Ski, Brie and #NoMi in the U.P.
Film Reviews for Northern Express Published October 21, 2022
Adventure, Conservation and Inspiration (writ intentionally large) are the founding pillars that fuel the unique Fresh Coast Film Festival — which just took place as it does each October in the upper peninsula in Marquette. This year featured a fascinating mix-tape of short docs across multiple genres and topics, but also a number of local connections to artists and stories right here in our hoods you can watch.
Taste of Work
Created and produced by local restaurateur Becky Tranchell and former culinary instructor Robert George, “Taste of Work” is an exciting new serial designed to explore our relationship with food, work, and community.
Directed and shot by Mia Hagerty and Grant Piering (in a gorgeous fluid style reminiscent of “Chef’s Table”), each 12 minute story stands uniquely on its own while together developing a larger narrative that will evolve over time.
The project’s pilot focuses on the work / life challenges behind the scenes of Traverse City’s celebrated restaurant The Cook’s House, and the deeply personal stories of business partners Jennifer Blakeslee and Eric Patterson (who not only reveal what makes them tick but also what they believe in after all these years in kitchens).
“Daily Bread” is a dive into the outreach work of Reverend Jane Lippert of Traverse City’s Central United Methodist Church, and their mission to provide meals to anyone who needs them: showing the simple transformative power of warm food and unmitigated kindness. Finally “Round’s Diner” will focus on the power of the restaurant space itself, and the rituals of a dining counter that has served multiple generations of customers since opening in 1947.
Audiences can experience them all free on Weds Nov 9 at 7 PM, when “Taste of Work” presents a screening at the Dennos Museum Center’s Milliken Auditorium with a conversation led by writer Teresa Scollon and the films’ subjects.
Launched with sponsorship by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and a grant from Michigan Humanities and support from Rotary Charities of Traverse City, Tranchell and George told the audience in Marquette that they have an abundance of ideas for future segments and hope to raise additional funding soon so they can keep the project going.
The Boardman Review: Saltless Sea Creamery
Longtime Fresh Coast alums Chris and Nick Loud brought their sixth short up to the U.P. with a community profile of local cheesemakers Dave and Joy Omar, and their struggles to craft Mediterranean-style cheeses while finding a production home for their rapidly growing business. This four minute profile of culture and aspirations was produced through a mini-grant by Taste the Local Difference to help the creamery find a new home. At the Q&A, filmmakers revealed the Omars had recently purchased a storage container designed for mobile food production that will now be finding a way onto their small farm. Available free at theboardmanreview.com
Lake Effect: Directed by Mike King
Quarantined in Michigan during the pandemic, pro skier and local outdoorist Mike King’s personal journey follows his reacquaintance with his Michigan terrain as he makes the best of an unlikely winter training ground. Along the way, the dreamy and mesmerizing ski diary also becomes a story of reconnection with the pure love and fun of outdoor sports and the community that made him who he is. Filmed largely with a pop up posse of shooters, the 30 minute film follows Mike from King Orchards to the Keweenaw as he gets his mojo back and rediscovers the beauty of loving something so much that it can take you over completely. Supported by Boyne Country Sports, my guess is a screening there might be something to watch for, and you can currently watch the teaser on YouTube before a release this fall.
P.S. Michigan documentary producer Kathleen Glynn was also on hand to show the Michigan premiere of the remarkable history slash sailing slash big wave surfer story “Savage Waters” — if a modern Moby Dick obsession turned five years long quest sounds up your nautical alley, you can find the trailer teaser on Instagram and watch for U.S. distribution soon of this haunting feature.