Spargel Productions, LLC is a film and documentary production company based in New York City. We were founded in 2002 by filmmakers and theater artists Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly in order to produce the award-winning documentary Asparagus! Stalking the American Life, which premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2006 and went on to win Best Documentary and Audience Choice Awards in festivals across the country, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Good Food Film Award.
Current projects include The Homestretch, a documentary feature about homeless youth in inner-city Chicago. A co-production with Kartemquin Films and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Homestretch premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto in 2014 and is scheduled to broadcast nationally on Independent Lens in the spring of 2015. We are also in development (with writer/producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger) for The Girl With The Rivet Gun an animated documentary project based on the experiences of real-life Rosie the Riveters, inspired by our work creating an oral history archive for NYU's Tamiment Labor Archives called The Real Rosie The Riveter Project.
Our work has been supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, BRITDOCS/Bertha Foundation, The Michigan Arts Council, The Michigan Humanities Council, Polk Bros. Foundation, Pierce Family Foundation, The Lefkofsky Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Philip and Cheryl Milstein Foundation, The Hite Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust (among others).
Anne and Kirsten share a deep commitment to film and documentary projects that celebrate the transformative power of the human spirit. They have a strong interest in the curious, quirky and wondrous stories of life in the United States and the shifting definition of what it means to be an American. With backgrounds in theatre, including character and story development, they share a dedication to projects in which the individual human experience illuminates the face of society as a whole.
Anne de Mare
Before dedicating herself to documentary film, Anne was an award-winning playwright, producer and director. Her original plays have been presented in Chicago, London and New York, where she was a five-year resident artist with Richard Foreman’s legendary Ontological-Hysteric Theater. She is a founding member of The Independent Theater Company, The Nevermore Theater Project and Theaters Against War, and was a resident playwright with The Ground Floor Theater Lab. Her video work has been seen on stage at Lincoln Center and at The Park Avenue Armory.
Along with her film work, Kirsten is an award-winning theatre director and educator. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Roots&Branches Theatre, a company that builds bridges across generations, and she is co-creator of “CPS Shakespeare!” with Chicago Shakespeare Theater (see the feature story from NBC News). Kirsten’s recent theatre directing credits include work with Lincoln Center/Juilliard, Chicago Shakespeare, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Rising Phoenix Repertory and the Public Theater. She is currently adapting the young adult Newbery Award novel “The Wednesday Wars” for the stage. Kirsten is a graduate of Juilliard’s Master Directing program and is a member of the Actor’s Studio Playwright Director’s Unit and Rising Phoenix Repertory in New York.