This week, we look forward to the Food, Inc. broadcast and potluck parties, get sneak peeks at upcoming POV films, and catch up on some updates from past POV filmmakers.

Image from Food, Inc.

On April 21, POV will air Robert Kenner‘s Oscar-nominated Food, Inc. The issues covered in the film have been all over the news lately. The New York Times points out that despite growing consumer demand for locally raised meat, and a growing number of farmers happy to comply, there are too few slaughterhouses to handle the demand. And Naked Chef Jamie Oliver provides another look at the food that Americans eat on his television show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Oliver tries to change the way the people in a West Virginia city eat, but encounters resistance from those who don’t want to change their diets.

POV wants you to join the conversation about food-related issues. In conjunction with the broadcast of Food, Inc., we’re encouraging you to talk to your friends, neighbors and families at potluck screening parties on the night of April 21. We’ve been busy over the past weeks assembling a party toolkit, setting up special Food, Inc. potluck invites, gathering mouthwatering recipes and receiving gifts from sponsors to put in our giveaway baskets. We’ll be holding our own POV office potluck next week, so stay tuned to this blog for pictures from our event! Will you be holding a potluck?

Upcoming POV film In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee by Deann Borshay Liem gets a rave review from The Daily Californian, which calls the film a “compelling tale of misplaced identities.”

Also in the news is Agnès Varda, filmmaker and star of POV’s upcoming The Beaches of Agnès, who spoke to KCRW about her life and her new film. Listen to the podcast at the KCRW site.

Other POV films and filmmakers have also been making news. In the Family by Joanna Rudnick aired on POV in 2008, and in the film, Joanna investigated Myriad Genetics, a company that owns the patents on the BRCA genes and charges $3000 per test to see whether patients have the gene. On March 29, 2010, a New York federal court ruled that patents on genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are invalid. Joanna heralded the decision as a “landmark victory.”

Finally, for April Fool’s Day, POV alum Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, 2008) picked his five favorite fake documentaries for the Focus Features website.

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.