LEWISTON – Bates College will screen “For the Love of Small Scale” and “Fowl Play,” documentaries made by Bates students about Maine food producers, Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Students made the films in a 2004 environmental studies course taught by filmmaker Melissa Paly, known for her 2003 documentary about sprawl, “Livable Landscapes: By Chance or By Choice?”

Open to the public at no charge, the screenings will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104 of the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

Reflecting Bates’ yearlong theme, “Nourishing Body and Mind: Bates Contemplates Food,” the films illustrate issues around food production in Maine, issues still relevant four years after the Bates course. Paly’s students created documentaries depicting the effects of factory farms and large-scale food producers and retailers on Maine farmers.

“Fowl Play,” by Nathan Dorpalen, Samuel Haaz and A. Currier Stokes, takes an in-depth look at the injustices and low standards accepted in factory farms, specifically the former DeCoster Egg Farms, now Quality Egg of New England, in Turner. The film also gives small free-range egg producers a venue to share their philosophy. The film asks viewers to consider the effects of low food prices on working conditions for farmers and the treatment of chickens.

“For the Love of Small Scale,” by Bates alumni Ryan Sparks, Christina Maki, Craig Saddlemire and Joshua Stoll, looks at how national retail chains have impacted local growers. The film discusses concepts of fair trade and regional trade agreements that have affected the cause of fair trade. While the take-away message for viewers, again, is the importance of buying locally produced food, this film focuses on the nutritional value of food and the economic health of the community.

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