Since eating is one thing all people have in common, food is a great way to bridge cultures. Filmmaker Daniel Klein wants to take this idea and run with it. In 2009, he created The Perennial Plate – a two-time James Beard Award winning online documentary series dedicated to sustainable eating – but since the 2016 election, he’s been forced “to think about how he could have a real impact on the direction of my country,” as he put it. That soul searching has led him to take this summer off from Perennial Plate and instead focus on a new venture that seeks to broaden acceptance for immigrants in America, a project called “Resistance through Storytelling.”
This new series of five short documentaries plans to put “positive stories about immigrants and refugees in front of a conservative audience using short films and targeted Facebook advertising.” To achieve this goal, food takes center stage. “Each film will center around one family meal: grandparents, sons and daughters cooking and then sitting around a table together -- something almost all of us have in common,” explains Klein. The videos will feature immigrants from all around the globe, including places like Sweden, Somalia and Mexico.
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But Klein believes that simply making these videos isn’t enough: He doesn’t want to simply be “preaching to the choir.” So a large part of his plan is also use the power of Facebook’s targeted advertising to make sure these videos end up on the feeds of moderate, swing state voters. In fact, half of the project’s budget will go towards these ads. All together it’s an ambitious plan, and one that could potentially prove controversial if those being targeted feel like they’re being singled out for their views and, pardon the pun, being force fed these short films. Despite Klein’s good intentions, it’s easy to see how this could potentially backfire, and he even admits, “This could come across as Elitist liberals looking trying to ‘educate’ others. That is not our intent.”
Instead, Klein believes enough likeminded people are out there that he’s turned to Kickstarter to fund his project. He’s looking to raise at least $50,000 in total – and with 22 days to go, he’s over a quarter of the way there. “Let’s celebrate the America that we love,” Klein says in his final appeal in the Kickstarter campaign video. If you’re not a member of the targeted audience for these videos, you may want to keep an eye out for them anyway: They might not pop up in your Facebook feed, but they may indeed be worth watching.
[h/t Huffington Post]