Continents apart from one another, two farming families aim to reinvent themselves on their land. One family—an elegant French matriarch and the son she raised among her vines—tends a centuries-old, biodynamic vineyard in the Southern Rhône. Across the ocean in Humboldt, California, another family carefully manage a state-recognized, organic cannabis farm. APPELLATIONS interweaves their stories, urging comparisons between France’s revered winemaking tradition and the artisan culture emerging alongside the legal cannabis industry. But both farmers—the vintner and the pot-grower—face uncertainty. Can weed—long relegated to the criminal shadows—become the new wine? And can the ancient French winemaking industry survive intact into the twenty-first century, as climate change and a new generation of millennial winemakers challenge the old guard? Two sets of farmers, separated by vast gulfs of culture, language and tradition, navigate common challenges.
More information available on the Racing Horse Production’s website.
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Rebecca Richman Cohen, Director/Producer
REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN is an Emmy–nominated documentary filmmaker and, since 2011, a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Her directorial debut, WAR DON DON (HBO), won the Special Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival. Salon called her second feature, CODE OF THE WEST (America ReFramed), “one of the best movies about America’s drug war.” In 2016 she produced UNTOUCHABLE, which won the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Rebecca was profiled in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces in Independent Film as an “up–and–comer poised to shape the next generation of independent film.” She is the founder and principal at Racing Horse Productions.
Lori Cheatle, Producer
LORI CHEATLE is the founder of Hard Working Movies, an independent production company in Brooklyn, NY that produces films, documentaries and TV, with a focus on work that is bold, creative and entertaining. Working with a range of talented directors, Lori has produced over 20 award-winning films that have screened at all the top international film festivals, in theaters and on TV around the world.
Graham Boyd, Executive Producer
GRAHAM BOYD is an attorney, consultant and scholar, specializing in political efforts to reform drug laws and reduce mass incarceration. He has recently served as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Washington, DC think tank Third Way and at Stanford Law School. Graham advises a group of philanthropists who fund the majority of the cannabis reformefforts currently sweeping across the United States.