‘Tis the season for ‘The Starfish Throwers’
December 12, 2014
The holidays are a time for giving and the Park City Film Series wants to do just that this season.
That’s why it will present a special screening of "The Starfish Throwers" at the Prospector Theater on Thursday, Dec. 18, said Katharine Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series.
"[‘The Starfish Throwers’] is a documentary that follows three people — award-winning chef Narayanan Krishnan, a teenager Katie Stagliano and retired middle school teacher Allan Law," Wang told The Park Record. "It’s amazing when you see how powerful an impact these people have on those who they come in contact with."
Krishnan, whose continued fight against India’s caste system led him to give up everything, started using his cooking skills to create and personally provide meals to the homeless, according to Wang.
"He believes as a human being he couldn’t live with that kind of poverty outside his door. He is the recipient of the CNN Hero Award," she said.
Stagliano, a winner of the Clinton Global Citizen Award, is the director of the nonprofit community garden called Katie’s Krops, which is on a mission to end hunger.
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"She uses the garden to provide produce to soup kitchens," Wang said. "She now has 73 gardens and has inspired schools to grown their own gardens."
Law, regardless of his health problems, is dedicated to hand out more than a thousand sandwiches nightly to the hungry in Minneapolis.
"He also gives out transportation tokens, toothbrushes and things like that," Wang said. "Just like Narayanan in India, Allan can’t live knowing that people in his town don’t have food or shelter."
The film’s title comes from the parable of throwing a beach-stranded starfish back into the sea, Wang explained.
"The idea is that individual actions can have a huge impact on people they help, but also cause a ripple effect where those people will help others," she said. "It’s amazing to see how selfless these three people are."
The film, which was directed and filmed by Jesse Roesler, used a crowd-sourcing campaign through Kickstarter.com to finish the film, Wang said.
In his director’s statement, Roesler said the idea for the film stemmed from Law’s activities.
"I first heard about a retired teacher who drove around Minneapolis 365 nights a year, giving sandwiches to homeless people out of a van with the words ‘Love One Another’ and his cell phone number stenciled on the door," he said. "Once I began filming with Allan Law, I became instantly amazed and humbled by his dedication to a cause many say is lost. Why was he giving everything to a battle he could never win?"
"It’s amazing how he came into this film and anyone who sees the film will have their hearts touched," Wang said.
"The Starfish Throwers" is an inspiring film that counters the heaviness and sadness in the world, Wang said.
"There is so much cynicism in the world and there is war, pestilence and brutality, and when you see these moments of humanity you feel a glimmer of hope," she said. "These are empowering stories and makes you want to go out and do something. While your passion might not be ending hunger, the stories give you that inspiration to follow your passion."
Wang was introduced to the film through FiReFilms, which "identifies, supports and promotes potentially world-changing documentary films in which technology improves the human condition," according to its mission statement.
FiReFilms is a Strategic News Services Future in Review program. The program is the leading global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy, Wang said.
"I am a member of FiReFilms and we have been working with them and their managing director Sharon Anderson Morris," Wang said.
Anderson Morris is the programs director for Strategic News Service and SNS Future in Review (FiRe) events.
"They host private screenings to their members and over the past summer, I had the opportunity to see ‘The Starfish Throwers’ and immediately fell in love with it," Wang said. "It is such a powerful film and I have been looking for the right time to bring it to the community and things came together for this month."
The Park City Film Series is also partnering with Julie Hooker’s leadership class at Treasure Mountain Jr. High.
"We will host a private screening for them, and some of the students will attend the public screening Thursday night," Wang said.
In addition, "The Starfish Throwers" producer of distribution and outreach, Pete Tedrow, will participate in a Q and A after the public screening.
"He will also give an update about the different people who were featured in the film," Wang said.
In keeping with the film’s theme, the Park City Film Series will encourage people to bring nonperishable food items that will be donated to the Christian Center of Park City’s Food Bank.
"We will have a list of suggested items on our website (http://www.parkcityfilmseries.org )," Wang said. "The holiday season is a great time to give back to the community and as a film organization, we at the Park City Film Series, presenting films such as ‘Starfish Throwers’ that have that message of hope and empowerment is a great way to do that."
The Park City Film Series and FiReFilms will present a special screening of Jesse Roesler’s documentary "The Starfish Throwers" at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.org.
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