While filming FRESH, my documentary about sustainable agriculture, I met farmer Joel Salatin, the self-described “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic” featured in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Joel is not only a farmer, he’s a philosopher with a holistic understanding of our relationships with this planet and each other. He often says, “If we respect the chicken-ness of the chicken, the pig-ness of the pig, everything falls into place.” In other words, if we honor and respect the true essence of a being (no factory farms or debeaked chickens!), the world will naturally find balance and harmony. Since visiting Joel’s farm for the first time 6 years ago, I’ve been asking myself: what does it mean for each of us to express our essences? What would fall into place if we did? And how do we learn to do it?
I’m the mother of two beautiful girls. What I want most is for my children to grow up happy, confident, and kind. I want them to take their places and contribute to the world. Last April, I went back to visit Joel in his farm and asked him to share his thoughts about parenting. In our conversations, Joel reminded me that children may learn skills in school, but they learn who to be from the adults in their lives. As Joel put it, “Character is caught, not taught!” Looking at Joel, his son Daniel, and Daniel’s children, I realized that I can’t just teach my children to be happy, confident, and kind. I need to model it. What I need is to raise myself as a parent.
So, I’m setting out to make a documentary about parenting. With this project, I don’t want to interview experts and “educate” parents on how to be parents. Instead, I want to intimately follow the parenting journey of a handful of families. Along the way, I’d like to learn how each one of us expresses our voices, and learns how to take our places in the world. Ultimately, I want to discover what falls into place when the “ness” of each individual is expressed and respected. Not an easy task, if you ask me! But the potential growth for ourselves, our children and our society is tremendous.
I’m asking for your support in getting this documentary off the ground. I am dedicated to creating a more sustainable world. I don’t think we can achieve this without each one of us taking our places and allowing our children to do the same. Would you please help me tell this story?
To express my deep gratitude for your generosity, I’ve come up with some gifts that I hope you’ll enjoy (including signed DVDs, merchandise and private screenings!). Of course, ALL donors will be thanked in the credits. Donors over $10,000 will be given an Associate Producer Credit and will have access to some work-in-progress videos and screenings. And there’s more! Read below to see the full list of gifts (starting at $30)!
$30 – Signed copy of FRESH
$50 – Signed copy of FRESH and Generation Meds
$75 – All of the above & Signed DVD of Taking Our Places (working title)- be one of the first to see the movie!
$100 – All the above and a FRESH tote bag
$150 – All the above and a FRESH T-shirt (Note: sizes/colors of available tees may vary.)
$250 – Mystery box! I will prepare for you a very special selection of my favorite books and videos about parenting.
$300 – Special FRESH Gift Bundle: 3 FRESH DVDs, 3 FRESH T-shirts, and 3 FRESH tote bags, one GREAT value!
$350 – Skype Q&A with Ana Sofia Joanes (for FRESH or Taking Our Places)
$500 – NYC-residents: come to a private party to celebrate the launch of Taking Our Places
$750 – Counseling session with a counselor from the doc
$1,000 – ALL of the above!
$5,000 – Private screening with Director Ana Sofia Joanes, wherever in the US you are! And all the above as well.
$10,000 – Associate Producer Credits – Access to work-in-progress video and screenings – All of the above.
As usual, I’d like to hear from you. What do you think of the project? What topics would you like to explore in the film? Do you know anyone who might be interested in investing in the movie? And please share with your friends and family!
I’m excited to embark on a community-backed project. Thank you!
Ana Sofia Joanes