Ali is a talented chef and Food Cart owner in Portland, Oregon. After falling behind on rent, a tragic accident forces Ali to make a change in his father's recipe. He becomes an overnight sensation but finds achieving his dream of opening a restaurant means selling his soul.
For the past 10 years I have been working in verité documentary. I missed working in the fiction narrative space and was looking for a project to leverage my resources in both the food world and the film world, bridging these two communities together that rarely intersect. When my friend Damian approached me with his idea to simultaneously poke-fun at and celebrate the Portland Food scene, I knew I found my next short film.
Writing the script gave me an opportunity to add in a lot of the issues and frustrations I've had covering food stories with the show and do so in a humorous and creative way. Like any industry (I'm looking at you, Hollywood) the rhetoric rarely matches the reality. I think factory farming is one of the greatest moral stains on our food system and future generations will look back in horror at what we've created. Outsourcing the moral hazard and turning a blind eye to how we treat sentient beings is horrific. At the end of the day, the fault lies with the consumer. To paraphrase Joseph Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." I also enjoyed poking fun at the self-seriousness of the food world. I adore the food scene in Portland (it's one of the reasons I moved there) and I hope the film is received as a lampoon and not an attack. The people we are satirizing are my friends and I really wanted them in on the joke, hence the cameos and casting decisions. The only way we improve is by taking a serious, unabashed look in the mirror and that was our intention with making this film. Well, first to entertain. Then to hopefully educate, just a little.
Directed by Lucas Longacre
Written by Lucas Longacre & Lucas Longacre
Cast: Amir Kamali, Courtney Cavanagh, Byron Beck