Screening of the documentary by Jean-Baptiste Malet and Xavier Deleu | Finalist Long Reportage. Q&A with the authors. (+)
“The Empire of Red Gold” by Jean-Baptiste Malet, Xavier Deleu | Production: Little Big Story, PVP Group (France, Canada 2017), 54'
The world’s most consumed fruit has an untold story. The industrialization of the humble tomato preceded the globalized economy that was to follow. It is now as much of a commodity as wheat, rice, or petrol. The tomato’s ability to create strongly identifiable products, such as ketchup, pizza sauce, soups, sauces, drinks or frozen dishes is unbeatable. As early as 1897, Heinz was already converting tomatoes into standardized cans of puree. They were one of the first companies to understand the power of branding. They banned unions, imposed uniform standards of production and established genetic laboratories that ensured identical tomato plantations all around the world. This film will trace the journey of tomato paste from Africa, Italy, China and America to show the consequences of this global business.
Jean-Baptiste Malet is a reporter and investigative journalist for Le Monde diplomatique. He is author of Brown Hands on the Town (2012), a film by Bernard Richard, and three books: Behind the Front Lines. Immersion and Reporting from Far-Right Lands (2011); In the Amazon. Infiltrator of the ‘Brave New World’ (2013, translated in Spain, Italy and Portugal); and the book which inspired the short-listed documentary, The Empire of Red Gold: Global Investigation of Industrial Tomatoes (2017, upcoming translations in Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau). Xavier Deleu is a journalist and filmmaker. He has directed almost fifty documentaries for France Télévisions, Canal Plus, RTS, ARTE, and Radio Canada. His films on ETA (Antiterrorisme: au cœur d’une police très secrète) and 9/11 (Les Héros Sacrifiés du 11-Septembre) were awarded, respectively, at the Festival du Scoop d’Angers 2006 and FIGRA 2009. In 2015, his documentary The Harder They Fall was the best foreign film at the Sport Film Festival in Palermo.