Now, Forager

Now, Forager

Lucien (Jason Cortlund, right) selling blewits (Lepista nuda) to Duncan (Eric Dean Scott) in a scene from NOW, FORAGER, a film by Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin. Picture courtesy Small Drama. All rights reserved.

Now, Forager

Photography Director:
  • Argot Pictures
Production Company:

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Now, Forager (2012)

Opened: 10/03/2012 Limited

World Premiere01/27/2012 - 01/29/20123 days
IFC Center10/03/2012 - 10/09/20127 days
Downtown Indep...10/12/2012 - 10/18/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, Blog

Genre: Drama

Rated: Unrated

A Film About Love and Fungi

Lucien and Regina are foragers - they gather wild mushrooms and sell them to New York restaurants.


Lucien and Regina gather wild mushrooms in the woodlands of New Jersey and sell them to restaurants in New York. Their lifestyle is simple, their income unstable. Regina decides to take a full-time job cooking at a high-end restaurant to improve their financial security and to follow a more fulfilling personal career path. Feeling threatened, Lucien proposes that instead of selling out, they give up their apartment and drive to the more-profitable West Coast as full-time itinerant foragers. As individual desires take them down divergent paths over the course of a year, their marriage comes apart.

Director's Statement

Now, Forager started from a discussion several years ago regarding the nature of the "food movie". As people who are very serious about both cooking and cinema, we found it odd that we didn't really like many of the films within the genre. For our tastes, these films are ridiculously romantic. They rely on broad metaphors and cultural stereotypes. Worst of all, the cooking is often technically inaccurate.

Based on our interests and experiences, we decided to make a narrative film where the food and cooking was real--a film that honored the lessons of our grandparents, but one that could also appeal to the rapidly expanding Slow Food generation. The ability to successfully find food for oneself in the wild awakens an intense primal pleasure. The specific context of collect- ing wild mushrooms offered us some very unique cinematic and dramatic opportunities from which to build a story.

In a grocery store, mushrooms are mundane. But in the woods, the Kingdom of Fungi is incredibly diverse, colorful, and mysterious. The golden morels of early spring inspire culinary reveries, while the ghost-white Amanita species known as The Destroying Angel evokes equal measures of mortal terror. We were pleased to be able to capture these and many more species of mushrooms growing in the wild during our production.

While fungi are a key inspiration and structuring element within the film, the substance of the story is human. Now, Forager is about a relationship--one that is changing because of the individual needs of the participants. It's a story about mature love--about the compromises and conflicts that can only come from years spent living in close quarters.

We shot the film over the course of a year to capture seasonal changes in the natural world that have an impact on the couple's life. We intended for Now, Forager to show food, work, and love in an authentic way, with honesty and passion.

Filmmaker Biographies

Jason Cortlund (Writer/Co-Director/"Lucien")

Jason Cortlund studied film and writing at University of Oregon and earned a Master's in screenwriting at University of Texas. He was 1998 postgraduate fellow at the James Michener Center for Writers. His films (made with collaborator Julia Halperin) have shown at festivals, museums, and arts institutions around the world. Cortlund's work has been honored by Texas Filmmaker's Production Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Filmmakers Showcase, City of Austin Cultural Contracts, Hershey Foundation, Pacific Northwest Writer's Association, Centrum Institute, and Gotham in Progress. He's currently a finalist for a San Francisco Film Society Hearst Screenwriting Grant for his script Lumberjunkies.

Julia Halperin (Producer/Co-Director/Editor)

Julia Halperin received her B.A. summa cum laude from Hunter College and her M.F.A from the University of Texas. Julia's directing credits include Texas Pawn, recipient of a Texas Filmmaker's Production Fund award and a Liberace Foundation grant. Her film SuperDoll received support from City of Austin Cultural Contracts and The Texas Commission on the Arts, and a cinematography award at Cinematexas. Her films (made with collaborator Jason Cortlund) have screened at SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Texas Filmmakers Showcase at the Directors Guild of America, Pacific Film Archive, Chicago Filmmakers, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Aurora Picture Show, and Gotham in Progress. Julia has also worked as an editor for Greta Schiller, Heather Courtney, and Redmond Entwistle.