Crackdown! is a short, creative video that takes a satirical look at what it means to raise chickens in your backyard – and become a criminal for doing so.
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IF YOU MISSED THE DEADLINE, BUT STILL WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, WE HAVE A PAYPAL BUTTON ON OUR WEBSITE: www.crackdown.ca
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*** MEDIA COVERAGE
Over the last week or so we got a lot of coverage in the media, check out these few links:
Toronto Gardens - Be chicken: Support Crackdown! (August 31, 2012)
NOW Magazine – The Yolk is on us! (August 30, 2012)
*** UPDATE 30/08/2012 - Fundraising Party on Wed, Sep 5th @ The Depanneur
One more week to go! And we've just added (or re-added) the $1000 perk. If you want to treat some of your friends to a delicious dinner, but don't want to spent hours in the kitchen, then let us treat you to a gourmet meal prepared at your house!
And if you have been following the court case around Paul Hughes and his "Canadian Right to Food" trial, you might be wondering when the verdict is supposed to come out, right? I spoke to Paul last week and he will receive the final decision from the judge next Wednesday, September 5th.
If you are in Calgary join the members of C.L.U.C.K. (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub) and come to the Calgary court house at 1PM to picket! If you are in Toronto then come to The Depanneur at 7PM and join us for a last push for raising funds for Crackdown! and hopefully a celebration of good news from Calgary!
We will have someone capturing the events in Calgary and will have a short video update ready for that night, so don't miss it! There will also be locally sourced appetizers, drinks and an amazing raffle! You can win various gift certificates, or event one invite to the "Secret Illegal Dinner Party".
Come early for a free drink ;)
7PM - 10PM
1033a College St., Toronto, Ontario m6h 1a8
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Busting the Myths about Chickens
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// WHY I AM MAKING THE FILM //
It all started three years ago when I met a couple of college students who had started growing some food in their backyard in downtown Toronto. They grew tomatoes and pickles, and then they started making their own cheese, smoking their own meat and even brewing their own beer – and they also had three chickens. After they prepared a delicious meal with only ingredients from their backyard I was sold on the benefits of urban farming. Everyone should start growing their own food, I thought! It is much healthier, fresher and, most importantly, you really know what goes into your food!
A couple of months later, they told me they had received a warning from the City of Toronto and as a result they had to give their chickens away, because in Toronto it is illegal to keep farm animals.
The keeping of backyard chickens for eggs is, and always has been, a great way to produce quality food. In recent times, many cities across North America have re-examined their bylaws, and after conducting a number of studies, have legalized backyard hens. These cities include Cleveland, OH; Burnsville, MN; Missoula, MT; South Portland, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; and Ft. Collins, CO. It is also interesting to note that many very large urban cities have always permitted backyard hens, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Minneapolis.
Canada lags behind other countries. In the U.S., it is legal to keep backyard chickens in 86 cities. In Canada, it is only permitted in five cities. Next door to the GTA, Brampton and Niagara Falls permit backyard chickens, and seem to do so without issue. In fact, Niagara Falls had a major drop in complaints once their bylaw was amended to allow backyard chickens in 2002.
The City of Toronto is a leader in environmental initiatives, including the support of local food. As Canada’s largest city, Toronto should be the national leader in terms of urban farming and urban chickens, and set standards for the rest of the country.
There are lots of reasons why urban hen keeping should be legal:
Local, natural, delicious food.
Reduced municipal waste - chickens eat table scraps destined for the green bin. Plus, no need for disposal of one-way egg cartons.
Free fertilizer – Waste from chickens is high in nitrogen, eliminating the need for petrochemical fertilizers along with the ecological costs involved in their processing, packaging and shipping.
Reduced ecological footprint on many levels. Ecological costs associated with commercial farming, packaging, transportation, and farm-scale manure disposal.
Pest control - chickens eat backyard bugs and mice.
Educational - teaches children where food comes from and teaches responsible pet ownership values.
Great pets – chickens are people-friendly, entertaining and gentle.
More info on chicken keeping in Toronto: http://www.torontochickens.com/
// THE FILM //
Fast forward to today. In the wake of the 100-mile diet and the public’s increasing desire for local and organic food, I am in the middle of filming Crackdown!. This short film tells the story of urban chicken keepers, a smart, savvy and rapidly-growing band of mavericks who just want access to fresh eggs at home for their families … “Pets with benefits,” if you will.
An innovative hybrid of documentary and mockumentary, slated for release in 2013, Crackdown! is a short, creative video project that aims to introduce viewers to some of Toronto’s renegade urban keepers, and the fowl that they love. Crackdown! takes a satirical look at what it means to raise chickens in your backyard – and become a criminal for doing so. It also tells the fictional story of Matthew and Dale – two bylaw enforcement officers who will stop at nothing to rid their city of the supposed chicken menace.
// WHAT WE NEED & WHAT YOU'LL GET //
With the announcement of the verdict being scheduled for late September, it gives us a very tight deadline to finish the film. With the help of many passionate and talented people we have been filming with many chicken keepers, City of Toronto councillors, food organizations, and chicken experts, but we still have a few interviews on the list and need your help to finance our post-production so the film can reach it's full potential in time for the event on October 2.
What your donation will pay for:
hiring an editor
doing sound design and sound mix
creating a unique music score for the film
high quality master output for festival screenings
legal fees and consultants
NOW WE NEED YOU HELP!
We have gathered all our resources to provide very exclusive perks for you! Here are some of the highlights:
Backyard Egg Recipes - $25
We will send you a pdf with a recipe for making Chocolate Cherry Gluten Free Cookies and a Basil Summer Quiche (gluten free), provided by The Living Kitchen. Healthy, tasty and works best with backyard eggs (but also works with regular ones).
Chicken Photo Session - $500
You will be PHOTOGRAPHED TOGETHER WITH A BACKYARD HEN by a professional photographer and get a 4x6 inches print for your fridge or your wall. Donated by Kevin Hewitt Photography.
ALREADY TAKEN: Private Gourmet Dinner - $1000
Gourmet dinner prepared AT YOUR HOUSE for you and 4 friends by Jacob Wharton-Shukster from “Le Chantecler” Restaurant. Desserts provided by Cookie Martinez. Vegetarian options available. Additional guests welcome at additional cost for the food.
Supported by an extensive social media campaign and a Toronto theatrical release, endorsed by influential food advocacy group Food Forward and former Toronto mayor David Miller, and tapping into a huge and well-organized community of families, food advocates, restaurateurs, and growers across Canada who are dedicated to buying or growing local, Crackdown! will become the video sensation that everyone who cares about local food is talking – and laughing – about.
Won’t you get cracking and join us?
// WHAT OTHERS SAY //
“We have supported and advocated for urban chickens as a part of our local food system. As Torontonians work to re-own their food system, keeping chickens in backyards is a way to bring food production to a more ethical and sustainable foundation.” ~ Darcy Higgins, Food Forward
“Local, urban food is a huge issue, with huge potential for fresh low cost healthy food to be grown in cities. But what does Toronto have against chickens? Crackdown! takes a satirical look at this issue – they have a great team with a terrific track record. I fully support this project.” ~ David Miller, former mayor of Toronto
// WHO WE ARE //
Crackdown! Is brought to you by Red Gecko Productionsand comedy team Plum Thunder, the creative minds behind viral video sensation Girls Without Boys(which received an astounding 40,000 YouTube hits in just a few days in February 2012 and was featured on reddit.com, BlogTO, Canada.com, The Onion’s AV Club, and CityTV).
// OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP //
We know that not everyone can contribute financially, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:
Spread the Word! FACEBOOK. TWITTER. Handwritten letter. Morse code. Megaphone. TELL ANYONE! TELL EVERYONE! And we thank you.
And lastly: PLEASE click here and sign the petition to legalize chickens in Toronto.
If you have questions for us about the campaign or want to specify which perk you want, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, the Crackdown! crew.