Documentary, ‘Farmland,’ presents farmers telling their stories

Nat Williams, Field Editor

ST. LOUIS — Groups promoting a new feature-length documentary presenting an unvarnished look at average farmers across the country are hopeful that it may help counter some of the negative publicity agriculture has gotten lately on the silver screen.

Farmland, commissioned by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, is set for widespread distribution this year. Ken Colombini of the National Corn Growers recently aired an abridged version of the film for members of the St. Louis AgriBusiness Club.

“At USRFA it’s all about the food dialog,” said Colombini, who is on USFRA’s education committee. “It’s about having a conversation about our food and where it comes from.”

In the film, six farmers and ranchers from across the country are featured on their farms. They include a cattle rancher in Texas, a poultry farmer in Georgia and an organic farmer in Pennsylvania.

The farmers are shown performing chores and discussing their views on modern agriculture and the public’s perception of farming. The slickly produced, 77-minute film was directed by multiple award-winning documentarian James Moll. Moll won the Academy Award forThe Last Days, a documentary about Hungarian Jews during World War II. The film was produced by Steven Spielberg.

He won an Emmy Award for Inheritance, about the daughter of Nazi war criminal Amon Goth, who was portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Moll also won a Grammy for Back and Forth, a documentary about the rock band Foo Fighters.

Farmland premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and has been shown in limited release in theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and other cities.

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