ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Mark Brian Smith | Director, Producer, Writer
A native from the southern coast of Maine and a graduate of NYU Film School, Mark is a writer, producer, photographer, cinematographer and director, based in Los Angeles since the early 1990s. As founding member of Black & White Pictures and BOS-LAX Pictures, he specializes in the world of documentary features and unscripted television, developing and producing original programming. He debuted his 2004 feature Overnight at the Sundance International Film Festival, which Ebert & Roeper placed in their Top 5 Documentaries of the Year. Fear No Fruit marks his second feature directorial effort. He’s currently completing his sixth feature screenplay and continues prepping television projects to go into further development, including an original docu-series that follows players and their teams on The PGA Tour. Mark is also a member of The 4260 B&W Photographers Guild, a group devoted to shooting, preserving and showcasing works in the medium of B&W film and the art of the silver gelatin print.
ABOUT FRIEDA CAPLAN
Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Ph.D. | Founder, Frieda’s Inc.
In 1962, Frieda Caplan established Frieda’s Finest/Produce Specialties Inc. on the male-dominated Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. At that time, Frieda was one of very few women in the produce industry, and was the first to own and operate a U.S. produce business. She debuted with a purple sign, which later became the company’s signature color, and her premier product was fresh brown mushrooms – an unusual specialty at that time. She quickly developed a reputation for buying and selling new and unusual produce specialties.
Frieda’s marketing abilities were recognized worldwide after her success in introducing and promoting the Kiwifruit, earning her the title, “Queen of Kiwi.” Her influence extends beyond Kiwifruit. Her ability to create consumer demand for unusual foods has helped Frieda and her daughters make success stories out of many more items, including Sugar Snap Peas™, Hothouse Cucumbers, Habanero Chiles and Kiwano® Melons.
Frieda has received numerous awards and honors for her achievements.
- In 1979, Frieda was the first woman to receive The Packer’s “Produce Man of the Year” award. She handed back the traditional plaque back and the award was soon renamed “The Produce Marketer of the Year.” She received a new plaque with the new title shortly after.
- In 1975, Frieda starred as the original Green Grocer on ABC-TV’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles.
- In 1986, Frieda was the first recipient of the Harriet Alger Award from Working Woman magazine for being a remarkable entrepreneurial role model for women.
- In 1990, The Los Angeles Times named Frieda one of 12 Southern California business personalities who shaped the course of American business in the 1980s (also included were Michael Eisner and Jane Fonda).
- In 2013, Frieda was selected as the Gold Stevie® Award winner for Lifetime Achievement in Business at the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
- In 2014, Frieda was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s commencement ceremony for her achievement as one of the nation’s most successful female entrepreneurs.