Neighborhood Food Drive is a unique comedy that sends a message of what you shouldn’t do if your restaurant has a negative image.
Jerzy Rose directs from a screenplay by Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, and Rose. The dark comedy stars Lyra Hill, Bruce Bundy, Ruby McCollister, Marcos Barnes, and Ted Tremper. Jared Larson, Mike Lopez, Halle Butler, Rhoda Griffis, Chris Sullivan, John Parsons, Tommy Heffron, and Johnathan Nieves also star.
Madeline (Hill) and Naomi (Bundy) are business partners. Naomi is upset at a recent review for their restaurant and decides to start a neighborhood food drive at their restaurant in order to promote a positive image. She can’t be blamed for being upset about the reviews. Anyone in the right mind would.
They seek out interns on a college campus and find Bianca (McCollister). They later learn that Bianca’s boyfriend, Steven (Barnes), is already working at their restaurant. Bianca thinks Steven would be a fine candidate for the campaign. They also draw the involvement of David (Tremper), who teaches at the college.
They meet with a food drive organizer, Zachary (Larson), and get rather turned off by what he has to say. What they don’t know is that he’s later going to be choking to death on a bowl of spaghetti. Don’t worry–the talented Jared Larson will return to haunt them throughout the film so his being killed off rather quickly after we meet him doesn’t go to complete waste.
Their first party turns out to be a disaster so they make they organize a second one targeting the college crowd. If the first party wasn’t a mistake, this turns out to be a bigger one when a freak accident lands one of their team in the hospital. Naomi wants to host a fundraiser for the related legal fees and medical bills but Madeline doesn’t want anything to do with it.
Rose is a Chicago-based filmmaker and filmed everything on location in Chicago. At a time when New York, Los Angeles, Georgia, and Vancouver draw a lot of filmmaking interest, it’s really great to see Chicago filmmakers supporting the city.
Neighborhood Food Drive made its debut at the Slamdance Film Festival in January. The film has made stops at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival. Most recently, the film played at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood and Chicago as a presentation of the 2017 Slamdance Cinema Club.