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Jun 14, 2016 8:34 EST

Yoghurt Utopia: A feature-documentary about a maverick Spanish psychiatrist and his patients who broke out of the asylum and into big business

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 14, 2016

Please help make Yoghurt Utopia a reality!

by Anna Thomson

A feature-documentary about a maverick Spanish psychiatrist and his patients who broke out of the asylum and into big business.

 

About this project

 

 

Every one of its 300 workers – from milking shed to packing plant – will tell you that the La Fageda cooperative makes the finest yoghurt in all Spain, if not, the world. Last year they made 1.4 million yoghurts every week. But La Fageda isn’t in business to make yoghurt. La Fageda’s sole mission has always been to provide fully-paid and flexible employment to any Catalan who has experienced a mental health problem who wants a job. 

And one remarkable man made it happen. 

EN ESP:  Cada uno de los 300 trabajadores-desde los ordenadores de la leche hasta los empaquetadores-dice que la cooperativa la Fageda hace los mejores yogures de España o incluso del mundo. El ano pasado produjeron 1.4 millones de yogures semanales, pero la Fageda no es solo una empresa de yogures, la única misión de la Fageda ha sido desde siempre dar empleo flexible a cualquier persona que haya tenido problemas mentales y que quiera un trabajo y esto ha sido posible gracias a un hombre en verdad remarcable.

Back in the 1970’s, an idealistic young doctor, CRISTOBAL COLON (literally Christopher Columbus, in English) began work as a therapist in a large asylum in the town of Salt, near Girona. He was one of just four doctors charged with the care of over 900 people. Treatment alternated between solitary confinement and complete abandonment in a maze of dilapidated buildings. 

Once inside, there was little prospect of getting out. Cristobal concluded that mental illness wasn’t being treated at all; it was being hidden.

So he quit.

EN ESP:  Por allá los anos 70 un médico joven e idealista, Cristóbal Colon, empezó a trabajar como terapeuta en un enorme instituto psiquiátrico en Salt cerca de Girona. Era uno de los 4 médicos del cuidado de mas de 900 enfermos. El tratamiento consistía en alternar aislamiento y el abandono en un laberinto de edificios ruinosos. Encerrados, escondidos y sedados, Cristóbal Colon llego a la conclusión de que la enfermedad mental no era tratada en absoluto, era puramente escondida. Se dio cuenta de que la sociedad se lavaba las manos del problema negando así al enfermo la esperanza de la remisión. Todo el mundo sabia que si se entraba en Salt ya no había forma de salir y por lo tanto nadie salía.

Remarkably, Colon persuaded the local health board to release 15 people from the asylum into his own care. Cristobal had a theory that Work could be the key to winning back society’s respect and restoring his patients’ sense of dignity and purpose.  But it had to be meaningful work that society would value – proper jobs for decent pay in a bona fide business. 

So the young doctor turned entrepreneur – and found he had a talent for it. Land was found and converted into a farm. Cows were bought and eventually a yoghurt factory was built.

EN ESP:  Lo que era verdaderamente remarcable fue que Colon consiguiera permiso, por parte de sanidad, para llevarse a 15 enfermos bajo su tutela. Tenia un plan. El trabajo era la clave para devolver la dignidad y el respeto de las personas que habían sido abusados y olvidados, pero tenia que ser un trabajo con sentido, trabajo que la sociedad valorase, empleo real con sueldos decentes, nada de tejer posavasos de rafia o por el estilo.

Así es que el joven medico se volvió empresario y vio que le iba y encontró terreno y creo una granja, compro vacas y empezó la producción de yogures.

35 years on from Salt asylum, La Fageda is one of Catalunya’s best-loved and most successful brands. Its fine yoghurts, jams and desserts are outsold in the region only by corporate behemoths Nestle and Danone. But Colon has never been in any doubt that the business of La Fageda is not to make yoghurt, but to make its workers happy.  

But now, La Fageda’s future looks uncertain. Rumours have spread in the press that Cristobal wants to retire. And the rumours turn out to be true. Many of the workers have spent most of their adult lives at La Fageda and the prospect of losing their charismatic father-figure has hit them hard.

How can La Fageda go on without the talismanic and entrepreneurial doctor at its head? Can this Yoghurt Utopia survive and stay true to its founder’s ideals?

Yoghurt Utopia chronicles a tumultuous year for Colon and the La Fageda cooperative, interweaving the unfolding present-day drama with the parallel stories of the highs and lows enjoyed and endured by the workers and the remarkable history of this ground-breaking business.

 

We have filmed 60% of the material and are looking to fund one more filming block and employ an editor to help bring our movie to rough cut. A rough cut is the assembly of the entire film, without the final sound mix, graphics and colour grade. 

We already have commitment from 4 national broadcasters (Spain, Portugal, Morocco & Bulgaria!) and will be approaching more. Yoghurt Utopia has also been selected for development support by the prestigious Sundance Institute, which greatly increases our access to potential theatrical distributors.

But other broadcasters, distributors and commissioners who have expressed interest in acquiring the film, need to see a rough cut before coming on board.

Without raising the finance we simply won’t be able to complete the film.

EN ESP:  Hasta ahora hemos filmado un 60% del material y buscamos apoyo financiero para otra sesión fílmica y para llegar al a primer montaje con un editor. El primer montaje es el montaje de la película, sin el sonido final, ni mezcla de gráficos o graduación de color; sin financiación no podremos llegar al primer montaje. 

 Otra de las razones por la que necesitamos completar Utopía Yogur es que de repente el futuro de la Fageda parece incierto. Durante la filmación este ano apareció un rumor en la prensa de que Cristóbal Colon quería retirarse. Muchos de los empleados pacientes han pasado la mayor parte de su vida adulta en la Fageda y la perspectiva de perder esta figura paternal les ha sido muy dura. Como puede sobrevivir La Fageda sin la carismática figura del doctor empresario en cabeza? Puede continuar la Utopía y seguir fiel a los ideales de su fundador? Utopía Yogur es la crónica de este ano lleno de baches para la cooperativa entrelazando el drama de la inseguridad producidas por los altos y bajos vividos por los trabajadores en sus vidas personales y profesionales.

 

We need your help to finish this film!

We want to bring the story of Cristobal Colon and the workers of the La Fageda cooperative to a worldwide audience. By doing this, Yoghurt Utopia will present an alternative, innovative model for mental health provision and inspire a new generation of business leaders seeking to create more caring, productive organisations.

  • Support us on Kickstarter!

Please pledge something towards the project to help us bring it to completion. Even if your pledge is small, every penny counts.  This is your chance to help us make Yoghurt Utopia.

Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising platform, which means if we do not raise our goal in thirty days, Kickstarter returns all the pledged money to our backers and we will receive NOTHING.

So, please give what you can, spread the word about our campaign & help us reach our target.

 
 
EN ESP: 
QUE HACER AHORA
Os pedimos ayuda. Tenemos que terminar esta película! -Dad a conocer el Proyecto -Divulgar la campana entre familiares y amigos – Seguidnos en Facebook y Twitter.
 
 
Esta es una oportunidad para participar en nuestra campana, para inspirar nuevas ideas sobre liderazgo, organizaciones empáticas y transformar las actitudes hacia la enfermedad mental. Nuestro propósito con esta película es dar a conocer la historia de Cristóbal Colon, los encargados y los trabajadores de la Cooperativa la Fageda dándole una resonancia mundial. Así Utopía Yogur presentara un modelo alternativo para la provisión de la enfermedad mental y para aquellos que quieren crear organizaciones productivas con mas empatía social.
 
 
 
 
 
APOYADNOS EN KICKSTARTER
Os agradeceríamos muchísimo un poco de ayuda económica para poder terminar el Proyecto, Por poco que sea la ayuda cada penique(euro) ayuda. Kickstarter es una plataforma de recaudación de fondos que funciona a base de todo o nada, es decir que si no conseguimos nuestra meta en 30 días, Kickstarter devuelve el dinero a sus subscritores y nosotros nos quedamos sin NADA. Por lo tanto, por favor dad lo que podáis, divulgad nuestra campana y ayudadnos a llegar a la meta.
 
 
 
 

Through development funding from the Sundance Institute and self-financing we have shot most of the film. The money we raise through Kickstarter will cover an editor for 10 weeks to bring the film to rough cut. Our schedule is the following:

July- One last shooting block at La Fageda to tie up all our stories.

August-October We will edit the film to rough cut, show it to broadcasters and continue to raise funds. 

October-January 2017 We will complete the film, adding animation, specially composed music and sound design.

 

EN ESP:  Hemos filmado la casi totalidad de este film a través de una beca de Sundance y algo de dinero propio. El dinero que consigamos de Kickstarter cubrirá el sueldo de un montador durante 10 semanas. 

Julio y Agosto prepararemos la película para Primer Montaje, la mostraremos a televisiones y seguiremos buscando fondos. 

Octobre-Enero  2017 completaremos el film añadiendo animación y música compuesta en especial.

 

For 35 years, the La Fageda cooperative has been a beacon of enlightened mental healthcare provision.

But this story is not just about mental health.

Think-tanks like the Royal Society of Arts and writers such as Frederic Laloux author of “Re-inventing Organizations” suggest that the way we manage organisations is out of date and that the vast majority of workers are disengaged and unfulfilled at work.

In tackling this problem Colon has developed a sustainable, socially responsible yet profitable business – acceptable to the most sensitive workforce imaginable.

“We take care of our people, because human capital is our most significant asset. And the people who work here feel that there is no greed in our organisation. We believe we don’t just make yoghurts here; we are here to help a group of people lead a better life (Colon).”

La Fageda has featured in the Harvard Business Review and become a soulful organisation and a model of alternative treatment for mental illness to be emulated by the many visitors from around the world.

 

EN ESP:  La Fageda es una organización con una actitud abierta y generosa hacia la provisión del tratamiento de la enfermedad mental. Después de 35 anos La Fageda es una de las marcas de mayor éxito y mas queridas en Catalunya. Sus sabrosos yogures, confituras y postres son superados en ventas solo por Nestlé y Danone. Se consideran como un avanzado icono de la provisión para la enfermedad mental. 

Pero esta historia no va solo de la enfermedad mental. Investigaciones “think tanks” como el Royal Society of Arts y Frederic Laloux, autor de “Re-inventing organizations” sugieren que nuestros modelos de organización laboral son obsoletos y que la mayoría de trabajadores no se sienten parte de lo que hacen. Colon ha producido un modelo de capitalismo social y sostenible. -Cuidamos de nuestra gente porque el capital humano es nuestro mayor bien y la gente aquí sienten que no hay codicia en esta organización. 

Creemos que no solo hacemos yogures aquí, estamos aquí para ayudar un grupo de personas a que tengan una vida mejor.

La Fageda ha salido en Harvard Business Review como modelo de empresa y un sistema alternativo del tratamiento de enfermos mentales para ser copiada por todo el mundo.

 

For people who are sick or disabled, placement in work improves health and psychosocial status.  Yet although up to 50% of people with schizophrenia are capable of work, only 10-20% are in employment. (Marwaha and Johnson, 2004; Schneider, 1998).

Clearly, the problem of how to treat mental illness persists. But the principles that have underpinned the La Fageda project for over 30 years may provide a solution. As expressed by Colon, these are:

1: Our capabilities may vary, but we are all able to do something – it is about matching the work with the capability of the person.

2: Everyone belongs to the project and has a responsibility towards it.

3: The project’s ultimate aim is to integrate those who’ve experienced a mental health problem back into society.

Currently in Spain, 80% of those who’ve experienced a mental health problem are not working, yet in Garrotxa, where La Fageda is based, everyone who wants to work can have a job at La Fageda.

But mental health problems remain stigmatised and treatment outdated throughout the world.  Yoghurt Utopia’s mission is to show that clinically, socially and economically, the ideas at work in the La Fageda cooperative could be of benefit to us all.

Our film will inspire others, transform attitudes to mental health and provide a prototype for positive change. Through partnership with broadcasters and film distributors we will ensure that Yoghurt Utopia is seen by as wide an audience as possible.

We aim to show Yoghurt Utopia at film festivals, on television, through video on demand and at educational events at The Royal Society of Arts.

 

EN ESP:  Entre el 30 y el 50% de esquizofrénicos son capaces de trabajar pero solo entre un 10 y un 20% tienen trabajo. (Marwaha and Johnson, 2004;Schneider, 1098). 

Para las personas enfermas el trabajo mejora su salud y su estatus psicosocial. Es muy importante dar a conocer la historia de la Fageda ya que no hemos resuelto todavía el problema de como tratar la enfermedad mental. Los talentos de Cristóbal Colon tanto como empresario como psicólogo son importantes. Los principios del Proyecto de la Fageda durante los últimos 30 anos no han cambiado. Como dice Colon estos son:

1.Nuestras capacidades varían pero todos somos capaces de hacer algo, se trata de dar el trabajo que corresponda a cada persona.

2.Cada uno es parte del Proyecto y tiene una responsabilidad para con este.

3.El objetivo final es reintegrar a aquellos discapacitados a la sociedad. 

En este momento el 80% de personas que han sufrido un trastorno mental en España no trabajan en cambio en la Garrotxa, donde esta situada la Fageda cualquiera que quiera tiene un empleo con Colon. 

 Este problema no es único de España. La enfermedad mental sigue estigmatizada y su tratamiento anticuado en todo el mundo.

La misión tras Utopía Yogures mostrar al mundo que clínicamente, social y económicamente las ideas en función de la cooperativa de la Fageda son beneficiosas para todos.

 Anna Thomson, Director, Producer & Sound recordist. Anna is a director of docs and drama-docs, who has worked for the BBC, Sky Arts and Channel 4 on productions as varied as the award winning “Days that Shook the World” “Al Murray’s German Adventure”, “Objects of Desire”, “Fatal Attractions’ and the Channel Four series “World War 2: The Last Heroes”. Crucially for this project she is a fluent Catalan speaker. http://annathomson.dunked.com

David Baksh, Director & Cinematographer. David’s directing career spans broadcast TV, commercials, event visuals and award-winning digital ad campaigns – making him a true multi-platform specialist. He’s just as at home shooting commercials and documentaries as he is creating immersive experiences for the web. http://www.annexfilms.co.uk/directors/66/david-baksh/

Isona Passola i Vidal, Executive Producer.  Isona is a multi-award winning film producer, screenwriter and director from Barcelona. She is the current president of the Catalan Academy of Cinema and runs production company, Massa D’or. www.massador.com 

Adrian Pennink, Executive Producer. Adrian has produced and directed more than 30 television documentaries and documentary series for British broadcasters and as co-productions with PBS, Discovery and NHK. His films have received prizes from among others, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Best Documentary Emmy for The Ascent of Money), the NCIFF Best Documentary Award (for the feature documentary Kissinger), the Royal Television Society, the Houston International Film Festival, the NYC International Film Festival and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Adrian is a director of the production company Chimerica Media. http://www.chimericamedia.com

Natalia Asheshov, Producer, UK.  Natalia is a producer of Arts and History docs, who has worked for Sky Arts, BBC, Channel 4 and including the series “Art of the Portrait,” “Objects of Desire”, “Who Do You Think You Are?’ and “Private Life of the Masterpiece.”

Alba Forn, Producer, Spain. Alba is a producer of feature documentaries and feature films. She is known for “Black Bread” the Spanish nomination for the 2012 Academy Awards, L’Endema a feature documentary exploring Catalan independence and Augusti Villaronga’s award winning The Sea.

Matthew Chojnacki, Associate Producer, is an award-winning film producer and author living in Cleveland, Ohio. Chojnacki is on the production teams for six films to be released in 2016/2017, including the poster art documentary Twenty-Four by Thirty Six and the the political music documentary Beyond Barricades. His art books include the Alternative Movie Posters series, and he previously served for 18 years as Vice-President of Finance for Hugo Boss USA and Canada.

Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, MD Scientific & Clinical Advisor.  Harold has over thirty years of service as a distinguished patient care-focused clinician, a senior clinical faculty at Harvard Medical School, and as a court qualified testifying clinical and forensic neuropsychiatric expert. His many distinctions include being recognized as a practicing “doctor’s doctor”,appointed as the representative of Harvard Medical School to the Harvard University Alumni Board and receiving the Harvard Medical School Excellence in Mentoring Award. 
www.linkedin.com/in/bursztajn
www.forensic-psych.com

Joana Teixidor, Animator.  Joana has over 10 years experience creating projects all over the world in stop motion, 2d and 3d graphics. She works across genres creating animation for documentary, commercials, museums and interactive videos.

Raül Fernandez, Composer.  Raul ‘ReFree’ Fernandez is an acclaimed composer, producer and arranger based in Barcelona Spain. From Mediterranean music to orchestral pop, free Jazz and rock, Raul is one of Spain’s foremost musical talents. He has collaborated with Kiko Veneno, La Mala Rodríguez, Christina Rosenvingue, Els Pets, Silvia Pérez Cruz, El Niño de Elche, Rocío Márquez and Lee Ranaldo and composed dozens of soundtracks for television. Links www.facebook.com/raul.fernandez  www.raulfernandezmiro.bandcamp.com  www.refree.bandcamp.com

 

 

Yoghurt Utopia is proud to be featured on RSA Kickstarter, which selects the best new Fellowship campaigns driving innovation and positive social impact today. Discover more about the RSA and joining the Fellowship here: www.thersa.org

And HUGE thanks to ROOF music for allowing us to use the wondrous music of MOONDOGour trailer.

 

EARLY PRESS

 

Risks and challenges

Making a documentary on a shoestring is a challenge but we have benefitted from the fact that both David and I can shoot, record sound and edit so additional crew costs have been minimal. La Fageda is right by Anna’s family home in Spain (she’s half Catalan) so that’s we stay and borrow the family car when shooting. Put simply, we run a tight ship and can continue to shoot the documentary at a relatively low cost.

We have spent over a year with the workers of La Fageda, making friends and developing a strong bond of trust. We have learnt that moods are changeable and that it is essential to work at the pace of our cast and if they are not in the right frame of mind to go and shoot something else.

Our biggest challenge now is raising the funds to bring the film to rough cut.

Kickstarter is all or nothing so, if we don’t hit our £15,000 target by the deadline, your card won’t be charged and we won’t receive any money pledged. If we don’t meet our deadline, we will simply not be able to finish the film – which would be a shame because we already have huge interest from distributors and broadcasters, all dying to see our first cut of the movie.

Contact Information:

Anna Thomson

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