Taking a New Look at Irish Cuisine
Cabbage, potatoes, and Guinness – that’s probably what comes to mind when someone mentions Irish cuisine. But Imen McDonnell is out to change that perception with her latest documentary short, “Small Green Fields”. The 12-minute doc is a celebration of Ireland’s flourishing culture of food and farming, a subject very close to her heart and her taste buds.
It’s also a cross-Atlantic collaboration between current and former Minneapolitans – she reached out to ditch. editor and friend Carrie Shanahan and others right away to get them involved in the project. Originally a broadcast producer at Campbell Mithun, McDonnell gave up her jet setting life for the love of an Irish farmer and now lives with her family on a farm in the Irish countryside. Not one to just sit back and enjoy the view, she has made quite a name for herself in the food blog circuit, showcasing little-known locally produced delicacies and the efforts of the independent farmers and chefs behind them on her blog “Farmette”. Last year, she decided to combine her passion for food and her background in production, and brought a team from the US to travel with her across Ireland and interview a handful of food enthusiasts and artisans.
She sent the footage across the sea to Minneapolis, where it landed in the enthusiastic hands of editor Carrie Shanahan and colorist/finisher Matt Collings at ditch. Says Shanahan, “I was thrilled when Imen reached out to me to collaborate on ‘Small Green Fields’. She was a client/friend when I first moved to Minneapolis in 2004, before she was swept away by an Irish farmer and started her acclaimed food blog. I lived in Ireland for a year in the ’90s so we had always compared notes, and this project about the artisanal food movement was right up my alley. The first clip I pulled up was of that fat, juicy octopus-style seaweed and my heart swelled with longing for the coast. Digging into a longer format piece is always a nice change of pace, and the team was fantastic. Now I just need to get back over there to meet all of these characters I’ve come to know and sample their delicacies!”
The film is currently being submitted to film festivals, and McDonnell is hoping to develop it into a feature-length documentary or perhaps even a TV show. Check out the trailer below, and keep an eye out for more tasty morsels from her production company, Farmhouse Films, and ditch.
Director/Producer: Imen McDonnell, Farmhouse Films
Cinematographer: Michael Hartzel
Producer: Meighan McGuire
Editor: Carrie Shanahan
Color & Finish: Matt Collings
Post Producer: Rick Zessar
Animation & Design: Cassie Scroggins
Music Composer: Todd Syring
Music Composer/Producer: David Howell