THE KIDS MENU is a feature documentary from the team that brought you “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.” As filmmaker Joe Cross spent time traveling the world with his previous two films, he met thousands of people and one issue that came up again and again was what to do about the growing childhood obesity problem. In THE KIDS MENU, Joe meets with experts, parents, teachers and kids, coming to the realization that childhood obesity isn’t the real issue, but rather a symptom of a bigger problem. The lack of knowledge of what healthy foods are. Lack of access to healthy and affordable options. And the influence of negative role models, whether a parent, teacher or even a celebrity.
All of this together seems to be a lot to overcome, but when empowered, kids often make the surprising choice of the healthier path.
In this inspiring and hopeful documentary, we see amazing programs in action, inspiring individuals paving the way for change, but most of all — Kids, taking the lead in getting healthier options on their own menu.
JOE CROSS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Joe began his business career as a trader on the Sydney Futures Exchange where he worked from the early 1980s until 1998. He subsequently managed a diverse portfolio of assets in telecommunications, media, technology and financial services for Queensland Press Ltd., and in 2003 began investing his own capital through his investment vehicle Jaymsea Investments Pty Ltd. Despite his commercial success, Joe found himself at age 40 overweight and in ill health, and elected to take matters into his own hands. After consultation with noted US doctor Joel Fuhrman, Joe embarked on a 60 day journey of transformation across the US, consuming nothing but the juice of fresh vegetables and fruits. That journey – filled with personal milestones for Joe, and eye-opening experiences with average Americans– was captured on film, and has become the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Seen by more than 20 million people around the world, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead has inspired millions of people to follow Joe’s example and reclaim their own health and vitality by adopting plant-based eating habits.
Joe lives in New York and Sydney.
KURT ENGFEHR DIRECTOR
Kurt Engfehr grew up next to an EPA Superfund waste site in a working class suburb of Detroit. After living and failing all over the country, he settled in New York City where he worked for various tv networks such as MSNBC and HBO before becoming senior editor on Michael Moore’s Emmy nominated show, THE AWFUL TRUTH. Kurt then segued from tv to film by working on, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, for which he won the American Cinema Editors award for best documentary editing. The trophy is proudly displayed on the mantle above the fireplace, right next to the last award he won, a 3rd place Thanksgiving Day bowling tournament trophy from 1987. Kurt then followed that up by co-producing and editing numerous films such as the Cannes Palme d’Or winning and box-office smash, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER*, SEAMLESS, TRUMBO, A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED, JUST DO IT, REJECT, WRENCHED, RED ARMY and NO MANIFESTO.
Kurt also co-directed, THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, which won the audience award at Berlin and aired on HBO and, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD, a humorous doc about weight loss and self-realization that was released theatrically in 2011 and has become an online sensation, being seen by over 20 million people.
He is now Creative Director for Reboot Media and has recently finished writing and directing FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD 2 and THE KIDS MENU.
JAMIN MENDELSOHN PRODUCER
Jamin Mendelsohn has worked in documentaries for the past 11 years including 7 years at Reboot With Joe where she produced FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD 2 and most recently THE KIDS MENU.
Jamin has worked on several other feature documentaries including FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD, BROTHERS HYPNOTIC, (SXSW, HotDocs) WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? (Sundance) and WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? (SXSW); she has produced several web series and dabbled in non-fiction television as well. Prior to her career in production, Jamin worked as an account executive at communications agency MWW Group.
Jamin holds a M.S.J. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.