Asheville Food & Environmental Film Festival

“I thought the film festival would be a great platform to show what already is happening in our community, and also give people who have no clue what's going on ideas about how they can get involved,” Gray said.

The Asheville Food and Environmental Film Festival is scheduled for Sept. 22-25 in a variety of venues, including a farm north of Asheville, UNC Asheville and, in true Asheville style, several local breweries.

Locally grown food and having a conscious eye on the environment is now setting a new trend for a film festival.

A documentary called “Fresh” inspired Gray to take action (not the Samuel L. Jackson film). The film highlights farmers, business people and others who are changing the way food is grown and distributed, all with an eye toward growing healthier food which is more environmentally friendly. Another great documentary on produce awareness is Food Inc.

The moviemakers allow the film to be shown after someone like Gray organizes a community screening, “so they're creating a movement,” she says. She set up two showings of “Fresh” in March at Carolina Cinemas, and hosted another film in May at the Lexington Avenue Brewery that celebrated urban chickens.

The September film festival will include another showing of “Fresh,” as well as panel discussions and the launch of a slow food group for UNCA students. The aim is to foster collaboration among the groups already working in sustainable agriculture, and expose the ideas to more people.

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