EXCLUSIVE: After serving as the distributor for Participant and River Road’s Academy Award-nominated 2008 documentary Food, Inc., Magnolia Pictures has taken U.S. rights to the sequel, with Dogwoof coming aboard to rep international sales. An urgent continuation of the original film’s story, the doc is slated to premiere in the spring.
In the sequel, which world premiered at Telluride, directors Robert Kenner and Melissa Robledo reunite with investigative authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) to take a fresh look at food in the U.S. The film reveals how corporate consolidation has gone unchecked by our government, leaving us with a highly efficient yet shockingly vulnerable food system dedicated only towards increasing profits. Seeking solutions, it introduces innovative farmers, food producers, workers’ rights activists, and prominent legislators such as U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Jon Tester, who are facing these companies head-on and fighting to create a more sustainable future.
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Food, Inc. 2 is produced by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Kenner, and Robledo. Executive Producers are Kim Roth, Christa Workman, and Jeff Skoll. Also credited as an EP is the late Diane Weyermann, the beloved producer and former Participant CCO, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 66.
“Fifteen years after FOOD, INC., we found ourselves reconnected to food issues when meatpacking plants became COVID hotspots,” Kenner and Robledo explained in a statement to Deadline. “Although the pandemic was the catalyst, FOOD, INC. 2 became a wider exploration of the dangers the food system poses to workers, consumers and ultimately our world. Alongside our partners Participant and River Road, we are excited to collaborate with Magnolia to share this pressing film with audiences.”
Remarked Todd Wagner, co-owner of Magnolia Pictures, “The passing of the California Food Safety Act illustrates the timeliness of Robert and Melissa’s documentary. People are beginning to pay attention to our tainted, toxic food supply in the US vs. many other countries around the world. We couldn’t be more excited to re-team with our friends at Participant to shine a light on these urgent issues.”
Added Participant CEO David Linde, “The pandemic exposed hard truths about our country’s food system, and as those ripple effects continue, we are honored to work with our friends at Magnolia again. They understand the import of this crucial film and are thrilled to have the whole band back together.”
Igniting a cultural conversation about the multinational corporations that control our food system at enormous cost to our planet, workforce, and health, the original film was directed by Kenner from his script written with Elise Pearlstein and Kim Roberts. Kenner also produced alongside Pearlstein, with Bill Pohlad, Robin Schorr, Skoll and Weyermann serving as exec producers. In addition to an Oscar nom, it claimed a Cinema Eye Honors Award, along with a Gotham Award, a News & Documentary Emmy Award and numerous other accolades.
The deal for the sequel was negotiated by Magnolia co-CEO Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden; Rob Williams, Senior Vice President, Content Strategy, and Adam Macy, Senior Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, for Participant; and River Road’s Co-President and COO, Workman.
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