First Nations and Director Sanjay Rawal Spotlight Native Food Systems in This Award-Winning, Collaborative Documentary
LONGMONT, Colo. (June 15, 2022) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today that the film Gather has won the 2022 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award in the category of “Documentary/Docuseries Visual Media.” Michael E. Roberts, president and CEO of First Nations, said the organization is honored to be part of this film and is grateful to the many community partners that made it possible to feature their important work.
The full-length film is the result of a two-year collaboration between First Nations and director Sanjay Rawal and showcases these community partners and their efforts to rebuild healthy and sustainable foodways. The film explores the importance of Native food systems that were once deliberately destroyed and the heroic “post-apocalyptic” efforts underway to rebuild them.
The award, which recognizes excellence in a food-related documentary production, was announced at a ceremony Saturday, June 11, 2022, held in Chicago and broadcast live via Twitter. Roberts said it was a privilege to be among the other notable nominees in the award category: High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America and The Hungriest State.
“This award is an achievement not just for First Nations and Sanjay Rawal, but most importantly for our community partners that are strengthening and advancing Native food systems,” said Roberts. “Gather is a story that everyone needs to see, and winning this award only increases the impact of this film and its message about the resilience of Native communities.”
In a further achievement in Indian Country, the Indigenous restaurant Owamni in Minneapolis won the James Beard Foundation Award for the “Best New Restaurant.”
The mission of the James Beard Awards is to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. The Broadcast Media Awards were established in 1993 and are open to all works from digital and terrestrial media covering food and beverage topics appearing widely for the first time in the United States in 2020 and 2021.
First Nations thanks the many supporters who made the Gather film possible. The film was directed by Sanjay Rawal and produced by Tanya Mellier and Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muscogee).