The Apple Pushers, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, narrated by Edward Norton, and underwritten by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, tells the stories of five immigrant streetcart vendors who each have one dream: to find success in America. To realize that dream, each has chosen to be a part of a unique urban experiment to roll fresh fruits and vegetables into New York City's food deserts — places where finding a ripe, red apple presents a serious challenge and where obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing. This experiment — the Green Cart Initiative — offers not only economic opportunity to these vendors, but also presents a creative strategy in the fight against the obesity epidemic found in so many of America's cities.
The film follows five protagonists who come to America in search of a better life for themselves and for their families. Each overcomes extraordinary challenges to get to this country, including a near-death experience crossing the border from Mexico.
This project, produced by Mazzio along with Tom Scott and Christine Vachon, and executive produced by Laurie Tisch, sits at the intersection of the food desert/obesity crisis, immigration and entry level-entrepreneurship.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Mary Mazzio, an award-winning director, Olympian and former law firm partner, is Founder and CEO of 50 Eggs, Inc., an independent film production company. Mary also wrote, directed and produced the highly-acclaimed award-winning films, TEN9EIGHT, A Hero for Daisy, Lemonade Stories, Apple Pie as well as we are BlackRock.
INSPIRED? TAKE ACTION!
Are you inspired by The Apple Pushers? Here's some ways to make a mark in your own community and on your own life:
- Call your local food policy council and see how you can get involved. No food policy council in your area? Contact your local city council and get one started!
- Are you taking advantage of what's available to you? Are you eating 5 and 2? (5 vegetables per day and 2 fruits per day?) If you don't live in a food desert, show your appreciation for the food choices you have in your world by taking care to get your 5 and 2 per day. Push back the borders of your own food desert so you can maintain optimum health for yourself and your family. Don't be an obesity statistic.
- The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Support local growers in your area by opting for local produce when in season. Make it fun and take your friends, family, and neighbors to check out your local farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
Help empower leaders to teach children about healthy food, work with them to plant school gardens, and connect with farmers and chefs to serve up healthier school lunches.
Harlem Grown's mission is to increase the capacity of communities and students to access nature and green spaces, to engage these communities with nutritional and outdoor educational opportunities and improve access to a wider range of healthy foods while focusing on food justice issues.
The Do Something Reel Film Festival is excited to partner with Crowdrise to provide you with a way to get involved, and create change for the issues that are brought about in the films shown through the festival.
- What is a food desert? Why is there a lack of fresh produce in "food desert" areas?
- Why are low income areas suffering from disproportionate rates of obesity and diabetes?
- If children and families in food deserts are given access to fresh produce, will they buy it?
- What does a green cart mean to a community when it arrives (in a food desert)?
- Can entrepreneurship help to solve the food desert problem?
- How can the messages in this film be transferred to tackling obesity elsewhere?
- What might be some potential for youth, who may or may not live in food deserts, to help bridge the gap and bring resources into those communities?
- What are some of the bureaucratic obstacles for the urban agriculture movement?
Watch a recap of the live Apple Pusher’s Q&A
MEET THE PANELISTSLearn more >
See what Edward Norton has to say about Apple Pushers and the Do Something Reel Film Festival.