By turns both poignant and heartwarming, The Starfish Throwers explores how three of the world’s most fiercely compassionate individuals fight hunger and struggle to restore hope to the hopeless in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways. Half a world apart, a five-star chef, a retired school teacher and a sixth-grade master gardener fight for a seemingly lost cause—until they discover their impact may reach further than their actions.
Follow Narayanan Krishnan as he sharpens skills acquired as a top chef to cook and hand deliver fresh meals to hundreds of people, 365 days a year—all while bringing social shame onto his high-caste-born family. Will he be able to overcome this stigma and realize his decade-long vision of building a rehabilitation campus for those he serves?
Discover how 50 vegetable gardens can be traced to the seed of a single cabbage planted by nine-year-old Katie Stagliano. Will the voices of critics dissuade her from continuing her work as she enters her teen years?
Join the midnight rounds with retired middle school teacher Mr. Law as he hand delivers more than a thousand sandwiches nightly. Find out why he hasn’t slept in a bed in thirteen years, and if his blatant disregard for his own health and safety will ultimately put him in harm’s way.
In each of their unique journeys, these unforgettable individuals meet unexpected challenges and must find a way to persevere, despite being constantly reminded that hunger is far too big for one person to solve.
I began this documentary three and a half years ago when I first heard about a retired teacher who drove around Minneapolis 365 nights a year, giving sandwiches to homeless people out of a van with the words “Love One Another” and his cell phone number stenciled on the door.
Once I began filming with Allan Law, I became instantly amazed and humbled by his dedication to a cause many say is lost. Why was he giving everything to a battle he could never win?
I began to look for other individuals who were fighting that same fight. This search ultimately brought me to Narayanan Krishnan in India and young Katie Stagliano in South Carolina. The intimate access they granted allowed me to witness their intense struggles and beautiful triumphs these last three years.
The experience has been both humbling and unforgettable. Seeing them reject cynicism and transcend mass apathy with every act of kindness they committed reminded me of the lost idealism of youth. While many of us have put aside some of those innocent dreams of changing the world and making a difference, I believe that sharing these stories will help us all to rediscover our own potential to affect positive change.
Jesse Roesler, Director + Producer + Cinematographer
Jesse is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened internationally in venues such as South By Southwest Film Festival and on Current TV. Jesse’s approach to filmmaking is best described as Cinematic Authenticity. By fusing narrative cinematic technique with the authenticity found in documentary style filmmaking, his work blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction by capturing the truth in a conceptually thoughtful manner. All of Jesse’s creations can be viewed here and his client work with Bolster here.
Bill Kersey, Editor + Co-Executive Producer
A resident of St. Paul, Bill Kersey holds a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona. He has edited several documentary features, including the award-winning Thicker Than Water and Rita of the Sky, and also worked as editor on the Independent Lens documentary Precious Knowledge. He has been an Editing Fellow at the NALIP Latino Producers Academy and a selected participant in the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium, and his award-winning short films have screened at dozens of festivals nationally and internationally.
Melody Gilbert, Producer
Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced non-judgmental, character-driven stories for film and television for more than 20 years. The Documentary Channel calls her “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema.” She has made five independent feature-length documentaries in the past seven years: Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story (2008), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007), A Life Without Pain (2005), Whole (2003) and Married at the Mall (2002). All of her films have screened at major film festivals, in theaters and on television worldwide, including the Sundance Channel and on dozens of television networks internationally such as TF5 (France), YLE (Finland), RTL (Germany) and more.
Melody is currently teaching documentary filmmaking and multimedia journalism at the American University in Bulgaria and still in production on her own films as well as producing The Starfish Throwers.
Dan Satorius, Executive Producer
Dan Satorius is a producer and lawyer. His firm is Satorius Law Firm, PC. He has represented clients in independent film and TV for over 25 years. His clients include Academy Award, Emmy Award, Independent Spirit, and Sundance award winners. He frequently writes and speaks about entertainment law, was an adjunct professor of law, and is the Motion Picture and Television Vice-Chair of the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment Industry. Dan is on the Super Lawyers® list in the area of Intellectual Property/Entertainment. He is rated by American Lawyer as a ‘Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property’ in 2013 and received the AV Preeminent® peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Dan has a Masters of Arts in Film and is a producer of award-winning films. In 2011 he released TWELVE THIRTY, a feature film he produced and Jeff Lipsky wrote and directed. He is currently in development with a fictional feature and several documentary features.
Victor Rukavina, Additional Cinematography + Sound Mixing
Hailing from the Iron Range of northern Minnesota, Victor Rukavina moved to Minneapolis to attend school, where he received a BFA in filmmaking from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has worked as a freelance artist in the Minnesota film industry for the past 5 years, contributing his talents to feature-length films, shorts, music videos and commercials. Victor loves to travel and has been fortunate enough to work in far flung locations such as Nicaragua, China, the Caribbean and India. Aside from his filmmaking, Victor has a passion for the arts, animals and the great outdoors.
Patrick Meehan, Additional Cinematography + Sound Mixing
Patrick is a Videographer, Photographer and Video Editor local to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Thomas Schmidt, Additional Cinematography + Production & Editing Assistance
Jay Rudeen, Editing Assistance
Jay has worked in documentary, narrative and commercial film and video production in Southern California, Northern California and New York before returning to his native Minneapolis/St Paul. He’s been a part of production and post on several award-winning documentary projects which include a Student Emmy, a Northern California Regional Emmy, national PBS broadcasts, a Peabody Award, and an Academy Award nomination. He’s excited for a long, enriching career in nonfiction storytelling.
Allie Young, Editing Assistance
Sandi Roesler, Transcription
Pete Tedrow, Social Media/Outreach
A storyteller at heart, Pete holds a BA in English and MFA in fiction. A lifetime Minnesotan, Pete works as a freelancer in writing, copywriting, copyediting, film festival work, social media, outreach/marketing, and writing instruction. An aspiring screenwriter himself, he has served on staff at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, and has volunteered with numerous other film festivals—Sundance, Toronto International, Tribeca, and Sound Unseen, as well as Comic-Con: International San Diego.
Bolster, Branding + Design + Production Support
Bolster is a brand engagement agency based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Undertone Music, Post Production Sound Services
Pixel Farm, Color Grade
Golden Sun Marketing, Publicity
Jesse Roesler is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant form the Minnesota state Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.