The food allergy documentary That Bites!, created by 12-year-old allergy sufferer Jack Yonover, can be viewed on YouTube. This award-winning film explores why having a food allergy can be scary, isolating, confusing, and often frustrating for kids. Viewing it is educational for people who do not have a food allergy and validating for those who do.
Why That Bites! Was Made
Motivation for creating the movie came from Yanover’s observations. At age ten, when diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, Yanover quickly realized how little most people know about food allergies, or what it’s like to live with one.
“Being new to food allergies, I had no idea how an allergy would dynamically change every minute of my life,” said Yonover. “I soon experienced tons of frustration everywhere I went realizing that the general public didn’t have a good understanding of food allergies.”
Jack decided to channel his frustration into a creative project. He set up a Kickstarter campaign in March of 2014 to fund a feature-length, awareness-raising documentary that would also raise money for allergy research.
About the Film
The young filmmaker researched different types of food allergies, including their causes and impact on the daily lives of sufferers. After taking courses in film making and editing, he digitally documented:
- Interviews with kids about their food allergy experiences.
- Talks with allergy experts.
- Staged scenarios (e.g., parties, restaurants, holidays) illustrating what life can be like for children with a food allergy.
That Bites! had its premiere screenings in Yonover’s hometown of Wilmette, IL, raising almost $8,000, and the film continued to be well received.
In 2015, That Bites! was a winner at the Manhattan Film Festival, The International Family Film Festival, Real to Reel International Film Festival, Indie Film Fest, and The San Diego International Kids Film Festival. It received an award at the Boston International Kids Film Festival and was a CINE finalist.
“That Bites!” features young people who tell their stories with a smile, who don’t complain but who do want people to have a better understanding of their challenges,” wrote reviewer Matt Tully, Indianapolis Star.
Where To View That Bites!
Yonover’s That Bites! can be viewed on YouTube.