Food for thought in award-winning documentary

The Miramar Cultural Center and ArtsPark Independent Film Series will present the documentary “Eating Alabama” with its director and producer, Andrew Grace, as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.  Following the screening, the audience will be given the opportunity to discuss the film with Grace.
“Eating Alabama” follows Grace and his wife, as they travel though Alabama learning about the food system in their home state. They eat locally grown seasonal food, following in the footsteps of his grandparents.
Grace said, “I thought when we started filming that there would be a ton of farmers who would be excited to talk to us because Alabama is an agricultural state. We thought they would give us food, and we would be able to make this film about reconnecting to our real roots.”
However, the couple found that the agricultural food system of Alabama has dramatically transformed over time.
Grace said, “What I actually discovered is that there is only a handful of farmers left in Alabama, and the farmers that are left are living really difficult lives encroached upon by corporations. It was a lot different than what I expected.”
Although the documentary deals with food, Grace says that, unlike “Food Inc” or “Supersize Me”, it is not meant to expose corruption in the food industry or change the way Americans eat.
Grace feels that his film is a more personal and, occasionally, humorous narrative about discovering his home state through its agricultural industry.
“There is a line that a farmer says in the film: “Good food goes a long way toward a good life.” And I feel like that’s true for me,” Grace said. “This film is a kind of meditation on autonomy, and how the way we eat, our culture and our relationship to previous generations has really changed.”
Fueled by nostalgia, a love of food and passion for the agrarian life- style, Grace created a documentary that has shown at multiple film festivals around the nation and received top honors at the Indie Grits Festival in South Carolina. “Eating Alabama” will also air on PBS and become available on Netflix and iTunes this July.
For more information and tickets, visit www.miramarculturalcenter. org. Tickets, $15, are available at (954) 602-4500 or select your seat online. The Miramar Cultural Center and ArtsPark is located at 2400 Civic Center Place on Red Road, north of Mira- mar Parkway, in Miramar.

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