Eric Pascarelli, Holly Anspaugh, Eric Frankenberger, Samantha Tillett, Lilly Tillett, Rachel Fried
There's a line of thinking that documentaries featuring the filmmaker are a recipe for cinematic disaster. However, there are a myriad of exceptions to this rule and Eric Pascarelli's indie doc feature Not Just a Picky Eater joins this list of documentaries that actually benefit from the filmmaker's appearance.
In this case, Pascarelli is one of several engaging subjects exploring the world of a newly emerged eating disorder known as Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, or ARFID, a new diagnosis in the DSM-5 that adds credibility to the idea that sometimes a picky eater is not, in fact, just a picky eater.
The recently completed Not Just Another Picky Eater was shot mostly in Indiana and is just getting ready to head out on what should be a successful indie/microcinema fest run. Pascarelli, director of Chasing Rabbits, infuses Not Just Another Picky Eater with a laid back energy that is informative yet also engaging. The film also benefits from the presence of Holly Anspaugh and Eric Frankenberger among others.
At a 74-minute running time, Not Just Another Picky Eater uses its time wisely. The film reminds me a bit of Jennifer Brea's Sundance Award-winning Unrest in that it tackles a health concern that is widely unknown and provides a wealth of knowledge and relatability to it. Pascarelli is also responsible for quite a bit of the film's behind-the-scenes work including both cinematography and editing. It's clear that he's passionate about this subject, though he keeps the film operating at a more human level and avoids any unnecessary and unneeded drama.
Utilizing primarily interviews along with personal testimonies, Pascarelli may not break any filmmaking ground with Not Just Another Picky Eater but he does shed tremendous light on a serious eating disorder that looks different for each person, can impact anyone, can impact social functioning, and is considered highly treatable. For those seeking to understand ARFID, Eric Pascarelli's Not Just Another Picky Eater is a terrific place to learn more and realize you're not alone.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic