RAMEN DAY, 30min., USA
Directed by Corey Hendrickson
This documentary delves into the heart of the Vermont Everyone Eats program, showcasing its profound impact on combating food insecurity and revitalizing local food systems.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I noticed one of the distribution sites in my town, The Giving Fridge, and shortly thereafter I saw an article in the paper. At that time the news was overwhelming and depressing because of the pandemic, but this story was positive. It gave me a bit of hope in a dark time learning about how people were getting creative in an effort to take care of one another.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
A bit over two years.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Emotional and Inspiring.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle by far was navigating peoples privacy and the heightened sensitivities associated with food insecurity. Accepting help can be challenging and it was important that the filming not get in the way of anyone trying to access a meal. Pride can be fragile. I was also wary of including footage that could be viewed in any way as exploitative, but this was always counterbalanced by the need to have people express themselves directly. I did not want to have the people in need of food being spoken for by other people who were not in a similar situation.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was relieved that the concept of the Vermont Everyone Eats program appeared to come through. It was a complicated film to make because I had nearly 50 interviews and while each distribution hub desired the same goal, they also all operated in a unique manner. I had to leave A LOT of material 'on the cutting room floor'
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I had a great film class in high school, which I think influenced me more than I knew at the time. I had been working freelance as a photographer and then the 5DM2 came out... all I had to do was flip that switch on the camera. It was an immediate, terrifying thrill to suddenly have moving images, but I loved giving people their voice. I haven't looked back since!
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Interesting question. I am not someone who watches things over and over again for some reason. Now that I am a father my time is even more limited, so I try to be selective when I get the chance to see an entire film without interruption. This may be a surprising answer, but the film I have watched the most times is likely "MUD" I even found the screenplay for that one and have read it many times. I just like that story? Truffle Hunters is another film that I have watched a few times recently, one of those things where I enjoy watching it with people for the first time. It's brilliant in every way.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I think the audience feedback is great - I have watched my film a billion times and have become blind to it, so hearing peoples reaction was affirming and invigorating.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Great - streamlined and centralized.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Hah ha.. wut? My favorite meal is a chicken parm grinder. I wish the answer was something healthier, a salad or something... but might as well be real.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am about to begin filming a short doc centered on a program best described as meals on wheels for pets. Companion animals are important for folks living in isolation, but pet food can be prohibitively expensive. So, this program solves that problem! I am also looking for an EP for a feature length doc focused on the greatest athlete no-one has heard of... a precursor to the sponsored influencers of today. I have a treatment done and have established connections for interviews... so now, just looking for support.