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Press Release for Friday, March 23, 2012

Osprey-Eco Films Presents Documentary Filmmaker Curt Ellis

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 




The Osprey Eco-Film Series, sponsored through a University of North Florida Environmental Center seed grant with additional support from the UNF President’s Fund, will show a screening of the documentary “King Corn,” with an appearance by the film’s creator, Curt Ellis, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the Recital Hall, Fine Arts Center, Building 45, on the UNF campus. This event is free and open to the public.  


“King Corn,” directed by Aaron Woolf, follows Ellis and his best friend, Ian Cheney, on a year-long odyssey to understand where their food comes from… by growing it. In what The Washington Post calls “Required viewing for anyone planning to visit a supermarket, fast-food joint or their own refrigerator,” the city-slickers learn to drive a combine, cash in on government subsidies and homebrew high-fructose corn syrup. The duo’s Peabody-winning findings, shared with theatergoers in 60 cities and in a PBS national broadcast, has changed the way audiences eat. 


Ellis is the creator of several hit documentaries, including “The Greening of Southie,” “Big River” as well as “Truck Farm” and is co-founder of the national AmeriCorps program FOODCORPS. He is a passionate campaigner for changing the way Americaʼs next generation eats, builds and lives. Since graduating from Yale in 2002, Ellis has constructed green homes in Oregon and the Adirondacks; launched an award-winning documentary and an advocacy company Wicked Delicate; and grown 10,000 pounds of genetically-modified corn. 


 Today, Ellis is busy leading FOODCORPS, an AmeriCorps school garden program. The organization recruits young leaders to spend a post-college year conducting nutrition education, building school gardens and sourcing farm-fresh food for children in high-obesity communities. FOODCORPS is on a fast track to become the “Teach for America” of school food, with its current class of 50 (selected from 1,229 applicants) set to double next year. The program educates vulnerable children about healthy food, engagement with how it grows and daily access to its nutrients in school lunch––all while launching a new generation of farmers and public health leaders. 


Speaking engagements keep Ellis traveling throughout the year, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR as well as in The New York Timesand Washington Post . Currently working under grants from the WK Kellogg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ellis is a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur, a winner of the Heinz Award and a member of the board of directors of Slow Food USA.  


 For more information about this event, contact Dr. Bart Welling, UNF associate professor in the Department of English, at (904) 620-1268 or at .