The Apple Pushers, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, narrated by Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, and underwritten by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, follows immigrant street vendors who are rolling fresh fruits and vegetables into the inner cities of New York (where finding a fresh red ripe apple can be a serious challenge). Through the lens of their powerful and deeply personal stories, the film examines such hot-button issues as food access, the obesity crisis, immigration, entrepreneurship, and what it really takes to achieve the American Dream. "Emotionally, the film packs a wallop," - Tracie McMillan (The Atlantic).
The film was exhibited theatrically on Earth Day in several cities, hosted by Whole Foods, along with a panel discussion which was piped in live to these cities, moderated by Debi Mazar (GoodFellas, Entourage) with introductory remarks by Edward norton. In addition, Oscilloscope has acquired North American rights to the film and will have a series of events and VOD platforms this Spring. Public television's WORLD channel will broadcast the film on May 6, 2012. (Please check your local listings.)
The film had a series of special screenings, including the Aspen Ideas Festival where thought leaders and policy makers, including Robin Schepper (the head of Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" campaign), discussed the film and the issues of how to tackle the obesity crisis in low-income neighborhoods across the country. In addition, Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the USDA, hosted a special screening of The Apple Pushers at the Motion Picture Association in Washington DC for policy leaders, heads of federal agencies, and others who are in a position to help spread the message of the film - which is to think creatively about pushing back the borders of these food deserts. The room lit up after the event.
The film not only addresses the issue of food deserts where low income residents have little access to fresh fruits and vegetables – but also the issue of immigrants and what they do for our country.
The Apple Pushers, which is at the intersection of food access, immigration, and entrepreneurship, is produced by Mary Mazzio along with Tom Scott (founder of Nantucket Nectars and CEO of PLUM TV) and Christine Vachon (producer of Mildred Pierce and the Academy Award-winning Boys Don't Cry). Executive Producer – Laurie Tisch.