Rewind & Fast Forward
National Co-op Month is a busy time for showing Food For Change
. In October 2014 there were 17 shows in ten states; I logged 9,000 miles, making seven presentations in the Florida Panhandle and the Pacific Northwest. This year, screenings occurred in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington for new and established co-ops, start-ups, and community groups.
I spent several years producing, directing, writing, and editing a movie about cooperatives because, as a member of my co-op and an internationally-recognized filmmaker, it was a chance to put my 30+ years of filmmaking skills to good use. I believe cooperatives are a superior business model for social, environmental, and health reasons. I want more people to know about them. I told the epic story of four generations of cooperators working together with the conviction that they could create a more just economic system, because I found it inspiring and it enabled me to portray three of the seven Cooperative Principles: education, working together, and concern for community.
Food For Change was an ambitious film to make. In making it, I forged relationships with over 200 co-ops and made many new friends. That job is now done. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped. I'll take a bow now and move on....
Not so fast! I didn't do this just to tell a good story, I made Food For Change
to make a difference. And that goal hasn't been reached. Food For Change isn't just another food documentary. It's a film that makes you want to buy healthy food from a co-op. It
identifies co-ops as the
authentic choice in the fierce and growing competition for natural foods.
National Co-op Month 2016
An ambitious film needs an ambitious marketing campaign. I've, therefore, devised a plan that combines screenings and on-demand streaming with a six month media campaign leading up to these events. The crux of the plan is to make Food For Change available to watch for free for a period of eighteen months starting on October 1, 2016. Here are the elements:
• a new trailer plus three 15-second spots announcing the film's on-line release
• a team of 3-5 journalists who pick up on election year issues & write about co-ops
• articles in national and local newspapers about the story of co-ops
• radio and television interviews with the filmmaker
• articles from Food For Change
sent to co-ops to use in their newsletters
• a framed movie poster for co-ops with the film's online release date
• continuous feeds from Food For Change
to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter...
• release of clips from the film that have potential to go viral
• continuous and persistent attention to promotional opportunities
• national online release of Food For Change
on Oct 1, 2016.
• screenings in 30 cities with congressional reps and other civic leaders in attendance
The budget to do this is $150K of which $52K has been raised. By comparison, a Hollywood movie spends $1-25 million to reach its audience. No doubt, we are the underdog, but will do better than most campaigns because of our agility, smarts, and effort.
If you'd like to see this happen, let me know.
The intrepid qualities I put into producing Food For Change
, I now intend to use to educate more people about cooperatives. Then I'll take that bow!
"It's the Ben Hur of Co-op Movies!"
- David Thompson, Co-op Activist & Historian
A Spanish language version of Food For Change
will be coming out soon.
We are also working closely with two start-ups, using streaming and social media to help them reach membership and funding goals. Here's a clip that one of them posted on YouTube: Long Beach Grocery Co-op
Food For Change