Fixing Food in Four Minutes or Less

by Anna Lappé for Huffington Post


Last fall, when I launched the first-ever Real Food Media short films contest with project partners around the country, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I just knew that there were incredible stories of people farming, growing, cooking, and sharing food as well as fighting the good fight to fix our broken food system that people weren’t hearing. I wanted to create a platform to bring those stories front and center to be shared widely.


I invited some of my favorite people in the film industry, restaurant business, and advocacy world for sustainable food and farming to be advisors and judges for the contest. We reached out to food changemakers, filmmakers, and film and sustainability students from around the country to encourage them tell their stories through short films. And we were blown away with the results, with 156 films from all over the country and the world pouring in.


Honestly, I was hoping we’d get 25 submissions, and crossing my fingers for 50. But 156? Never would have guessed that we’d receive this much interest from such high-quality filmmakers. I was concerned that we might just get films about artisanal mayonnaise in hipster Brooklyn, but instead we received films that reflect the true diversity of the food movement and represent a range of topics, from topsoil to bees, urban agriculture to seeds, beginning farmers to backyard gardeners.


After a tough task of choosing the 10 finalists, we’re thrilled to announce the official selections of the first Real Food Media Contest. From the streets of the South Bronx to an oregano cooperative in Mexico, the films turn their lens to food, in all its beauty and complexity. From a doc-style short film about the threat of another Dust Bowl to a first-person narrative about a young farmworker in the Northwest, each film is unique and powerful. We hope you will enjoy them!


We’re counting on you to help us select the people’s choice, so head over to and let us know which film you like best. Or do what we’re doing and host a screening party, potluck or brownbag lunch to watch the top 10 with friends and colleagues and vote together on your favorites. Weigh in at, or give your two cents on Twitter with the hashtag #realfoodcontest. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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