Cold Pressed – A crime thriller about adulterated Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
How did the idea come about ?
Last year the mafia’s export of adulterated Extra Virgin Olive Oil grew by 10% to $1.7 Billion !!!
In 2013, when I was living in the heart of downtown San Francisco, I would split buying my groceries between the specialty grocery stores such as Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods; and the stores in Chinatown. I did this because some products cost less in Chinatown than in the major speciality stores. One such item would be Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The price difference for a gallon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil at a store in Chinatown and Safeway can be as much as $7.
Eventually these extreme differences in price piqued my curiosity. I did some research online and discovered this whole seedy industry of adulterated Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has been noted that almost 70% of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil that are being sold in all grocery stores across the country have been diluted with Soy Bean Oil, Sunflower Oil, Corn Oil and Vegetable Oil !
Background on Adulterated Olive Oil Industry
- In 2015, the Italian government has accused 7 major Olive Oil producers of fraud. Carapelli, Santa Sabina, Bertolli, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna (a private label for the retail chain Lidl) and Antica Badia (a private label for the retail chain Eurospin)
- Olive is a fruit. Like all fruits, there might be a poor harvest season. If that happens, olive oil is frequently mixed with lower quality oil from Greece, Tunisia, Morocco or Spain and sold as 100% Italian oil.
- The Carabinieri, the Italian state police, nabbed some 7,000 tons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in November 2015. Most of it was headed to the North American markets.
- The profit from selling adulterated Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be higher than that made from drugs. A gallon of true extra virgin olive oil costs about $50 to make. The knockoff can be made for about $7.
Why not documentaries ?
I have the utmost respect for documentaries. However given a choice, I would rather watch a crime movie. And everyone loves crime movies.
So why not incorporate this important information about the fraudulent elements of the Olive Oil industry into a crime story. I would not be stretching the truth in any shape or form.
To paraphrase one of my inspirations, Steven Soderbergh, ” Movies should be like a Trojan horse. Take a social issue and hide a thriller inside of it.”
Where am I in the process of the film ?
Cold Pressed completed principle photography on December 2015. It achieved picture locked (completion of editing) on the 31st of March 2016.
This crowdfunding campaign is looking to raise funds for the rest of the Post Production Stage to give the film the professional and cinematic quality it deserves.
The Post Production includes :
- Sound Design
- Music Composition
- Sound Mix
- Color Grading
- Final Delivery to DCP/DVD
- Chilling out at home on a Saturday night means, watching a crime movie.
- You look out to learn new information whilst being entertained.
- “Supersize me” made you stop eating fast food.
- “Blood Diamond”, “Side Effects”, “The Conversation” are some of your favorite movies.