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Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

A provocative investigation into the disasters we’re willing to see and prepare for, and the ones we’re not.

In her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries – Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme disparity and the politics of ‘disaster’; daring to ask: what if a zip code was just a routing number, and not a life-or-death sentence?

Inspired by Eric Klinenberg’s ground-breaking book HEAT WAVE: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago.

The film is funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation and the Sundance Documentary Fund.


Original Music

T. Griffin

Graphics and Animation

Momentist Inc.


Tod Lending
Stanley J. Staniski
Keith Walker

Co-Producer and Editor

David Cohen

Supervising Producer

David Eisenberg

Senior Editorial Consultant

Lewis F. Erskine

Consulting Producers

Faye Lederman
Beth Levison
Beth Murphy
Bonnie Cohen
Tia Lessin
Wendy Ettinger

Additional Camera

Pete Biagi
Ines Sommer
Nadia Hallgren
Mirko Popadic
Peter Gilbert
Tony Hardmon
David Schalliol
Kimmer Olesak
Emily Hart

Location Sound

Alan Chow
Derek Hanson
John Mathie
Rich Pooler
Patrick Tillmann

Field Producers

Veena Rao
Xan Aranda
Beth Sternheimer

Archival Research

Natalie Bullock Brown
Jeff Martin

Additional Editors

Jacob Steingroot
Dara Kell
Rebecca Parrish
Scott Burgess
Sabrina Gordon
Jeremy S Levine
Richard Miron
Melissa Hacker
Melissa Sterne
Amy Seplin
Megan Katz

Editorial Consultants

Jonathan Oppemheim
Margaret Brown
Jean Tsien
Sabine Hoffman
David Teague
Rob Moss
Mary Manhardt
Einat Sidi
Jenny Golden
Mary Lampson
Jeremiah Zagar

Story Consultant

Andrea Meditch

Assistant Editors

Mary Kerr
Chris Bravo
Katherine Knight
Tina Grapenthin
Molly Holtzinger
Laura Karpa
Sally Volkmann
Shirli N. Michalevicz
Leigh Anne Sides

Additional Graphics & Animation

Matt Taylor

Post Production Services

Final Frame

Digital Intermediate Colorist

Stewart Griffin

Sound Mix

Gigantic Studios

Re-Recording Mixer

Tom Paul

Director of Development

Joanna Lakatos

Director of Finance

Andrea de Fraga
Anthony Stoll
Suzanne Niemoth

Director of Communications and Distribution

Tim Horsburgh

Director of Production and Post

Rise Sanders-Weir

Post Production Manager

Hillary Bachelder

Technical Directors

Ryan Gleeson

Additional Kartemquin Staff

Jim Morrisette

In Association With

Max Asaf
Abbie Brewer
Laura Gomez-Mesquita
Julia Martin
Matt Taylor
Pedro Urgiles

Major Funders

Ford Foundation | JustFilms
The Center for Independent Documentary
Independent Television Service (ITVS)
Leo S. Guthman Fund
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Fledgling Fund
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
with support from
Open Society Foundations
JustFilms | Ford Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation

Additional Funders

The Putnam Foundation
Park Foundation Inc.
Dorot Foundation
Rockefeller Media Fellowship
Lisa Kleiner Chanoff
Bertha Foundation
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
The Rockefeller Foundation
Fork Films LLC
The Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Educational Foundation of America
Beth B. Sackler
The Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowship
Dominique Bravo & Eric sloan
The Fine Fund
The Karma Foundation
Jack Lampl
The Cohen Family Foundation
Christopher A. Pilaro
Phoebe I. Pilaro
Nancy Meyer & Marc Weiss
Nancy Blachman
Chicago Community Trust | One Chicago/One Nation
The Pittsburgh Foundation
Anthony Radziwill Documentary Fund/IFP
Elizabeth Weatherford

Engagement Co-Producer

Beth Murphy

Engagement Strategists

Wendy Levy
Daniel Latorre
Opeyemi Olukemi


The Fledgling Engagement Lab
Hartley Media Impact Initiative at Auburn
Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund
BAVC Producers Institute
Murmur DigiLab
Good Pitch

Fair Use Consultant

Adam J. Segal

Legal Counsel

The 2050 Group

Production Insurance

Peter Jaszi

Archival Stills and Footage

Jaime Wolf at Pelosi Wolf Effron & Spates LLP
Shatzkin & Mayer P.C.
Holland & Knight LLP
Kristina M. Hodges Esq
Production Insurance C&S international Insurance Brokers Inc.
Hanover Insurance Co.
Ventura Insurance Brokerage Inc.
One Beacon Insurance

Additional Archival Footage and Stills

CNN Image Source
Budget Films
Producers Library Service
Storm Stock
Ken Herzlich
Nathan Fitch
Valerie Brown
USA Today Sports Images
Chicago Transit Authority


Chicago History Museum/iCHI-04694/iCHI04674-
Arthur M. Weiland
Vanderbilt News Archive
Museum of Broadcast Communications
News Exposure LLC
U.S. Navy Blue Angels (The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information (does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement)

Alex Helfand
Florence Helfand
Eric Klinenberg
Valerie Brown
Andy Nebel
Linda Rae Murray MD MPH
Mike McReynolds
Maureen Finn
Marguerite Gatling
Shirl Gatling
Ken Herzlich
Steve Whitman PhD
Geraldine Flowers
Reverend Joseph Ledwell
Paul Dailey
Joyce Gallagher
Judy Wang
Paul Meincke
Diann Burns
Sadhu Johnston
Orrin Williams
Jerry Foster
Colleen Scott
Jeremiah Scott
Toni Preckwinkle
Jim Dupont
2011 Disaster Preparedness Conference (Paducah

B.G. John W. Heltzel
NLE 2011 & Kentucky Emergency Management
Michele Landis Dauber

Reverend Dr. Henry Raven
Ollie Raven
Bessie Trotter
Oreletta Garmon
Celevia Taylor
Sheelah Muhammad
Seniors at Mercy Housing


Awards and Distinctions

BendFilm Festival

Official Selection


Columbus Indiana Yes Film Festival


Jury Prize - Best Documentary


Cucalorus Film Festival

Official Selection


DC Environmental Film Festival

Official Selection




Best Feature Film Jury Award


Environmental Film Festival at Yale


People's Choice Award


Freep Environmental Film Festival

Official Selection


Milwaukee Film Festival

Official Selection


Philadelphia Film Festival

Official Selection


Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival

Official Selection


Princeton Environmental Film Festival

Official Selection


San Francisco Green Film Festival

Official Selection


San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Official Selection


Sarasota Film Festival

Official Selection


St.Louis International Film Festival

Official Selection


The Chicago South Side Film Festival

Official Selection


Traverse City Film Festival

Official Selection


White River Indie Film Festival

Official Selection


Woods Hole Film Festival

Official Selection



Official Selection

World Premiere