Berkeley filmmakers focus on urban food movement

A Berkeley based film company is in the final stages of making a documentary about the Bay Area’s urban food movement which features several Berkeley faces.

Edible City tells the stories of people responding to the global food crisis in their communities and in their own backyards. It is the work of East Bay Pictures, a production company with an office on Rose Street. Director Andrew Hasse, who founded East Bay Pictures in 2008, is working with producer Carl Grether on the film which is in post-production and should be finished by November.

“We wanted to show the solutions to the food crisis that people have come up with here,” Hasse says.

Berkeley resident  Jim Montgomery, a math teacher at Maybeck High School and urban farmer, takes viewers though his 6,000 sq ft backyard farm, walks his goats around the neighborhood, and discusses his upbringing and his views on raising livestock, alienation, and sustainability. He also brings some of his bunnies into his math class as a treat for his students.


Joy Moore teaches gardening and nutrition to high schoolers at Berkeley Technology Academy, makes them smoothies, and discusses her views on social justice, food, and education. And the film documents Jessica Prentice, owner of Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen cooperative on University, who was profiled by Sarah Henry on Berkeleyside in June. Prentice was also an advisor on the movie.

Edible City is the first feature-length film for East Bay Pictures whose mission, says Hasse, is to “make media that matters”. In fact Hasse says they started out with the idea of making a documentary about climate change but switched topic to urban agriculture when they discovered the many Bay Area initiatives in that field. Hasse is eschewing traditional funding and raising support for the film at a grassroots level. Last month he held a preview screening and dinner on the garden patio at Gather Restaurant, for instance.