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Burt’s Buzz

Canada | 2013 | 88 minutes | Jody Shapiro

Festival screenings have passed. Playing at SIFF Cinema starting June 13. Click here for more.

Get up close and personal with Burt Shavitz, the hermit-like founder and face of the world famous Burt’s Bees line of personal care products, as he recounts the company’s simple, early days and its corporate-minded present.

May 26, 2014
Lincoln Square Cinemas  
10:30 AM Date has passed
May 27, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
6:30 PM Date has passed
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An iconic image—a woodblock print of a friendly bearded face—adorns tubes of lip balm, bottles of lotion, bars of soap, and other natural products known as Burt's Bees. But who is Burt, how many bees does he have, and where exactly did he come from? Burt's Buzz introduces us to Burt Shavitz, a curmudgeonly recluse and local legend in backwoods Maine who for years made a modest living raising bees and selling their honey from the back of a truck. Then he met single mother Roxanne Quimby, whose entrepreneurial spirit lead them to start a small workshop and expand their offerings to include candles, shoe polish, and eventually an array of personal care products. Unfortunately, as the popularity of Burt's Bees grew, so did a rift between the two partners, and soon Burt left the empire he begrudgingly founded to spend more time with his beloved dog. Documentary filmmaker Jody Shapiro gets up close and personal with the man behind the logo, both in the same 400-square-foot converted chicken coop that he still calls home and on the road, where Burt dutifully makes public appearances for a company that no longer has a place for him and his bees.

Director Biography

Jody Shapiro is a Toronto-based director and producer, having worked on many projects such as Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2007) and Isabella Rosselini’s bizarre web-series abou tthe mating habits of insects, "Green Porno"  (2008).

Sponsored by Puget Sound Energy

Director: Jody Shapiro
Principal Cast: Burt Shavitz
Country: Canada
Year: 2013
Running Time: 88 minutes
Producer: Jody Shapiro
Cinematographers: Brian Jackson
Editors: Stacey Foster
Music: Howie Beck
Filmography: How to Start Your Own Country (Doc, 2010); Ice Breaker (Doc, 2005); Do You Love Me? (Doc, 1994)
Language: English
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Area 23a
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