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Hereâ€™s my new film, â€œThe Fruit Hunters.â€ How to describe this creature? Well, itâ€™s a true departure for me. I spent 2 years following fruit-obsessed horticulturalists, pomologists, and backyard enthusiasts. Weâ€™ve traveled to Bali in search of white-fleshed mangoes, gone hunting in Borneo for the rare kura-kura durian, joined an Italian fruit detective sleuthing amongst Renaissance paintings for long-forgotten figs, trudged through fermented banana sludge in the hopes of finding a replacement for our threatened banana. Not to mention tasting fruit with the Rare Fruit Council International at the Mango Festival in Miami and following Bill Pullman pursuing his dream of creating a community orchard in Hollywood. And to what end? Through the fruit hunters we can gain a greater appreciation for our symbiotic relationship with fruit through culture, history, and ecology. Through the world of fruit, we can glean a sense of our infinite biodiversity so clearly under threat by an all-consuming monoculture.
As I delved deeper into fruit, I too, became obsessedâ€¦to taste and film as many varieties around the world. The producers had to put a stop to it. I was so hell-bent obsessed in capturing the details of our relationship with fruit that I even had my team toil day-and-night to build detailed dioramas from fruit history. In some ways, fruit (in all its forms, colors, and tastes) came to represent to me, a celebration of imaginationâ€¦ that even natureâ€™s imagination is limitless. Not even CGI effects could recreate what Iâ€™ve witnessed in the fruit world. I hope weâ€™ve succeeded in sharing that sentiment in â€œThe Fruit Hunters.â€
PS. You may want to have a bowl of fresh fruit in armâ€™s reach. The filmmakerâ€™s are not responsible for any hunger pangs that may result from viewing. May I suggest a run to the local farmerâ€™s market to pick up some seasonal fruits?