Small Green Fields

30 Mar 2013


After many months of working to finish Small Green Fields, at last we have wrapped the production.  I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out and feel so lucky to have had the fortune to work with such incredibly talented and passionate individuals both in front of and behind the camera.

I have been sharing periodic updates on the project, but if you are new to this blog, I will explain. After one-too-many conversations concerning the misconceptions and quality of Irish food, I decided to combine my production experience with my food and farming enthusiasm to create a little film on the matter. Last summer, Richard and I invited a small crew from the USA to come over and travel with me cross-country to meet and interview a handful of inspiring Irish food personalities.

On the production path we ventured to the Inishfood Festival in Donegal and mingled with a group of Irish food enthusiasts, bloggers, editors and chefs while foraging on the beach, fishing on Lough Swilly, and breaking bread over an evening feast arranged by Inishfood host, Donal Doherty of Harry’s Restaurant. We visited fifth generation craft butcher, Pat Whelan, and his herd of Irish Waygu cattle to discuss his artisanal approach to beef in Tipperary. We got up-close-and-personal with Mag and Ger Kirwan’s gorgeous Goatsbridge trout in Kilkenny. We sipped Black Rock Stout and chatted with the brewer behind Waterford’s Dungarvan Brewing Company. We enjoyed a magical picnic of lamb stew and sheep’s milk ice cream at Suzanna Crampton’s Zwartbles sheep farm in Bennetsbridge. Donal Skehan shared a tart and a tour of his favourite Howth fishmonger with us. On the last day of filming, we celebrated with Kevin and Seamus Sheridan and loads of other remarkable artisans at the Sheridan’s Food Festival in County Meath. The sun was shining and it was absolutely glorious. Again, thanks a million to all who contributed their time and thoughts on defining Irish food for Small Green Fields.


{From left to right: Kevin + Seamus Sheridan, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers; Food Writer and TV personality, Donal Skehan; John + Sally McKenna, McKenna’s Guides; Suzanna Crampton, Zwartbles Sheep Farmer; Mag + Ger Kirwan, Goatsbridge Trout Farm; Food Writer + Editor, Aoife Carrigy; 5th Generation Butcher, Pat Whelan; Blogger + Editor, Kristin Jensen; Kevin + Donal Doherty and Ray Moran of Harry’s Restaurant and Inishfood Festival, Cormac O’Dwyer + Claire Dalton of Dungarvan Brewing Company, Karl Purdy, Coffee Angel; Food Writer & Blogger, Caroline Hennessy}

We ended up with about fourteen hours of footage and began the editing process. It was nearly impossible, but I narrowed Mike’s stunning footage down to single-digit hours of selected scenes, then handed off to our amazing {magician} editor, Carrie Shanahan at Ditch in Minneapolis. The finished taster/mood piece is about twelve minutes long. The extraordinarily talented {& ahem, single + beautiful!}, Cassie Scroggins, designed the animation, title design and artwork {see poster above} in Chicago. My great friends, David Howell + Todd Syring composed and produced the music score which I love so much I could listen for days. Matt Collings finished the film with such a seamlessly vibrant and magnificent look and Ditch producer, Rick Zessar generously gave Small Green Fields its post-production home. I am indebted to the entire crew, I thank you so much again for all of your liberal and creative contributions!


{From left to right: Michael Hartzel, Cinematographer; Carrie Shanahan, Editor; David Howell, Music Producer; Matt Collings, Colourist + Online Editor, Ditch Edit; Cassie Scroggins, Animation + Design; Meighan McGuire, Producer; Todd Syring, Music Composer + Producer; Rick Zessar, Executive Producer, Ditch Edit}

I like to think of Small Green Fields as a little celebration of tantalizing, innovative, and nostalgic stories of food in Ireland, drawing from then and now.  The twelve-minute piece is only the beginning; I have high hopes to produce a feature length film or even a television series, and at the very least will continue to produce more work in this category via our newly formed Farmhouse Films production company.  In the meantime, we will be spreading the Small Green Fields message of magnificent Irish food far and wide via film festival short category submissions.

You can follow Small Green Fields @farmhousefilms on Twitter or check back here for updates. After we finish the pitching process, I will finally be able to share Small Green Fields with you all!

Back with a lovely new recipe next week. Why is it lovely? Because it involves CAKE……

Slan Abhaile,





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28 Responses to “Small Green Fields”

  1. […] would like to thank everyone who worked on this special little film, both behind and in front the camera, who came together to […]

  2. […] film, Small Green Fields, has been selected to screen at the Food Film Festival in Chicago in November! We are so thrilled […]

  3. Tim Magnuson says:

    Just watched the snippet on the Guinness site. Was ready for more, right away! This needs to be viewed! Great story, and excellently shot! More,

  4. Looking forward to seeing more of Small Green Fields, Imen. You’ve done an amazing job in pulling it all together!

  5. Congrats, Imen, that’s so exciting – can’t wait to see it!

  6. Julia says:

    Not new here, but this is my first comment (I think).

    If I had to give you a word, it would be industrious. That you are. Always onto something, and always, something good. This is a lovely idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing that film!

    I didn’t quite get it, though… will it be a short documentary (15 min) or a full length one (60 min or longer)? Are you going to share the whole thing or just a teaser with us soon? I’m a big fan of documentaries, and yours is going to be up in “to watch next”.

    Best from Montevideo, Uruguay!

  7. Imen: Congratulations!!! I can barely wait to see this film (and many more that you’ll produce). As a professional chef, I am very interested in different cuisines. Where and when will the film be available for purchasing? .

  8. Congratulations, Imen. This film sounds wonderful – something we’ve needed for a long time. I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for taking the time to make it. The artwork looks fantastic and also loving the new header.

  9. An Cailín says:

    Congratulations Imen! I can hardly wait to see it!

  10. Really looking forward to seeing the final production. Will have to keep a watchful eye on @farmhousefilms. I’m passionate about Irish produce and delighted to see certain producers like Sheridan’s Cheese,Pat Whelan and Mags Kirwan included in your film. Well done to you.

  11. Peggy says:

    Oh I can’t wait to see it! I was at Inishfood last year and remember seeing the camera rolling! Lol.
    Best of luck I am sure it will be brilliant!

    • imen says:

      Hi Peggy, thanks for the comment…yes we were rolling quite a bit at Inishfood, such an amazing experience. Look forward to sharing with all very soon x

  12. It’s so exciting 🙂 I cannot wait to see the movie. Even just on the photos I can see so many smiles, the movie will make even more people smile 🙂

  13. Caítríona says:

    It’s almost like waiting for a baby to be born. You must be beyond excited to be in the final stretch. Congratulations & can’t wait to see it.

    • imen says:

      Thank you so much Caítríona, it did feel a little like that…was an inspirational journey in Irish food…also wonderful to work with some of my fantastic former colleagues too.

  14. Kate says:

    I am so very excited to see this film! My husband and I travelled to Ireland last spring and spent the entire time taking in the sites and enjoying Ireland’s farm fresh food. There are meals I still think about! We just might have to take another trip back after seeing this. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

  15. Margaret says:

    Oh wow, congratulations and well done on all your hard work. And tanks for getting the word out there on great Irish food. Our meat, dairy & produce is the best in the world.

  16. I am so excited for you and cannot wait to see the film- cuddos to you for doing this – one of the many questions I was asked before the move – was – “Ireland isn’t known for good food is it” -& and coming from the mouth of the President of a high end resturant I worked at for 20+ yrs- was –
    “the food over there is horrible – why do you want to move there”! I hope to send them all a link to this film – and hope they realize how wrong they are!

    • imen says:

      Thank you so much Elizabeth, I still owe you an email…how are you getting on with the transition?

      • Elizabeth holder says:

        Hi Imen – good days and some not so good – a bit of homesickness is normal I guess just wish it weren’t so cold!

  17. David Smith says:

    Oh I am very anxious to see this. Sounds absolutely delightfully brilliant!

    • imen says:

      Thanks David, will be able to share the link soon and will get it to you =) Look forward to following your adventures xx

  18. kimberly says:

    You, my friend, are a machine! Just when I think you have done it all, you do more. I can’t wait for you to be able to share your film with those of us in love with food- although I fear it is going to be the catalyst that gets me over there~ By the way- LOVE the new header!

    • imen says:

      Not at all Kimberly! You make my work pale in comparison to all that you are doing! Thanks for the nice words though…keeps me going =) xx

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