Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire, a division of Brent Montgomery‘s Wheelhouse Entertainment, has teamed with filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and her banner Atlas Films for the investigative feature-length documentary Poisoned.
The film is to chart the evolution and history of America’s food supply system and the enduring political debate over proper food and safety regulations. Throughout the U.S., foodborne illness serves as the eighth leading cause of death, with an estimated 48 million Americans suffering a foodborne illness, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Poisoned will follow the distribution trail from soup to nuts, examining where the process breaks down, as well as the “bureaucratic red tape and collusion among lobbyists and lawmakers” as they work to address food safety.
In addition, the project will recount untold stories from victims of foodborne illnesses and notorious outbreaks, and spotlight high-profile criminal prosecutions for those responsible.
The film is based on award-winning author and journalist Jeff Benedict’s best-selling 2013 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat.
Kristin Lazure will produce the film for Atlas Films (Fed Up; The Devil We Know) alongside Soechtig (pictured right), who also helms the director’s chair. Dinerstein (left) produces for Campfire (Jiro Dreams of Sushi; HBO Max’s Heaven’s Gate).
Poisoned is executive produced by Benedict (HBO’s Tiger) alongside Campfire’s Ross Girard and Rebecca Evans.
“Poisoned began with my interest in writing about the Jack in the Box E. coli infections in 1993 that sickened over 750 children, four of whom died,” said Benedict in a statement. “But once I entered that world, it became clear the story was much bigger than one outbreak. It’s the same broken system behind each of these horrific events, and while we’ve become more vigilant about what we eat, the issues plaguing the industry rage on.”
“The food industry is so incredibly vast, flawed and full of deceit, yet crucial to the well-being of our society,” added Soechtig. “For a filmmaker, there aren’t many topics as universal, timeless and critical, and yet there are still so many stones left unturned. Poisoned will dive into a whole new realm of baffling statistics, harmful presumptions, criminal acts and coverups. There’s a lot to feed audiences.”