BOISE — Idaho farm groups have come up with the $8,000 needed to bring the feature-length documentary “Farmland” to the Gem State.
The film, which provides viewers a first-hand glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers around the nation, was released May 1 and distributed to more than 60 major markets.
It was not scheduled to be shown in Idaho, but Idaho State Department of Agriculture employee Chenal Tewalt, a rancher, contacted the production company to see what it would take to bring the film here.
The answer was $8,000. The ISDA put the word out to Idaho agricultural groups, which came up with the money.
“We think it’s a great opportunity to bring something like this to people who know nothing about agriculture,” Tewalt said. “It’s an opportunity for them to peek into our world a little bit.”
The film will be shown at a Boise theater in July, though no date or venue has been selected yet.
“It’s a done deal. We’re just waiting for a date,” Tewalt said.
A wide range of groups representing Idaho’s beef, wheat, sugar beet, bean, potato, barley, grain, and fruit and vegetable industries pitched in to raise the money.
“We are always willing to consider supporting efforts to better educate the public … about what we do,” said Kelly Olson, administrator of the Idaho Barley Commission. “It’s an impressive, high-quality film with a positive message about the industry we participate in.”
The film was directed by James Moll, a documentary filmmaker who has won an Oscar, two Emmy’s and a Grammy award. It was produced by Moll’s Allentown Productions, with financial support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, which consists of almost 80 farming and ranching groups that represent a wide swath of the agricultural industry.
“This is the first time a Hollywood producer of this caliber has created a documentary about farming and ranching,” said Lisa Cassady, agriculture communications manager for the USFRA.
While USFRA provided financial support for the film, “It is James Moll’s documentary,” Cassady said.
Moll visited six farmers and ranchers in their 20s who run their own farming operations and chronicled their ups and downs throughout the year.
“In ‘Farmland,’ audiences will hear thoughts and opinions about agriculture, but not from me, and not from a narrator,” Moll stated in a news release. “They’re from the mouths of the farmers and ranchers themselves.”
The film was shown in Seattle May 1 and in Portland, Ore., May 15. It is being shown in Camas, Wash., through June 19.
For more information, visit the film’s web page at www.farmland.com