Film screening: "Eat at Bill's" highlights JA role in supporting small agriculture

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Film & Other Media

Jun 20088

Beyond Baroque
681 Venice Boulevard
Venice, California, 90291
United States

Can one little produce market save the world? Slow Food Los Angeles invites you to join us as we consider that question at a free screening of Eat at Bill's, a film by Lisa Brenneis.

Eat at Bill's is a video documentary about the phenomenon that is the Monterey Market, a small family-owned produce market in Berkeley, California that has served as crossroads and wellspring, an oasis that sustains a small army of customers, artisans and farmers. What are the characteristics that sustain this successful small enterprise?

Some people (who were there) insist that the birthplace of California's food revolution was in the market's stock room back in the 70s.

Over the last 30 years owner Bill Fujimoto has been a tireless supporter, mentor, and Customer #1 for the hundreds of small (and formerly small) farms the market supports. Bill's enthusiasm and experience fuel the enterprise and illuminate the Market's wide world of small growers and diverse customers, which include a small army of well known chefs and food thinkers such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Judy Rodgers.

This movie is a celebration of the Monterey Market's colorful network of customers and suppliers, and a valentine to small enterprises everywhere.

Documentary director and tangerine grower Lisa Brenneis, Eat at Bill's star Bill Fujimoto, and Slow Food Los Angeles leader Jordan Vannini will attend the screening and lead a post-screening discussion on the peril and promise of sustaining successful small enterprises in the Land of the Big Box.

When: Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 4:30pm
Where: Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Boulevard, Venice 90291
Cost: Free admission (donations supporting Beyond Baroque gratefully accepted; suggested donation is $5). Admission will be on a first-come basis until we reach capacity. No reservations are required.

About Director/Producer Lisa Brenneis:
Lisa Brenneis grows organic citrus with her husband Jim Churchill in Ojai, California, and recently finished her first feature-length video documentary, Eat at Bill's. She is also the author of Final Cut Pro: Visual QuickPro Guide, now in its seventh edition.

Churchill Orchard is a longtime supporter of the Slow Food community, and first commercial growers of the Pixie tangerine (introduced to the world by Bill Fujimoto at Monterey Market!). The Pixie was inducted into the Slow Food Ark of Taste in 2003. Slow Food Los Angeles and Slow Food Ojai members toured Churchill Orchard after the January 2007 citrus freeze.

For more information, visit the film's website at:

You can also watch a clip at:≺=goog-sl

"A non-fictional look at the history and 'backstage' stories behind California's Monterey Market and its second-generation owner Bill Fujimoto, this engaging film goes right to the heart of how individual buying decisions really have made a difference in local food communities."
-- Bruce Cole, Editor, Edible San Francisco on

"What the film does is show how simple it could be to build a local, sustainable food system. I wish every produce manager in the world could see it. … I think it comes across that Bill is "making" farmers. I mean he's selecting them, encouraging them, carrying them, promoting them, and playing a pivotal role in helping them to achieve economic viability. But he's also "making" shoppers. It's clear that he introduces new foods and tastes, and supports his customer base to be adventurous and alert to pleasure. He does it in part by sharing his own great adventurous spirit and pleasure connected to food, and by purchasing and presenting the best food he can find."
-- Janet Brown, Center for Ecoliteracy

"Bill was doing specialty produce before it was chic or popular, and proves it doesn't need to be expensive or out-of-reach to anyone who wants it (save for the ride to North Berkeley and dodging all the Volvos.) ...This is a loving, insider's look at one of the most unique characters who with good cheer and the best of intentions, built a strong community and strengthened the bonds between farmers, chefs, and customers"
-- David Lebovitz "…living the sweet life in Paris" blog



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jbower . Last modified Jul 09, 2010 12:11 p.m.

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