Treatment

“FOOD INC.” MEETS “STARTUP.COM” MEETS “OUR DAILY BREAD”

With exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, this cinema-vérité documentary follows one startup tech company, Memphis Meats, its CEO and his close-knit team. Our handheld cameras witness critical and day-to-day milestones over the course of a year at headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, and on the road following the film’s protagonist, Uma Valeti.

Stylized details of food production within the Memphis Meats’ labs intersect with a handheld naturalistic immediacy, following the people, their challenges, and their breakthroughs.

As the global media orbits the subject of cultured meat and Memphis Meats, the film naturally springboards to other voices. The integration of press interviews and scrums is a useful device to assume a wider perspective. Proponents and critics grapple with the complexities and horrors of conventional animal agriculture, and with the challenges and advantages of “cellular agriculture.”

The destructive reality of factory farming is not revealed through graphic images, but rather via a birds-eye view that drifts and hovers over farmers’ fields, sprawling factories, and voracious consumer-driven urban scenes.

An opening title sequence ushers the viewer down the grocery isle of the future, and the film’s closing credits sequence rests on the ghosts — the faces of pigs, cows, and chickens — leaving the audience to ponder the future of animal consumption.