In his new documentary “We Feed People,” director Ron Howard profiles the efforts of Chef José Andrés and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which provides food to victims of natural disasters. According to Howard, the idea for the film came after Andrés was featured in another National Geographic movie, “Rebuilding Paradise,” about the 2018 California wildfires. But Andrés was initially very resistant to the idea.

“I just realized he was operating in conditions large and small, and I began following him on Instagram and Twitter and understanding how much the organization was growing; I began to believe it could be a film,” Howard told Variety. “The National Geographic team was very interested in José as a subject, and he was less interested. Finally I approached him, and he said, ‘If you wanted to make it about the team and the organization, I would facilitate that, and I know I have to be in it, and even central in it, because I’m still very central in the organization. But I don’t want you to tell the José Andrés story, I want to tell you the story of World Central Kitchen.'”

Howard spoke with Variety senior entertainment reporter Angelique Jackson for “Doc Dreams” presented by National Geographic. During their conversation, Howard discussed working on the film remotely during the pandemic, and what about World Central Kitchen makes the organization unique and worthy of attention.

According to Howard, the team were on the field documenting World Central Kitchen’s efforts during the earliest spikes of COVID cases, and as a result, the crew needed to be very mindful of their health and precautions. Furthermore, the pandemic caused the documentary to shift focus to follow World Central Kitchen as it reacted to the crisis, and began changing their strategy and initiatives.

“During the period where our filmmaking team was most available, or where NatGeo had given us the most resources to cover the events, it wasn’t a period of a lot of storms,” Howard said. “World Central Kitchen was largely focused on the COVID crisis. Which again, for them, was a new application of a strategy that was ever-shifting. So a lot of what I was doing was what we could capture in the field, but also the past, present and anticipating the future.”

“We Feed People” begins streaming on Disney+ on Friday. Watch the full conversation below.