Docfilm “THE GRAB” is a powerful thriller about a nearly invisible conspiracy to control the world’s food and water, uncovering the money, and alarming rationale behind covert efforts to control the most vital resource on the earth, exposed and discovered by investigative journalist Nate Halverson.  

By Oliver Carnay

THE GRAB will start playing at the Landmark Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco and will have a Q&A with Nate Halverson, Brigadier Siachitema, Mallory Newman, and David Ritsher following Friday, June 14, 7:00 p.m. screening. 
THE GRAB is a global thriller combining hard-hitting journalism from The Center for Investigative Reporting with the compelling character-driven storytelling of director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, taking you around the globe from Arizona to Zambia, to reveal one of the world’s biggest and least known threats.

Quietly and seemingly out of sight, governments, private investors and mercenaries are working to seize food and water resources at the expense of entire populations. These groups are establishing themselves as the new OPEC, where the future world powers will be those who control not oil, but food.

And it’s all beginning to bubble to the surface in real time. Global food prices have hit an all-time high, threatening chaos and violence. Meanwhile, Russia is using food as a weapon against the Ukrainians, and as a geopolitical tool to wield global power.

Nate Halverson is an Emmy Award-winning senior reporter and producer at The Center for Investigative Reporting, covering business and finance with an emphasis on the global food system. He has reported across the world, including Russia, Guatemala, England, Zambia, China, and Venezuela, and on investigative topics ranging from financial fraud and organized crime to uncovering and reporting on internal company documents that helped result in people receiving a $155 million settlement from the tech company. Halverson broke the international news that California was literally sinking, a result of farmers over-pumping groundwater in the drought stricken Central Valley. He revealed the Saudi government’s plan to support the acquisition of food and water resources around the world from Argentina to the parched deserts of Arizona. He reported on classified cables from the U.S. State Department that detailed the growing anxiety of wealthy countries about looming water and food shortages.

Writer, director, producer Gabriela Cowpertheaite (Blackfish) has been directing both documentaries and narrative films for over 20 years, rising to prominence with the 2013 release of BLACKFISH, which examined the plight of orcas and their trainers at SeaWorld. BLACKFISH quickly became one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time, amassing over 100 million viewers worldwide and helping to permanently change the captive industry. In addition to being shortlisted for an Academy Award, BLACKFISH was nominated for a BAFTA, a Broadcast Critics’ Awards, an International Documentary Association Award, and won the Satellite Award for Best Feature. Most recently, in 2023, Gabriela completed ISS, a space station thriller starring Academy Award winner Arianna DeBose. Her critically acclaimed film OUR FRIEND, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel was released in 2020. Based on a true life story, OUR FRIEND told the story of a couple struggling through a cancer diagnosis alongside their best friend. MEGAN LEAVEY, which marked Gabriela’s narrative directorial debut in 2015 is based on the true life story of a Marine corporal (Kate Mara), whose unique bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.

THE GRAB is a Magnolia Pictures and Participant release.