Many restaurant cooks have had the thought: I just want to cook for a dozen people, four nights a week, making the food I love and then take off during the winter. That is the dream. And that is what Bryan did. He converted the bottom floor of his house into a “restaurant”. It’s only a restaurant in quotes because the kitchen is just like any home kitchen — and besides having more rustic pottery and glassware than I own (and a couple extra tables), it is pretty similar to my home. His dad makes the bread; His girlfriend and a couple friends each serve one night a week; and on his days off he preps, forages and enjoys the amazing outdoor life of Cape Breton.
As we release a film about this remarkable man (and as is the case with so many of the films we make), we are hoping to find an audience for a story that is about everything that social media and being on the internet watching videos is not. It is a conundrum I battle often with our entire series: Twitter, Facebook and instagram don’t make me happy, they decrease my quality of life, yetIi rely on them for my living and the dissemination of my work.
Our process of filmmaking has changed a lot over the past 170+ films. We began with a very rustic and real approach to cooking and farming, it then evolved into vignettes about people and culture where we observed a character for a couple days and put together a piece that celebrated their life. While we still practice both those styles, we do get bored with them (the style not the stories) and so we try to make things fun and different – both for our audience and for ourselves. Our latest is an example of us trying something new and having a bit of fun.
We spent a month in Nova scotia and below are our favorite spots, so whether you are doing a weekend trip from the East Coast (direct flights from Boston and NYC) or something more substantial, it’s good to know that yes, there is Lobster, yes, there are scallops and fish and chips – but one cannot dine on rich seafood alone, so…
Nova Scotia is known for its lobster. Since arriving in this beautiful province, my husband is on a “one-a-week” schedule. And he isn’t alone. Each year in Halls Harbour, a rustic fishing village on Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, roughly 2 million pounds of lobster make their way through the Halls Harbour Lobster Pound. Twenty thousand pounds are eaten at the restaurant; the rest is packed into crates and shipped across the province, Canada and the world. That happens every year. But every couple of years, someone will walk into the Lobster Pound, choose a live lobster from the tank, and instead of having their lobster taken back to the kitchen, boiled and plated with drawn butter and a side of rice, potatoes or slaw, they will pay the $12.95/lb to have that lucky crustacean released back into the sea.
It’s a strange time to be traveling in Nova Scotia: to be posting idyllic pictures of wilderness, delicious seafood, and communities warmly accepting refugees. In fact, right now feels like a strange time to be doing anything besides reflecting, tweeting, fund-raising, and protesting about our doomed climate and political system. But like us, you probably also have a job that keeps you somewhat busy. And our’s is damn good one: to share stories of people and place.
We’ve been working with the tourism board here to tell a series of stories about food producers in this Maritime Province. We are almost halfway through our Nova Scotia adventure. Our films won’t be available for a while, but here are some pictures of those we have met, and filmed so far:
Why Nova Scotia? If you’re asking, you probably haven’t been. I went for a wedding years ago and my memories involve Lobster, fish shacks, crystal clear and freezing cold (i like that) ocean, crazy tides and the nicest people I’ve come across (they say hi to strangers from the other side of the street).
Hi Folks, we have been getting a number of emails requesting to donate to the immigrant/refugee film series despite the Kickstarter being over. So we set up a paypal account, any donation to this project will be split 50/50 between production and getting the films out to a wide and politically diverse group of people. Thanks!
With two days left, we made it to our goal! Over 600 people came together to support Immigrants and Refugees — and the idea that storytelling has the power to change perspectives.
Kickstarter campaigns are hard, but doing this campaign inspired us:
We were inspired by your generosity — from donations of $1.00 up to $5,000.
We were inspired by the kindness of our “neighbors” as we received donations from Ireland, Australia, England, Mexico, Singapore and Tajikistan.
We were inspired by the countless “Thank you, I am an immigrant” stories sent in comments and emails.
We were inspired by our friends from the past who surprised us by their support in this, and new friends who we met through the campaign.
We were inspired by one such new friend, Benny, who was an early contributor. He sent in $50 and a beautiful note about a refugee who made an impact on him. Not long afterwards, he increased his pledge to $125 by selling a few things around his house — because, as he said, this was important to him.
We were inspired by Tim from Ireland whose incredible SECOND donation put us over the $50K mark last night.
We were inspired by the friends in the food and travel industries who reached out to offer up amazing rewards.
Were were inspired by people like Matt B, Jon W, Coley, River, Leslie and organizations like IOM and Define American who were promoting and supporting this as much as we were — as if it were their own project.
We were inspired by the 6 weeks we spent in Mexico during this campaign… where we heard countless stories from Mexicans who had lived in the US, who still had family there, who were deported, and who knew that the US government is not it’s people, and that we are neighbors.
We were inspired by the moving and devastating stories around the globe: of ICE crackdowns and of lawyers at airports, of chemical attacks and of families welcoming Syrian refugees in Chicago.
And, of course, we were inspired by immigrant and refugee stories and people the world over, stories that we hope to share in this film series… of our common human experience.
We can’t thank you enough. Now back to work (story ideas welcome)!