Documentary goes in reverse order from fork back to the farm
Dylan Sher’s project is called Before the Plate
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A documentary created by a third-year University of Guelph agribusiness student looks to show how a prepared piece of food started out as crops or livestock on a farm.
“The film storyline itself is going to take food from a Toronto restaurant and follow it back to the farms those pieces of food came from,” said Dylan Sher, creator of the documentary Before the Plate. “You can actually see the food coming off the field, going down the line and eventually ending up on the plate.”
In general, he said the film’s purpose is to promote Canadian agriculture and dispel any myths consumers might have about the industry.
Before The Plate
Dylan grew up the Greater Toronto Area but his education led him to the University of Guelph and the agriculture industry. As someone who lived the rural/urban divide, he said his inspiration for the movie came after multiple conversations with his friends at home.
“Over the course of a summer while I was working on a dairy farm, I was trying to think about how to show my friends back in the city what happens on a farm and answer some of the concerns they had.
“People in the city are quick to have a very active voice without ever actually seeing it themselves.”
A main talking point in the project is how farmers have to answer to people who don’t grow food but have strong opinions on how it should be produced.
“It’s a point of frustration for (the farmers),” Sher said. “They dedicate their lives to this and take pride in what they do and are stomped on by others. No farmer looks at another and says they’re better, but in the city there’s a strong moral divide.”
Dylan has set up a Kickstarter page to help secure funding for his project, which he hopes to show at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018 or have picked up by streaming services.
Donations are being accepted until Feb. 18.