Corn tells the story of a young girl who returns home to bear an illegitimate child, and witnesses an environmental accident involving a genetically modified crop of corn. Doubted by the community she has returned to, she questions her own sanity as she tries to discover what is happening. Her journey takes her on a trip down the food chain, as she tracks a potentially life-threatening byproduct from the cornfield to the supermarket. Ultimately she has to confront psychological demons that haunt her as she grows into motherhood, and comes to terms with her own biology. Tapping into cultural myths of food, fertility, birth and sacrifice, Corn is a chilling look at what we put in our mouths and our babies’ mouths, and the convergence of Science and Mother Nature.
Jena Malone, who plays the young girl Emily, has established herself in both Hollywood and the independent film world as a serious young actress to watch. As a child, she had played the young Jodie Foster in Contact, and opposite Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts in Stepmom. But her breakout roles in Bastard Out of Carolina, Donnie Darko, and Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys caught people’s attention. Since then she has moved between independent film (The United States of Leland with Kevin Spacey) and Hollywood fare (Sense and Sensibility with Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner’s production of Hatfields and McCoys.)
Her debut in Bastard Out of Carolina earned Jena her first of three Young Artist Awards, along with nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries by the Screen Actor’s Guild, and Best Debut Performance at the Independent Spirit Awards. Jena was nominated twice in a row for Best Supporting Actress at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, and in 1998 Jena earned her first Golden Globe nomination for her work in the television movie Hope.
Her father Horace is played by Don Harvey (Thin Red Line, In Too Deep). There are notable performances from Peter McRobbie (Brokeback Mountain, Mighty Aphrodite), Pamela Gray, Jamie Herrold and John Hartmann, and a superb New York-based cast, with casting by Georgianne Walken & Sheila Jaffe.
Based on an original screenplay by writer/director Dave Silver, Corn was produced by Michael Corrente and Revere Pictures (The Door in the Floor, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead). It was an Official Selection of the 2004 Hamptons International Film Festival. The film was distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Hart Sharp Video in October of 2004, and is available from Netflix, Amazon, or Blockbuster.