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Broken Limbs: Searching for the New American Farmer
Director: Jamie Howell
Producer: Guy Evans
ABOUT THE FILM
More About Broken Limbs: Searching For The American Farmer from Directors and Producers Jamie Howell and Guy Evans
The idea for Broken Limbs was conceived by filmmakers Guy Evans and Jamie Howell in the summer of 2001. Evans, a freelance videographer, and Howell, a freelance writer, found themselves living back in the Wenatchee Valley where much of their childhoods had been spent, but the Valley was much changed. The orchards that had surrounded them as young men were fast disappearing. In April 2002, Evans and Howell presented a three-minute trailer built around a poem Evans had written about the struggles of local farmers at a works-in-progress workshop at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival held each year in Leavenworth, Washington. The enthusiastic response to the trailer convinced the two novice filmmakers to officially launch their project.
What followed was a two-year journey of discovery, conducting interviews with farmers, economists and academics as they labored to understand the philosophical underpinnings of a concept called sustainable agriculture and how it might be applied in their own hometown.
Evans and Howell raised $33,000 to make Broken Limbs, all of it from individual community members and two local granting organizations â€“ The Icicle Fund and the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. The resulting 58-minute video takes viewers on a hometown journey through the global issues facing Americaâ€™s small farmers, with Evans and his father, Denny, in the starring roles as they discover a new breed of farmer, and a new hope for the future of agriculture.
Broken Limbs debuted in October 2003. It now has since been selected for national distribution by Bullfrog Films, accepted for broadcast on PBS stations around the Northwest and in California. The documentary was nominated for two Northwest Emmys in 2005 and won the Chris Award for documentary films at the Columbus International Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Apple farmers still struggle in Wenatchee, Washington, â€œThe Apple Capital of the World,â€ but at the same time the community now plays host to a thriving farmers market, more CSA operations have been formed and the farming community continues to seek out creative, inventive solutions to secure their futures. The movie comes at a time when the concept of sustainability is gaining new currency with not just the local population, but with the American public and the world.
This short version, Broken Limbs: Searching for the New American Farmer was created especially for the Media That Matters: Good Food collection.
Learn about the feature-length version of Broken Limbs at www.brokenlimbs.org
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