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Film about reclaiming Native food systems wins James Beard Award

Documentary made in collaboration with Longmont nonprofit, First Nations Development Institute
"Gather" is a 2020 film made in collaboration with the First Nations Development Institute that won a James Beard Award this month.

A film made in collaboration with a local nonprofit has won a James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award.

Earlier this month, “Gather” won the prestigious award in the category of Documentary/Docuseries Visual Media. The full-length film is the result of a two-year collaboration between the Longmont-based First Nations Development Institute and director Sanjay Rawal.

Michael E. Roberts, president and CEO of First Nations, said the organization is honored to be part of the film and is grateful to the many community partners that made it possible to feature their work.

The film showcases community partners and their efforts to rebuild healthy and sustainable food ways. According to a release, “Gather” explores the importance of Native food systems that were once deliberately destroyed and the “post-apocalyptic” efforts underway to rebuild them.

First Nations works to promote Native food sovereignty, with over $12 million in funds granted to Native communities to invest in food systems.

James Beard Awards highlight exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability and a culture where all can thrive. The award for “Gather” recognizes excellence in a food-related documentary production.

“This award is an achievement not just for First Nations and Sanjay Rawal, but most importantly for our community partners that are strengthening and advancing Native food systems,” Roberts said in a release. “‘Gather’ is a story that everyone needs to see, and winning this award only increases the impact of this film and its message about the resilience of Native communities.”

“Gather” is available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. Learn more at

Amy Golden

About the Author: Amy Golden

I grew up in Colorado Springs and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
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