Food, Inc., the 94-minute documentary about the U.S. food industry that Reel North used to kick off its documentary film nights Nov. 24, nominated in the category of distinguished documentary achievement for an International Documentary Association award, lost out last Friday to Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the story of a pair of faded rockers hoping for one last grasp at stardom.
In an interesting twist, Anvil, failed to make the cut for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 15-film shortlist for feature documentaries, but Food, Inc. has, with contenders culled from 89 qualifying films.
The final cut includes French director Agnes Varda's The Beaches of Agnes; Louie Psihoyos' The Cove, an expose on dolphin hunting; Every Little Step, James Stern and Adam Del Deo's film about the making of a revival of A Chorus Line; Matt Tyrnauer's fashion documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor; Burma VJ, directed by Anders Ostergaard; Facing Ali, Pete McCormack; Garbage Dreams, Mai Iskander; Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Mark Hopkins; The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith; Mugabe and the White African, Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey; Sergio; Greg Barker; Soundtrack for a Revolution, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman; Under Our Skin, Andy Abrahams Wilson; and Which Way Home, Rebecca Cammisa.
Some other prominent documentaries including Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, James Toback's Tyson; and Sacha Gervasi's and R.J. Cutler's The September Issue failed to make the academy shortlist.
The International Documentary Association, or IDA, is a Los Angeles-based group that promotes non-fiction filmmaking. Sacha Gervasi's Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which won the feature documentary award, follows the fortunes in the 1980s of a Canadian heavy metal band,
Food Inc., directed by Robert Kenner, showcases two of the biggest names, Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan, in the green-foodie-locavore alternative to industrial food critique biz. "Locavores" usually try to eat food grown or produced locally and are inspired by the 100-Mile Diet, where food is produced within a 100 miles of where it is eaten.
Schlosser, who helped co-produce Food Inc., was the author in 2001 of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. In 2006, Pollan authored The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. He is also the author of In Defense of Food, The Botany of Desire and several other books.