Private Project

MSG: Mysterious Savory Grains

To share his culture through food, Chef Tim Ma must defy monosodium glutamate's unsavory reputation.

  • Kyle Finnegan
  • Irem Dogancali
  • Roberto De Cecco
    Director of Photography
  • Susann Shin
    Associate Producer
  • Yi Chen
    First Vote
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 29, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kyle Finnegan

Born in the same place as American cinema (the great state of New Jersey), Kyle Finnegan is a filmmaker living in Alexandria, VA. He has directed short documentaries exploring subjects ranging from car hackers in Seattle to an artsy coal mining town in Utah. Whether it’s a film, a website, or a delicious meal, he aims to create something every day.

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Director Statement

At its best, food should open doors to conversation and culture. For decades, the stigma around monosodium glutamate has closed these doors for a lot of Americans. Thanks to activists and chefs like Tim Ma, there has been a major shift in the way people talk about MSG. The aim of this film is to document that shift in conversation and get viewers hungry for new ways to think about food.