By JOLENE CRAIG
CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — An award-winning filmmaker plans to tell the story of how food ends up on our tables, with a documentary focused on farmers and ranchers.
“I’ve wanted to make a film about American farming for quite some time,” said documentarian James Moll. “My interest stems from the fact that I grew up in the middle of Los Angeles, far removed from the world of farming, so I’ve often wondered about the people who are growing and raising the food we eat every day, and I’ve wanted to personally visit and get to know farmers and ranchers to see firsthand how it all works.”
The as-yet untitled film is being produced in association with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and will tell of the next generation of farmers and ranchers as they assume the responsibility of running their family farms. The documentary will also feature the latest farming procedures and technologies changing modern agriculture.
USFRA Vice Chair Weldon Wynn said the USFRA is constantly exploring opportunities to encourage the discussion of modern American agriculture in entertainment.
“We are very excited about lending our cooperation to James Moll for this particular project,” Wynn said. “We hope that this documentary will spark a conversation about modern American agriculture.”
Moll, whose last directed film was 2011’s “Foo Fighters: Back and Forth,” said filming will begin this week at five different locations around the country.
“Because the focus of our film is the ‘next generation of American farmers,’ we spoke to people all over the country in order to find the five people we’re going to profile,” he said.
“We wanted to find people on five very different types of farms or ranches, living and farming in various climates and conditions. Obviously, farming in Minnesota is very different from farming in California.”
Moll and his partners also looked for farmers with varied personalities and personal circumstances, to have the storytelling perspective of the film covered. “I think we’ve found a great group of farmers, truly depicting the landscape of farming in the U.S. Today,” he continued.
Wynn said he and others within the alliance are excited to work with Moll on the story of American agriculture.
“He is a multi-award-winning director who has always strived to make films that are an unbiased testament to the subject matter,” he added.
Moll explained he hopes viewers of the film take away a personal connection to farmers and ranchers in our country, with a better understanding of who they are and what their day-to-day lives are like.
“The film will present the thoughts and insights from the farmers and ranchers themselves, as opposed to my own personal conclusions,” he said. “I don’t use narrators in my films. Instead, the story will be told from interviews with the participants, in their own voice.”
Moll expects the film to be finished this year, with an opening in early 2014.