Steve Alves, Producer/Director

is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who graduated from the University of Southern California Film School. After working in Hollywood and New York City as a film editor for ten years, he moved to western Massachusetts and started his own documentary company Home Planet Pictures. Since 1997, Alves has written, produced, and directed six films about New England and what it means to have a sense of place. His 2001 production, Together in Time won a CINE Golden Eagle, Best Short Documentary at the International Family Film Festival, and a Gold Award from WorldFest-Houston. Talking to the Wall: The Story of an American Bargain, won several environmental awards, was featured in over a dozen film festival. Alves is also the 2015 recipient of the Austin Miller Cooperative Hero Award, given by the River Valley Market.

HeadShot2013_CroppedRebecca Rideout,
Director of Outreach

has worked in documentary media production for over ten years. She has overseen the production of educational films for museums and learning centers nationwide, and worked on all aspects of production with Florentine Film/Hott Productions’ American Masters John James Audubon: Drawn From NatureThrough Deaf Eyes, and the 2014 Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America. In 2013 she co-produced Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing, and the Creation of a Health Crisis for the Media Education Foundation. Rebecca works on all aspects of outreach for Food For Change, from social media to screening coordination, and is dedicated to spreading the idea of cooperation through Food For Change.

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Michael Skillicorn,
Outreach Coordinator

has worked with cooperatives in different capacities over the past eight years. He first worked directly with producer cooperatives in Guatemala and Peru, assisting in coffee export, tourism development, and value-added initiatives. He then joined Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, a fair trade coffee roaster in Orange, MA where he built business relationships with producer cooperatives in Latin America and managed outreach and education efforts here at home. Michael also serves on the Board of a start-up food cooperative in Orange, MA that recently opened its doors. The coop, Quabbin Harvest, held a screening of Food for Change during its membership and capital campaign.

David J. Thompson,
Project Advisor

of Thompson Consulting and co-principal of Neighborhood Partners, LLC, has worked for the national cooperative organizations of the United States, Britain and Japan as well as the United Nations and visited cooperatives in over 30 nations on five continents. David specializes in funding the capital needs of the cooperative development sector &nonprofit and cooperative housing. He was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington DC in May 2010. David has won a number of awards from the cooperative community.David began work with the US food cooperative sector in 1969. He was one of the founders of Co-opportunity, Santa Monica, California. David was a board member of the Davis Food Co-op where he led the growth of member capital and relocation to downtown Davis. A full biography is available on the Twin Pines Foundation website.

Marilyn Scholl,
Project Advisor

specializes in leadership development, board training, facilitation, and membership development. She has worked with food cooperatives for over 30 years, including nine years as a general manager and nine years with the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. Marilyn also serves as the manager of CDS Consulting Co-op. Marilyn also serves as the manager of CDS Consulting Co-op. She is the recipient of the 1999 CCMA Cooperative Service award and in 2004 was named an Honored Cooperator.

Ann Hoyt,
Project Advisor

has for many years led the most important (just about the only) training institutes for leaders of consumer food co-ops in business cooperatives.  She is also conducting comparative research on successful cooperative development techniques in Africa and in limited resource communities in the United States.

Anne Meis Knupfer,
Project Advisor

Professor of American Studies, Purdue University. Anne’s research is focused on community education and activism. Her publications include three books of historical scholarship on women’s activism and African-American urban communities. She is currently completing a book entitled, Food Co-ops In America: Communities, Consumption and Economic Democracy, Cornell University Press, 2013.

Alan Dater,

has 35 years of experience as a Cinematographer, Director and Producer. He has worked on many documentaries, both independent and for television broadcast. He has directed a number of films, including the Ford Foundation funded Taking Roots: The Vision of the Wangari Maathai (2008). He was the cinematographer on two Steve Alves’ documentaries: Together in Time and Talking to the Wall: The Story of an American Bargain.

Rawn Fulton,
Director of Photography

has produced films independently and for such major clients as: The National Wildlife Federation, The Peace Corps, PBS, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to his own film projects, he created and directed, with support from The Sopris Foundation of Aspen CO, The World Population Film/Video Festival which challenges students to create programs of their own by examining the most prominent issues of our time.

David Skillicorn,
Director of Photography

is a veteran Director of Photography, Videographer and Producer with more than 25 years experience in documentary filmmaking and broadcast television production. He has worked on video and film projects in more than thirty countries across five continents for most of the major broadcast and cable networks as well as a wide variety of non-broadcast clients. Skillicorn’s work has been seen widely and has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards.

Dr. Christopher Sawyer-
Lauçanna, Consulting Writer

taught writing at MIT for nearly a quarter-century until his retirement in 2006. He is the author of more than a half-dozen books including biographies of Paul Bowles and E.E. Cummings. He is also well-known as a translator and poet. He has been involved in film since the 1970s, most recently serving as a script consultant for Clement Barkley’s Things Gone and Things Still Here, and for Regina Weinreich and Catherine Warnow’s The Complete Outsider.

Robert Hagelstein,

is a 2010 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a B.A in Anthropology.  He is currently working on several film projects, including documentary about the promise and possibilities of Cold Fusion.  On Food For Change, he applies his technical and communications skills to  distribution and outreach, fundraising, photo and film research, website management, and general technical support.


Sarah Geisler,
Smith College

Working on Food for Change was a perfect fit for me, with a film professor as a father and as a native of western Massachusetts with its many firm believers in co-ops and sustainable, communal solutions to modern life. I lived in a vegan co-op for a time while in college, and while a love affair with cheese and ice cream made veganism a non-viable option, I still believe that a sustainable, co-operative-driven approach is a far more healthy and civilized way to operate the various areas of human life. As a sociology major and a big-time history buff, the sociological and historical ramifications of the co-operative movement fascinated me. My work on Food for Change was varied, but my greatest enjoyment and a large portion of my focus went into historical and photographic/cinematic archival research. Not to mention a couple of Bob Dylan songs and participation in a rousing chorus of “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime.”

Evan Sipher,
University of Massachusetts

As an intern from the Public History graduate program at UMass, I researched the historical record on cooperatives, found archival materials, and helped develop the historical narrative of the film. I also advised in the editing process – in both historical and more general matters. I currently live in New Orleans where I plan to teach high school history and am working on a couple small film projects dealing with the communities and environs of my new home.

Hillary Smith,
Smith College

Food For Change fit right into my lifestyle. Growing up in Southern Vermont with the Happy Valley (Pioneer Valley) just next door, I’ve always been surrounded by ideas of sustainability and local economy. This is my first documentary film project and, although I’m not striving to be a documentary filmmaker, I appreciate the genre and would like to put my services to use with future documentaries. Most of my time is spent organizing the outreach and promotional aspect of the film, considerably more practical work than comes out of my chosen American Studies Major.

Jeremy Goldsher,
Bucknell University

An aspiring writer, directer, and entrepreneur, working under Steve Alves on Food for Change as a student intern has been a great first for ray into the documentary world. A fellow local coop member hailing from the hilltowns of Franklin County, Steve’s vision parallels many of my own beliefs, and with his guidance I am constantly pushing my boundaries in the professional and social realms. I currently handle the project’s practical aspects of marketing and promotion, and plan to explore/advise the editing and filming process once we have reached our fundraising goals. This experience has reaffirmed my direction and focus, and although I am prone to global traveling, I plan on re-entering college this Fall to pursue my majors in Film and Business. For more information, please email me:

“As the days grow short, some faces grow long. But not mine. Every autumn, when the wind turns cold and darkness comes early, I am suddenly happy. It’s time to start making soup again.”
~Leslie Newman


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