In 2020, commercial food service sales in Canada were projected to decline by 28.7% due to COVID. This represents a $22 billion reduction in sales compared to 2019 and the lowest annual sales since 2012. The direst of times came in April (2020), when revenue for food services and drinking places fell by nearly 62%, as many of these businesses either closed entirely or operated at a significantly reduced capacity.

Merk, a Snack Bar in the Crown Point Hamilton region, has managed to survive..... barely!

0h 13min
October 23, 2022
  • When I first got wind of Merk Snack Bar, I began learning about the plethora of challenges they had been overcoming as an entity. I knew immediately that it would be a story worth telling. As storytellers, we naturally have a vision and perspective on which to base our initial direction, which usually forms the foundation of our overall idea. However, spending time with Mark Baker and the Merk staff surprised me. Where I saw the story of a business doing its best to stay alive amid vicious COVID limitations lay something much more precious - the real lives of real people.

    Learning about the personal and tangible sacrifices Mark had endured getting the snack bar up and running. His sheer determination to avoid failure and the reciprocity and loyalty of his staff revealed to me that this wasn't just a fund-generating unit. It reminded me of the already unique culture only Hamilton, Ontario, can provide. Lied an indelible subculture of people who loved genuinely and passionately what Merk meant to them. This energy proved contagious, and I couldn't walk away from it.

    I give you Merk: A COVID Survival Story!


    Independent Shorts Awards (2022)
    - Best Documentary Short

    IndieX Film Festival (2022)
    - Best Documentary Short
    - Best First Time Director
    - Best Cinematography

    Hamilton Film Festival  (2022)
    - Top 10 Screenplay
    - Official Selection

    Chicago Indie Film Festival (2022)
    - Best Documentary Short

    Indie Short Fest (2023)
    - Best First Time Director

  • Keywords
  • Release Date
    October 23, 2022
  • Languages
  • Taglines
    • A COVID Survival Story
    • Filming Locations
      • Hamilton, Ontario Canada
    • Runtime
      0 hour 13 minute
    • Sound Mix
    • Color
    • Aspect Ratio
      • 16x9
    • Camera
      • Mavo 6K S35
    • Film Length
      • 12:54
    • Age Rating
    • Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking
      • Alcohol
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