Mariel Hemingway thinks people should be "up in arms" over the poisoning of our food supply. The actress and activist hopes to use the tools she's most famous for - storytelling and film - to educate people about Monsanto's destruction of food and farming, and the dangers of unrestrained corporate power.
Hemingway has teamed up with Brad Wyman, producer of Monster, actress Blythe Metz, and eco-entrepreneur Priscilla Woolworth on the film project #stopmonsanto. The script has been written. Now they're asking the public to help raise $150,000 by Friday, Aug 31, 11:59PM PT to fund the project on indiegogo.com so they can produce it.
For Hemingway, this project is personal. She's had close family members, including her mother and ex-husband, who have had cancer, and others who have suffered from mental health problems. "I've been on this journey, of food and health and wellness," said Hemingway, who also writes a healthy lifestyle blog. "Not only lifestyle, but what you eat and drink also influence mental well being. The mind is not separate from the body."
Hemingway is passionate about health, but it's the activist side of her that ignites when she talks about the #stopmonsanto project. "Monsanto needs to take responsibility for the damage to our future - to our crops, our farmers, our health," she said. "As Americans, we're supposed to be free and democratic. We need to say something, we need to require these chemical companies to take responsibility. The stronghold these companies have on our politicians is disturbing and scary."
Rather than produce another documentary on Monsanto, Hemingway and her partners turned to storytelling and drama to raise awareness and "pull at the heartstrings of people" hoping that an emotional response will make people think, and then act. "People like to be told stories, and emotions make us want to do something," she said.
The #stopmonsanto script is written for a cast of young teens on a mission. It starts out somewhat lighthearted, but ends in tragedy. According to the project's website, the story of the film is simple. Five young activists protest the actions of Monsanto by launching a #stopmonsanto campaign. When their initial methods of protest fail, they create a series of ever-escalating stunts. The protesters' actions put them directly in the company's sights, with tragic consequences. "We wanted to use fiction to get people to go inside and feel for these kids," said Hemingway. "It ends in tragedy as a way to make people wake up."
The film isn't all tragedy - there are comic scenes, too. But when pressed for details about the 'ever-escalating stunts' and the tragic ending, Hemingway said, "You'll have to wait and see!"
For more about the project and how to donate, go to: http://www.indiegogo.com/stopmonsanto