The documentary film Forgotten Farms by western Massachusetts filmmakers Dave Simonds (director) and Sarah Gardner (producer) will screen at GlobeDocs, a documentary film festival curated by the Boston Globe. The screening is Sunday October 2nd at 12pm at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. The festival runs Sept 28 – Oct 2.
New England’s dairy farmers remain the backbone of the region’s agriculture but fight for survival in an age of artisan cheese and kale. Forgotten Farms profiles the New England dairy farmer and examines the class divides in New England’s farm and food communities. Producer Sarah Gardner stated, “There’s been a lot of focus on the new local food farmers, so we spent the last three years filming conventional dairy farmers. Many of their farms have been in operation for over a century and we wanted to find a way to tell their story. Forgotten Farms is their story.”
New England has lost over 10,000 conventional dairy farms in the past 50 years; about 2,000 farms remain. Collectively, they tend 1.2 million acres of farmland and produce almost all of the milk consumed in New England. Director Dave Simonds said, “In our enthusiasm for the local food movement, many of us have forgotten that 75 years ago these farmers were at the center of a thriving local food economy.” Forgotten Farms reconsiders the role of these tenacious farm families. The film gives us a glimpse into the past and a vision of an expanded local agriculture that could serve all of New England’s population.
Dave Simonds (director) directed Cherry Cottage: the Story of an American House, with executive producer Hans Morris. It premiered at the Berkshire International Film Festival in 2013. Dave was a familiar face in the indie-film renaissance of the early 90s and his screen credits include Amateur, The Book of Life, Signs and Wonders, The Fish in a Bathtub, Henry Fool, among many others. He appeared in music videos for Everything But the Girl, Beth Orton and others. He is currently working on a documentary called The Hoy Boys.
Sarah Gardner (producer) teaches environmental planning and is the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College. Her areas of research include land use, climate change, agriculture and food systems. She was a leader of the North Berkshire Keep Farming project, a three-year research initiative. She is the co-chair of the Williamstown Agricultural Commission and a Berkshire Grown board member. Sarah is a graduate of Smith College, she holds a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University of New York.
Forgotten Farms screens Sunday October 2nd at 12pm at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.
Tickets and info: http://filmfest.bostonglobe.com/
This fall, the film will also be screened in Ashfield Film Festival, Sept.16, Ashfield, MA; Vermont International Film Festival, Oct.21-30 TBD, Burlington, VT; Film Columbia, Oct. 24-30 TBD, Chatham, NY; NESAWG Conference, Nov.11, Hartford, CT; Amherst Cinema, Nov.15, Amherst, MA.