Chef Joe Robbins of Bissell Brothers Brewery in Milo Maine will appear in an upcoming documentary about the official mammal of the United States, the American bison.
Joe or Joseph Robbins is a penobscot native who has integrated a modern twist to native cuisine on the Bissell Brothers menu. One of Chef Joe’s favorite proteins to infuse indigenous flavors is bison meat.
Producers Charlie and Shauna Rankin of Meet My Neighbor Productions followed the bison from Bigelow Fields Bison Ranch in Langton Maine to the Bissell Brothers Brewery in Milo to share a true farm to table Maine experience. According to Chef Joe, Bissell Brothers Brewery is dedicated to supporting local Maine farmers by sourcing a significant amount of their ingredients from local producers.
About the Film:
NATIVE | The Prodigies of an Icon is feature documentary film project about North America’s most iconic mammal, the American Bison (aka Buffalo). The film features ranchers and indigenous producers across North America and Native American Territories.
The documentary aims to highlight the history of Bison and it’s relationship with mankind, the regenerative significance Bison has on our ecology, and the industry that has made it’s comeback both possible and economically sustainable in a modern world.
Together bison ranchers, conservationists, and indigenous people are running one of the largest conservation programs in the world. They have reestablished a species from the brink of extinction while restoring, managing, and protecting grasslands that are essential to our ecosystem all while developing an industry that is contributing to everything from food security to clothing.
The objective of the film project is to create a documentary and social movement that entices viewers to support the bison community through their purchasing and donation decisions and to ultimately help them recognize the role that they can play in repopulating and maintain this incredible keystone species in a modern world.
Connecting the benefits of Bison to the ecology is an essential part of the documentary. To illustrate the Bison’s environmental impact and accessibility across the continent the film will cover ranches and conservation programs throughout the entire North American continent providing viewers with local and regional programs and resources.
Over the years, documentaries have often fallen victim to special interest narratives. It’s the prerogative of the producers of the documentary to document and share the truth.
“Our perspectives of this incredible animal and the community behind it have changed dramatically from the day we first stuck the key in the ignition and started filming. The bison is much more impactful than we ever imagined” said co-producer Charlie Rankin.
“As our team has ventured down the road of documenting the bison’s story, we’ve discovered another almost mystic hallmark of this extraordinary species. Beyond it’s naturally regenerative influence on our ecosystem, or its remarkable story of survival against our best efforts to eliminate it. The bison has managed to unite people of varying political, ethnic, and extreme culturally diverse backgrounds into a single cause even during disruptive social, political, and economical times. It started as a story about a mammal and has evolved into a story of healing of our land, people, and nations” Charlie explained.
NATIVE | The Prodigies of an Icon is a documentary completely narrated and funded by the bison community and it’s supporters.
Filming is set to continue through 2023 with post production in 2024. The producers have not yet identified a distribution partner but plan to do so by the end of 2023.
“It’s important to us that we get this story out to as many people as possible. Whether that means a distribution with Netflix, PBS, Fox Nation, or other local networks it yet to be determined” said Charlie Rankin.
To learn more about the documentary visit bison.meetmyneighbor.org.