC Green Cart Initiative and sheds new light on the nation’s food crisis and skyrocketing obesity rates. The film will be available on the festival’s web site until April 30. Intrigued?

Watch a preview.

We’re also marking the festival’s kick off today with a live screening of The Apple Pushers, followed by a panel discussion in Austin. Additionally, theaters in Boston, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Francisco will host simultaneous screenings and will stream the panel discussion. (If you live in one of these cities and are interested in attending, get screening details and purchase tickets online or contact your local store for more information. Seats are subject to availability.)

The panel discussion will also be live streamed for free to online viewers. Beginning in May, a new film will be launched online on the first of each month. Prices vary by film with proceeds helping to fund two $25,000 AFI Silverdocs grants for filmmakers in the green genre. There is one viewing per purchase.

The films slated from May through August are:

Watershed – Directed by Mark Decena, executive produced by Robert Redford and produced by his son, James Redford, the film illustrates the Colorado River’s struggle to support thirty million people across the western U.S. and Mexico as the peace-keeping agreement known as the Colorado River Pact is reaching its limits. (Available May 1)

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? – A profound, alternative look at the bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, award-winning director of The Real Dirt on Farmer John. (Available June 1)

Ian Cheney Retrospective: The Greening of Southie and Truck Farm – Each of the films Cheney has created or co-created spotlights an important environmental or food issue, from mobile gardens to the subsidized crops fueling our fast-food nation. (Available July 1)

Lunch Line – Co-directed by Ernie Park and Michael Graziano, this film offers a fresh perspective on the politics of food and child-nutrition through an examination of the surprising past, uncertain present and possible future of the National School Lunch Program. (Available August 1)

Visit Do Something Reel’s web site for additional video, behind-the-scenes talks with filmmakers and other materials free of charge. Since there is no better time than Earth Day to appreciate and connect with the world around you, we hope you’ll include a viewing of The Apple Pushers in however you mark the day.

Do you planning on watching The Apple Pushers for Earth Day or have you already seen it? Tell us what you think.