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#36 – Last Newsletter

Hi, this is Mark Kitchell checking in about Evolution of Organic. It has been a year since we wrapped up outreach; and this will be the last newsletter. 
 
I’m disappointed that the film did not do better. Reasons? The market has changed: now there are too many films chasing too few slots; the money has gone away; and it’s a struggle to get an audience. Still, I’m glad and proud that we made such a good film and organized over one hundred shows, including key conferences like Eco Farm, Organicology, MOSES and PASA. You can see the full screening schedule on our website:
 
Link:      http://evolutionoforganic.com/
 
Lorraine Hess came aboard as sales rep and worked hard on licensing to television and streaming channels. We also pursued online sales thru Amazon, Apple and Google; but the aggregator Distribber went belly up before we got anywhere. One of the reasons for delaying this newsletter was to be able to announce distribution and broadcast deals. However, we are still working on it. I’ll keep you posted.
 
Where can you find Evolution of Organic now?
 
·  Bullfrog Films continues educational distribution and community screenings. Here is a link to their catalog page: http://bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/evo.html. Email: stephanie@bullfrogfilms.com
 
·  the only place to purchase the film for personal use is the Evolution of Organic website and my new website: http://markkitchell.com/ Three of my films, including Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire, are available there. Digital streams sell for $20 and DVD’s for $40 apiece. 
 
What does the future hold for Evolution of Organic
 
· Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play are the next steps. We’ll have to mount a marketing and promotion campaign to build awareness, or the film will languish in obscurity. So, we are waiting for the right moment.
 
· broadcast possibilities include: local public television stations like KQED and KCET; putting the program on a satellite feed for PBS stations; new streaming platforms like A&E’s History Channel and Ovid for independent documentaries; and international sales. Louise Rosen, who licensed  Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire to foreign markets, is now taking on all three films as sales rep. I’m excited – this may be a good time, there are programming pipelines to fill.
 
What about DVD’s and digital streams of EOO that were promised to donors and contributors?
 
· Apologies for not following through. I’ve been too broke and busy to get to the last few things. But I promise to take care of this in the next few months and will send a letter to you who have been so patient. Thanks!
 
There’s various news and updates: 
 
· There’s a new email address for me: markakitchell@gmail.com. Please get rid of the old Earthlink address; that will cease to work in a couple of months. 
 
· I’ve given up my longtime office in the Presidio, moved home to save money during the coronavirus crisis. It was a wonderful office and we did great work there; but I’m glad of the change.
 
· MarkKitchell.com is a new website that consolidates my three films: 
 
— Berkeley in the Sixties, Academy Award nominee and well-loved classic, one of the defining films about protest movements that shook America during the 1960s;
— A Fierce Green Fire, a big-picture exploration of the environmental movement, grassroots and global activism spanning five decades from conservation to climate change;
— Evolution of Organic, the story of organic told by those who built the movement.
 
The new website grew out of taking back two films from the distributor and starting sales of our own. As part of this process, I am restoring Berkeley in the Sixties. For thirty years, every copy of the film came from a video transfer that was standard definition. Finally, I couldn’t stand how bad my baby looked, and decided the film had to be preserved for posterity. Jennifer and Buck Bito at Movette Transfer Center made a new digital master from a film release print. Now it is being color corrected and soon it will be ready. The website will be a unified place to find all three films. The store will offer digital streams at $20 each, and DVD’s at $40 each. Yay! 
 
· My new project is Cannabis Chronicles, which tells the story of the world’s most popular illegal drug, movements to legalize it, and how it has changed – and is changing – our culture. The five-part series promises to be the first big-picture social history of cannabis, the ultimate pot doc. Nothing like this project exists and the time is right. We’ve done a year of R&D, created a sample reel, deck, treatment and more. I’m really pleased, think we’ve got a great series coming. Just as the project was ready to pitch to streaming channels, the pandemic and economic shutdown hit. So things are on hold and we’re hoping to get a green light by the end of the year. 
 
Here is a link to the sample reel:            https://vimeo.com/351038605/d635de479c
 
If you want to know more or have anything to contribute, please get in touch. Re: funding — this time around we’re looking for a deal, thinking that a subject so popular should be a hot item in the streaming wars. Besides, I don’t know if I could stand another round of grassroots fundraising; the legal cannabis business is in a downturn; and this crisis makes such a route nigh impossible. However we have set up an LLC for investors. And we could really use tax-deductible donations to the project’s fiscal sponsor IDA, just to keep moving forward during this difficult time. If you please, let us know. 
 
Thanks very much for your interest and support for Evolution of Organic. It was a pleasure and an honor to get to tell the story of the organic movement. Everybody we met brings tremendous passion, vision and commitment to the cause. This may be signing off, but you are in my heart forever. With love and gratitude, 
 
Mark Kitchell
 
 

Newsletter #33 – 9/27/2018

Southern California shows coming up this weekend 
 
This newsletter is a reminder that three Southern California shows of Evolution of Organic are coming up this weekend:
 
— Sat 9/29, 10:30am, Main Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. 5thSt, downtown LA
— Sat 9/29, 6:00pm, The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano. 32701 Alipaz St.
Including Dr. Bronner’s film Journey to Serendipol. Event sponsored by Jimbo’s.
— Sun 9/30, 1:30pm So Cal Environmental Coalition presents in the San Fernando Valley, at Columbia College Hollywood, 18618 Oxnard St., Tarzana.
 
Our Southern California campaign is funded by Dr. Bronner’s, thanks to Christina Volgyesi. It is organized by 360 Degree Communications, the fabulous team of Corinne Bourdeau and Susan Haymer. We are honored to have The Ecology Center event sponsored by Jimbo’s, natural food grocers in North San Diego County. There the program will include a wonderful short film about Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil plantation and processing operations in Sri Lanka, called Journey to Serendipol. I will appear at all three shows. Please come on out and see Evolution of Organic. Tell all your friends too, post on social media and help us with grassroots outreach. Thanks.
 
Further on in So Cal are three more shows plus things in the works:
 
— the Ojai Film Festival on Sunday 11/11 at 1pm, at the Ojai Valley Arts Center, sponsored by the Ojai Valley Green Coalition
— Huntington Library in San Marino, confirmed but not yet calendared
— Farm Lab in Escondido, organized by The Ecology Center, also not yet calendared
 
360 Degree Communications is working on: Santa Monica Library and College for Earth Day 2019 ; a food conference in San Diego; Isla Vista Co-op in Santa Barbara; Transitions Mar Vista; Growing Great; Gourmandise; and more. We’ll let you know…
 
Good news on the farm conference front:
 — EcoFarm 2019 said yes. The film will show on Thursday 01/24/19 at 12:15pm in the Chapel at Asilomar in Pacific Grove CA.
— the Soil & Nutrition Conference organized by Dan Kittredge’s Bionutrient Food Association will show the film 12/01-02/18 in Southbridge, MA.
— PASA, the Pennsylvania organic farmers group, is working on a show for their winter conference
— Organicology in Portland OR in February is also working on a show.
— MOSES in Wisconsin in March is interested too.

Newsletter #32 – September 13, 2018

A Busy Fall — Tours and Shows, Buy Us A Song and a Spanish version

Hi, Mark Kitchell here. Just now we are hitting one hundred shows of Evolution of Organic. Bravo!
 
In September come two tours and shows from Alaska to Turkey. 
Today 9/13 at 7pm it plays the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa. 
Then comes the Northeast tour:
— Fri 9/14 at the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, ME, for a weeklong run
— Sat 9/15 at the Gem in Bethel ME, sponsored by the Local Food Connection
— Sun 9/16 at the Savoy Cinema in Montpelier VT
— Mon 9/17 at Amherst Cinema in Amherst MA.
Thanks to NOFA/Mass founders Julie Rawson, Jack Kittredge and their son Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association. The three of them will appear in Amherst. 
 
Next is the Homer Documentary Film Festival in Alaska, three shows on 9/21-23-25.
EOO’s Southern California campaign is funded by Dr. Bronner’s and organized by 360 Degree Communications. It begins with three events:
— Sat 9/29, 10:30am, Main Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. 5thSt, downtown LA
— Sat 9/29, 6:00pm, The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano. 32701 Alipaz St.
Including Dr. Bronner’s film Journey to Serendipol
— Sun 9/30, 1:30pm So Cal Environmental Coalition presents in the San Fernando Valley at Columbia College Hollywood, 18618 Oxnard St., Tarzana.
 
I’ll appear at all Northeast tour stops and the Southern California campaign. The Heirloom Expo tonight too. You can find the full schedule on our website:  http://evolutionoforganic.com/ Other upcoming shows include Wodonga Valley in Australia; BIFED Festival in Turkey; Watsonville Film Fest (CA); Friday Harbor Film Fest (WA); and Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Ojai Film Fest is set for 11/11 at 1pm. Shows at the Huntington Library in San Marino and the Farm Lab in Escondido are set but not dated. We’re working on a Northwest tour for November and much more. 
I committed to eighteen months of grassroots outreach. A year has passed successfully. Six months more before I move on. So if you have any ideas or offers, now is the time to speak up. 
 
Good news about BUY US A SONG — our crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising $20,000 to license five pieces of music. In June and July twenty-seven generous souls donated more than half: $12,140. That’s enough to license the Grateful Dead’s Uncle John’s Band. Hooray! Now we are raising funds for Dave Mallett’s iconic Garden Song and Country Joe & the Fish’s Fixin’ to Die Rag. The musicians deserve to get paid too. 
 
You can find the Buy Us A Song campaign on the film’s website:        http://evolutionoforganic.com/
On the top menu, click on the tab:         Buy Us A Song
There are two ways to contribute: via PayPal; or a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor IDA. 
Please help us the last mile of the way. Every contribution counts.
 
We’re also working on a Spanish dubbed version of the film. Ellen Farmer has done a great job of organizing the translation and recording. Now things are on hold until we raise funds for the editor. About $3,000 is what’s needed. If you’d like to help, I’d be ever so grateful. We’re eager to take the film to farmworker communities.
 
I’m excited to welcome aboard as sales agent for the film Lorraine Hess. We haven’t yet pushed sales to broadcast television and digital channels, streaming, downloads and consumer DVD. It will be interesting to see what we can do. 
 
Link to the Square store, where you can purchase a DVD or download:  
https://squareup.com/store/mark-kitchell
 
Link to fiscal sponsor IDA site, where you can make a donation:
http://documentary.org/film/evolution-organic
 
Link to the Evolution of Organic website, which includes the BUY US A SONG campaign, the trailer and lots of written info about the film, the screening schedule and a companion book by Kim Bancroft:
http://evolutionoforganic.com/
 
Hope to see you out on the hustings. Please spread the word via emails and social media – we depend on you for grassroots outreach. Consider one last contribution to bring the film home. 
And a big thanks to everyone whose support got us this far. 

Newsletter #31 – July 12, 2018

Much news to report:

  • BUY US A SONG, our crowdfunding campaign to raise $20K to license five pieces of music, has passed the halfway mark. Thanks!
  • Twenty upcoming engagements are booked, from the Northwest to the Northeast, Arizona to Alaska. Total shows have jumped over 100 with more to come…


BUY US A SONG has raised $10,340 from 21 generous supporters. That’s enough for the two licenses for the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band.” I’m thrilled, relieved and eager to raise the rest. Anybody want to contribute towards Dave Mallett’s iconic “Garden Song”? Or Country Joe and the Fish’s “Fixin’ to Die Rag”?

This is the final month of the last crowdfunding campaign and I have been putting out the call to everyone. Hope you’ll contribute once more and bring the film to the finish line. You can find the BUY US A SONG campaign on the film’s website. Look for the tab on the top menu. You can contribute via Paypal or make a tax-deductible donation via the film’s fiscal sponsor IDA.
 
Outreach and distribution of “Evolution of Organic” has really taken off. Collective Eye got a bunch of new dates: Santa Fe, New Mexico; Waterville and Bethel, Maine, the beginnings of a Northeast tour in September; Yakima, Washington; and two more dates in Canada, in Castlegar, BC and Cobourg, ON. 360 Degree Communication organizing in Southern California firmed up The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano and the Ojai Film Festival. I got an enthusiastic yes from the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa on 9/12 and added Mt Shasta this coming Sunday. There’s so much booking news that we must refer you to the schedule on our website for details. I count 113 shows between upcoming, in the works and past engagements.
 
Ten events are coming in July and I will appear at five of them:
— Sunday July 15th, 7:30pm, in Mt Shasta at the Temple of Intention
— Monday July 16th, 6:00pm, in Ashland at the Varsity
— Tuesday July 17th, 6:00pm, in Grants Pass at the Southgate Cinemas
— Wednesday July 18th, 6:00pm, in Eugene at the Bijou Art Cinemas
— Thursday July 26th, 7:00pm, in Healdsburg at The Shed
 
These shows have great hosts and sponsors and panel discussions, are benefits for great causes. Again, have a look at the schedule for details. I’m really excited and pleased with our outreach. We be grassroots! Let’s hope for awesome audiences!

Newsletter #29   6/07/18

BUY US A SONG

This is a quick newsletter to let you know that BUY US A SONG, our crowd-funding campaign to license five pieces of music, has launched. It’s the last call to contribute to Evolution of Organic. Please help us bring the film home!
 
The campaign lives on our website: http://evolutionoforganic.com 
Go there and look in menu for BUY US A SONG.
You can see our new appeal video by clicking on the link at the top of this page
 
Not only are we home-brewing this crowd-funding campaign so that your contributions go further. But we figure that a collective approach is the way to go, that people will want to pitch in to buy a Grateful Dead song. However modestly we hope everybody donates, whether for the first time or one last time.
 
You have three choices for payment:
— PayPal
— IDA, the film’s fiscal sponsor, which gives you a tax deduction
— For larger donations or to pay by check, contact Mark Kitchell at (415) 515-0785 or markitchell@earthlink.net
 
In the first few days we have received $700 from the Paicines ranch screening. Going forward we will contribute income from screenings and sales of the film. However I got two location scouting jobs, and am too busy to work as hard on outreach as I should. So please help us get started and I promise to pick up BUY US A SONG soon.
 
Thanks! Mark