About Stone Soup
Washington, D.C.-based Stone Soup Productions is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization that produces and provides fiscal sponsorship for trailblazing documentaries and innovative outreach initiatives that help bring an astonishingly diverse body of American art, culture and achievement into focus, opening pathways for rich exploration of human themes. Stone Soup Productions approaches every project with a commitment to engage, educate and inspire, and is backed by a long history of producing high-caliber films, digital transmedia and engagement strategies designed to create impact.
Executive Director - Andrea Kalin
Andrea Kalin is a digital producer and filmmaker, and the founder of Stone Soup Productions and its production arm, Spark Media. Her work has garnered over 90 major industry awards, including a Primetime Emmy and a WGA nomination for outstanding achievement. She has led new media and feature documentary projects on the arts and humanities funded by NEH, NEA, CPB, PBS, NBPC, and the Humanities Councils of seven states and the District of Columbia.
Her most recent work is the award-winning documentary, Scattering CJ. Other recent films include: First Lady of the Revolution, which won ten awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Sidewalk, Fairhope and Oxford Film Festivals, aired on public television’s REEL South series, screened 50 times internationally and was selected to tour the U.S. with the Southern Circuit; Red Lines, which was voted a top-20 audience pick at Hot Docs Film Festival, won Best Documentary Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival, won Most Disturbing Documentary at Ramdam International, and garnered the Humanitarian Award at the Tiburon International Film Festival, among other accolades; No Evidence of Disease, which was released by Regal Cinemas on 47 screens on World Cancer Day, was broadcast on American Public Television, WORLD Channel, and in Spanish on VME. The film was also showcased at high profile events on Capitol Hill, and in 80 community screenings across the U.S. and around the world. Kalin’s debut, Partners of the Heart, narrated by Morgan Freeman, was named one of “NEH’s 50 Best”, aired on PBS’ “American Experience”, won the Erik Barnouw Award for Best History Documentary, and inspired the award-winning HBO original, Something the Lord Made, starring Alan Rickman and Mos Def.
Her upcoming projects include El 48, a virtual reality experience being produced in partnership with the National Museum of Costa Rica and inspired by First Lady of the Revolution, and humanities.games, an online platform that enables children to learn through the experience of digital game creation
The Story of Stone Soup
It’s only fitting that an organization dedicated to sharing a world of stirring human stories should borrow its mission, and name, from one of the world’s most universally inspiring tales. The centuries-old story of “Stone Soup” is told in many forms across the globe. This East-European version opens on a fractured post-war community struggling for sustenance—both for their bodies and their broken spirits.
Once upon a time, there was a desperate famine in which people jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day a wandering soldier came into a village and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night.
“There’s not a bite to eat in the whole province,” he was told. “Better keep moving on.”
“Oh, I have everything I need,”said the soldier. “In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you.” He pulled an iron cauldron from his wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.
By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or were watching from their windows. As the soldier sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism. “Ahh,” the soldier said to himself rather loudly, “I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage—that’s hard to beat.” After a short time, a villager approached hesitantly, holding a cabbage he’d retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot. “Excellent!” cried the soldier. “You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salted beef as well, and it was fit for a king.” The village butcher managed to find some salted beef, and into the pot it went. Potatoes, onion, carrots, and so it went…the recipe grew—one villager, one house, one ingredient at a time—until a hearty and bountiful meal was had by all. The villagers offered the soldier a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell. The next day, he traveled on, taking his cauldron and stone with him.
Of course, the soldier in the story left the villagers with more than fond memories of a fine meal. He reminded them of what they had forgotten was possible: By working together with everyone contributing what they can, we all benefit.
More than just a production group, Stone Soup Productions aspires to be a catalyst for action—a reminder that our greatest potential isn’t realized in solitude, only in solidarity.