Channels: Stories from the Niagara Frontier is Squeaky Wheel’s production initiative that matches up local filmmakers with WNY’s activist groups to make short documentaries about social justice issues impacting this region. This Thursday April 18th at 7 PM, Squeaky Wheel will be premiering three new films produced through the initiative at the Market Arcade Film + Art Center. In advance of the premiere, we’ll be posting brief previews highlighting each film.
Rooted by Buffalo First + Kyle Toth w/ co-videographer Ryan Delmar
The title Rooted comes from the film’s opening interview with Talking Leaves co-founder Jonathon Welch who says, “local businesses are people who are rooted in the community, they’re much more likely to be active in the community…in a vital and vibrant way than absentee folks, it just makes sense!” The film goes on to elaborate on this point by featuring the stories of Buffalo business owners who are invested in the region and seriously committed to practices that consider the Triple Bottom Line – people, planet, and profit.
The “makes sense” part of Welch’s statement is in one way or another echoed by almost every interviewee throughout the film – whether it’s Flying Bison Brewing Company’s Tim Herzog speaking about buying beer boxes and bottles from New York state producers, or Kevin Gardner of Five Points Bakery explaining their cinnamon-rolls-for-vegetables bartering system at the farmer’s market.
What emerges by the end of the film is a clear emphasis on collaboration, an inversion of the idea that businesses must constantly be in fierce competition with one another in order to thrive. As Herzog puts it, “the more we help each other the more we are all going to grow together.”