Story & Trailer

The film, titled Setting the Bar: A Craft Chocolate Origin Story, tells the story of chocolate from bean in the Amazon to bar in high-end cafes and stores. The film follows a group of craft-chocolate makers as they venture into the Peruvian jungle to strengthen direct relationships with farmer communities and identify new kinds of cacao to bring to market. It explores the economic realities of farmers and artisans, and captures the passion and sense of adventure of this inspiring group of people. 

This project explores the intersection of food culture and sustainability. Consumers are increasingly attuned to food sourcing and production methods, and are more willing to pay a premium for sustainable and artisanal products. But does this create a better economic outcome for everyone involved? Will this help to support more environmentally sustainable agriculture practices? How can farmer livelihoods be improved? Our goal was to make a visually beautiful film that educates viewers on a popular food while at the same time exploring these questions.

Over the span of two years, we travelled to the Peruvian Amazon with a group of craft chocolate makers to search for cacao breeds that have never been cultivated for chocolate production. We took small planes over old growth rainforest, and navigated tributaries by boat to access remote areas of the jungle. Along the way, we met communities whose livelihoods are supported by cacao.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 1.54.09 PM.png

The footage we captured is beautiful and touching; we caught the passion of the chocolate makers, recorded the farmer’s personal stories, and investigated the impacts of deforestation in the Amazon.