Roughly 100 people gathered at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center Auditorium last night for the formal premier of Strange Meats: The Soupie. The documentary, written and directed by Shamokin native Matt Spade, uncovers the mystery of the food known by those from the Coal Region as Soupie. The documentary explores the stories and traditions of several local Soupie makers while highlighting what is so special about being from the Shamokin and Mount Carmel areas.
The News-Item’s Rob Wheary was the master of ceremonies and hosted a question and answer session with Spade. He explained that while he and his wife call Philadelphia home, he grew up in Shamokin and his roots are here, and that part of what he wanted to portray through the film was his warm memories of growing up in the region. He says this led him to the natural choice of WISL’s Tom Kutza as narrator of the film. Kutza, who was in attendance, said that he was amazed at the finished project and honored that Spade asked him to be a part. Spade was also a recent guest on Kutza’s Sunday Polka Show. During the question and answer session, Spade said that his favorite part of the production was being invited to share in the experience of a weekend at a Soupie making cabin. Spade shares this event in the program highlighting the sense of family and tradition that surrounds this so-called strange meat.
Following the showing, an official “Strange Meats” Soupie tasting was held in the Fine Arts Studio. Attendees were welcomed to taste a variety of Soupie and discuss their thoughts of the project with Spade as well as the stars of the documentary, the actual Soupie-Makers.
Spade says that he hopes to premier the film in Philadelphia sometime in the near future and has even submitted it to the Cleveland International Film Festival. The ultimate goal, he says is to see the program aired on either The Food Network or PBS. Regardless of how far the program will go, one thing is certain, anyone who has the pleasure of viewing this film will no longer look at Soupie as a Strange Meat.