Mushrooms are food items that most people take for granted: We toss them in our salads or sauces or on our burgers, and don’t think much about them. But the 2019 documentary film Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, provides a fascinating, quirky and entertaining look at the role of mushrooms and other mycellium in human and ecological health.

If this sounds highly relevant at a time when health and wellness is the paramount issue, then we have good news for you. The team behind the documentary has declared Thursday, March 26 as Fantastic Fungi Day. They are providing discounts for people to rent or buy the film via download to watch at home. Fantastic Fungi  was described by the New York Times as a “lightly informative, delightfully kooky documentary [that] offers nothing less than a model for planetary survival.”

And they are holding three virtual Q&A sessions that day featuring Schwartzberg and Paul Stamets, editor of and contributor to the companion book Fantastic Fungi (choose your session and register on the Fantastic Fungi website). Jim Slama, FamilyFarmed CEO and Co-Founder of Naturally Chicago, plans to join in the conversation (he previously participated in a panel discussion during a Chicago theater presentation of the film).

The following is the description of the event from the Fantastic Fungi team:

On March 26th,
Experience the Mycelium Network in Action…

As we enter into an even vaster understanding of just how interdependent we are and how fast something travels between us all, we can appreciate the power of our interconnectedness. This can be seen in the thousands of cases in which a virus has impacted so much of our lives from travel, business, wellness, and gatherings.  Fantastic Fungi is all about our interconnectedness and the common issues that we face as a species. We know that our biggest defense from these viruses is our own sense of wellbeing, our own immunity and the ability to live from a place of health and wellness both individually and collectively.

Fantastic Fungi Day:
More Global Than Ever 

The messages of this film could not be any timelier, from the need to reconnect and understand the intelligence of nature, to partnering with fungi and our natural world to shift our consciousness. How prepared are we to face the pressing issues we have in our world?  We are facing a serious challenge, yet like the mycelium network, we are adaptable. As a response to the worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus, we ask each community to take responsibility for establishing the best practice for them. We also know that we need to respond as mycelium and provide innovative ways of addressing these new challenges.

Join Us From The Safety of Wherever You Are  

Fantastic Fungi is a movie that is a must-see on a big screen! The way the images come to life and the feeling of watching it in community is breathtaking. However, it is important that we keep ourselves and each other safe during this period of time and being in a theater might not be right for everyone.

In response to the coronavirus, we have decided to expand our reach and open the gates to the ever-expanding movement of this film and provide an opportunity to people all around the world, no matter where you are located, to participate in Fantastic Fungi Day! Yes, we are creating an opportunity for everyone, wherever you are to view the film as well as tune into the post-screening Q&A. We have the ability to shift the way we are living in this world. Now is the time to tap into nature’s intelligence and come together as a worldwide audience seeking connection, hope, and solutions.

Virtual Q&A with Louie, Paul & Friends Will Go On!

On March 26th, whether you are gathering at one of our beloved theaters, or from the comfort of your home, now the network makes it easy for us to connect online from the safety of our environments. We will still meet for 3 exciting conversations throughout the day! To participate you and/or your group must register to receive a link to join the conversation. Feel free to submit a question beforehand!

We will invite special guests to join us, and each conversation will be unique, provide inspiration and live in the spirit of connection and comfort.