Winner 2008

Independent Lens: King Corn

Mosaic Films, Independent Television Service (ITVS), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

Think of it as “Ian and Curt’s Excellent Agricultural Adventure.” College buddies Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, regular dudes who consume large quantities of junk food and wear their baseball caps backwards, get a wild, post-grad notion that they should grow an acre of corn and observe their harvest as it goes to market and manufacturing. They hook up with an experienced documentary maker, Aaron Woolf, and they find an obliging farmer in Green, Iowa, where both of their great-grandfathers grew up. What follows is a crash course on modern American agronomy and its dietary implications, touching on everything from crop subsidies to animal cruelty to the obesity epidemic. Yet the filmmaker-farmers never lose their original sense of whimsy, nor are they disrespectful of the Iowans so proud of the abundance they produce. For illuminating our life in the processed-food chain with style and humor, Independent Lens: King Corn receives a Peabody Award.


Executive producer: Sally Jo Fifer (ITVS). Producer, Director: Aaron Woolf. Co-producers: Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis. Writers: Aaron Woolf, Curt Ellis, Ian Cheney, Jeffrey K. Miller. Editor: Jeffrey K. Miller. Camera: Sam Cullman, Ian Cheney, Aaron Woolf.