By Michelle DiMuzio, Communications Coordinator
Back in 2020, Cedar Schimke, former Executive Director of Slow Food Minnesota, had a vision to make a documentary that showed how the values of Slow Food are embraced by producers throughout the greater Minnesota area. “I feel like I had this idea for about a year and I thought video would be the most effective medium to reveal the energy behind the movement,” Cedar shared. “This idea was very much related to the energy I felt after attending Terre Madre.”
The rest of the origin story at times seems too good to be true — Cedar posted a request on VolunteerMatch seeking out someone to help with filmmaking. She was matched with Kish Daniels, a prominent content creator in the Minneapolis community.
“The story of the film is about the movement — those are the stories we need to share,” emphasized Cedar. “Pairing up in this way allowed us the freedom to make a film about something we were all passionate about. The way the film came together was truly serendipitous — it was created in solidarity and outside of the capitalist structure and no money was exchanged in the entire process of making the film. Every single person involved in the film has expressed excitement about their role in it; we all became part of an experience where people emerged feeling valued and delighted to be a part of the project.”
The intention of the film was clear from the start: tell the story of people who are changing the food world every day with their actions. “We started this film with the awareness that, historically, white journalists go into communities of color and extract stories to serve their own agenda,” Cedar shared. “Believing in the work these people are doing and collaborating every step of the way was essential to create trust in the process. At every point, the film was sent to the people in it to make sure they were still aligned with the way the project was taking shape. We had a very clear intention of not being extractive and instead, telling the stories in a way that uplifts the people sharing them with us. If other things come of it, then that’s great, but the first priority is honoring the people who invited us into their stories.”
The film follows Kateri Tuttle and Jessika Greendeer of Dream of Wild Health, Moses Momanyi of Kilimo Minnesota, and Chef Brian Yazzie of Gatherings Cafe, among others. The story highlights the people who are changing our foodways, creating a system with culture, spirit, and a partnership between joy and justice.
Cedar is no stranger to storytelling. Her consulting work centers around the process of bringing ideas into form, while underscoring that stories of how something is brought forth is as impactful as what we intend to create. Cedar’s enthusiasm for storytelling comes through in the inspiring narratives within the documentary as well as the camaraderie around the filmmaking process. As Cedar explained, “This film wanted to be made.”
To learn more about Slow Food Minnesota and the film, visit their website.
To learn more about Cedar, visit her website.
To watch the film, click on the video below.