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Chipotle Announces Short Film Project Food Festival

Chipotle made a short film on sustainability that will screen in movie theaters


Known as one of the first quick-serve chains to adopt sustainability in their foods, Chipotle’s launching a new campaign to spread awareness via a short film and a foundation. In September, “Back to the Start” will debut in 5,700 movie theaters before the main feature begins.

The 2 minute and 20 second spot devises stop-motion animation to tell a story about a farmer who converts from organic farming, to factory farming then has a change of heart and returns to the less grim way of raising food on his farm. Farm-Aid co-founder Willie Nelson provides an acoustic cover of Coldplay’s 2002 hit “The Scientist,” with the lyric, “Oh, take me back to the start” being the eureka moment in the film when the farmer decides to reverse time and do the right thing. The film opens with the farmer transforming his organic farm into a factory farm nightmare. Pigs get pumped with hormone pills from a machine and are put through an assembly line. Green sludge pours out of pipes and pollutes the land, while big rigs transport the meats and pollutes the environment even more.

One cold night the farmer battles with his conscious and decides to tear down the animal houses and allow the cows, pigs and chickens to roam freely again. A Chipotle truck rolls up and the farmer places a crated box into it, eliminating the middle man and restoring happiness on the farm.

The Willie Nelson song will be available for download on iTunes for 60 cents and proceeds will benefit Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, an organization that raises money for institutions like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FamilyFarmed.org.

Chipotle founder Steve Ells has succeeded in serving 100 percent organic chicken and pork and using hormone-free dairy products in his restaurants. The Culivate Foundation will host its first-ever festival in Chicago on October 1st where live bands, local chefs, local farms and artisans will be on hand to teach consumers about the benefits of healthy, organic eating and to spread Chipotle’s mission of being “dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthful and equitable food future.” Chipotle hopes to host more free festivals like this one in other cities around the country. 

Watch the short "Back to the Start" here.

by: Garin Pirnia