Lucien and Regina are foragers — they gather wild mushrooms in the woodlands of New Jersey and sell them to restaurants in New York. Their lifestyle is simple, their income unstable. To improve their financial security and to follow a more fulfilling personal career path, Regina decides to take a job cooking at a high-end restaurant. Lucien disapproves, preferring a full-time nomadic lifestyle. He proposes to give up their apartment and live as itinerant foragers. As individual desires take them down divergent paths over the course of a year, their marriage slowly comes apart and forces the marriage to a test.
One of the great classic films that focused on the themes of love and food, and in many ways is quite similar to Now Forager, is the award-winning Big Night, about two loving brothers whose financial struggles force them to confront their love for each other and their love of food. Another film that encompasses similar themes is the Japanese Tampopo, about a single mother, a rugged truck driver, and a mutual love of ramen. And of course, there’s Julie & Julia, starring multi-award winning actress Meryl Streep as the famous chef Julia Child. Once again, themes of love, financial hardship in a marriage, and passion and love for food are confronted in this popular film.
In Now, Forager, the two directors, Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin, decided to make a narrative film where the food and cooking were real — a film that honored the lessons of their grandparents, but one that could also appeal to the rapidly expanding Slow Food generation. While fungi are a key inspiration and structuring element within the film, the substance of the story is human. Now, Forager is about a relationship — one that is changing because of the individual needs of the participants. It’s a story about mature love, about the compromises and conflicts that can only come from years spent living in close quarters. They shot the film over the course of a year to capture seasonal changes in the natural world that have an impact on the couple’s life. Their intention with this film is to show food, work and love in an authentic way, with honesty and passion. This modern take on love and food celebrates simplicity and minimalism in what Belgian newspaper Le Soir calls a “little gem of American independent cinema.”
Now, Forager has received over half a dozen awards including the IFP Gotham Award and the IFF Mannheim Heidelberg Viewers’ Choice and Critics’ Award, has screened at over thirty international Festivals, and will have it’s debut on iTunes this August 27th. You can view the trailer below.