Hunger relief film debuts at film festival

Local Emmy award-winning filmmaker Jesse Roesler is debuting his hunger relief film “The Starfish Throwers” tomorrow as part of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF).

The film follows three people around the globe making efforts to aid those in hunger. They include Allan Law, a Minneapolis resident who spends his nights in a van delivering sandwiches and other items to the homeless; Narayanan Krishnan, a top-chef in India who defies his high-caste social standing to feed the hungry; and Katie Stagliano, a 15-year-old in South Carolina who began harvesting her own vegetables to feed to members of her community when the local food shelter shut down.

Roesler found subjects for “The Starfish Throwers” by doing research on hunger relief. “I wanted to find people working toward the same goal in different ways and with different backgrounds,” Roesler said.

MSPIFF marks the film’s debut in Minneapolis, although has recently been shown elsewhere. The film’s world premiere was held in Greece a few weeks ago. “It was really cool to see that the message of the film still translated in a different language and culture,” Roesler said about the premiere in Greece.

One of the questions Roesler wanted to answer with “The Starfish Throwers” was how people find the motivation to keep up their work with the knowledge that they alone cannot end world hunger. The title of the film comes from the short story “The Star Thrower,” by Loren Eiseley.

Although Stagliano’s life has become increasingly busy, balancing school, extra-curricular activities, and Katie’s Krops, motivation is not hard to find. “Even though I can’t feed everyone, I know I am feeding thousands of people,” she said. “The impact you are making is important, no matter how small.”

Stagliano, who was 9-years-old when she started Katie’s Krops, and 13 when she was interviewed for the film, will visit Minneapolis to see the film for the first time this Saturday.

“It will be cool to look back and see the progress Katie’s Krops has made since then,” she said. Stagliano’s project spread to about 40 satellite gardens across the country maintained by people carrying out her mission at the time of filming. Now, she says Katie’s Krops has about 75 gardens.

Preceding the film will be a panel on hunger relief, featuring Law, Stagliano, and other locals involved in the cause. The panel will take place at 2 p.m. at the Aster Café.

Alyssa Bluhm is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota. 

If you go:

The Starfish Catchers film debut

Where: St. Anthony Main theater

When: Saturday, April 12, 4 p.m.

Tickets: $12 general admission