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Sneak peek of local organic farming documentary at endangered Jack London State Historic Park
THE ORGANIC LIFE, a Sonoma-lensed farm-life documentary by local filmmaker Casey Beck, will have a work-in-progress sneak preview followed by a farm-to-table dinner in Jack London State Park at 5:30pm on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
THE ORGANIC LIFE is a yearlong chronicle of life on a Sonoma farm, where young farmer Austin Blair re-embraces the traditional agriculture practices that built America. It’s a story filled with sweat and blisters, sun and rain, as Austin and his fellow farmers struggle to sustain one of the world’s most ancient livelihoods the old- fashioned way. Join a die-hard group of Sonoma farmers on their journey to make a sustainable living in the 21st century and find out what it takes for your local farmer to produce that juicy, heirloom tomato…
Sonoma-based director Casey Beck has dedicated the past seven years to producing cutting-edge documentaries. Her films have garnered numerous awards and earned her a Fulbright Scholarship, while carrying the tenacious filmmaker to Mongolia, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. For THE ORGANIC LIFE, her first feature-length documentary, she was inspired by a story she saw in her own backyard. “Farmers are often presented as happy, well-meaning people, who work under a constantly temperate sun, in picture-perfect conditions on idyllic plots, brimming with vegetables ripe for the picking,” Ms. Beck states. “In reality, they face increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, shifting markets, pests, and poverty. They work, rain or shine 365 days a year, and it’s no small wonder why so few would want the job,” she continues. “But, I want to show the challenges and rewards that make farming not just employment, but also a calling.”
The work-in-progress screening will be followed by a family style dinner exquisitely prepared by the culinary team from The Girl & The Fig with seasonal, local produce provided by Paul’s Produce. Sondra Bernstein, CEO and Proprietor of the Girl & The Fig noted, “We are honored to be included in this collaboration that combines and connects so many of our passions. We can't wait to cook this meal for friends that appreciate good food and care about our planet.” Expect unique wine-pairings to round out this truly Sonoma meal set in one of Northern California’s most spectacular (and threatened!) State Historic Parks.
Jack London State Historic Park (JLSHP) is a treasure of the State of California. The 1400-acre park comprises London’s restored private home and what he called “Beauty Ranch,” where he lived from 1905 until his death in 1916. It was here that London found inspiration to write many of his most famous works. When the state cut $33 million from the State Park budget and the California Department of Parks and Recreation announced it would close JLSHP and 69 other state parks by July 2012, hours at JLSHP were quickly reduced and it seemed a valuable cultural resource would be lost. Thanks to Sonoma County nonprofit organization the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association (VMNHA) this and other State Parks will remain open to the public. Working closely with local representatives, the VMNHA encouraged the passage of a state assembly bill that would allow for qualified nonprofit organizations to take over management of parks slated for closure. Even before the bill became law in October 2010, the VMNHA was developing a management proposal for JLSHP, focused on making the park profitable by changing visitor fees, scheduling private events, securing grants, and hosting regular fundraisers.
The one-time work-in-progress screening of THE ORGANIC LIFE is a fundraiser to help complete this timely, eye-opening documentary as well as a forum for community discussions on food, agriculture, sustainability, and the role of the arts over an organic, Sonoma-grown dinner in a place that Jack London, one of America's first progressive agriculturists, penned some of the world’s most beloved novels. An emblem of collaboration among various organizations in the community, the evening will benefit both the film and also the park and is the first of many such events to be held there.
For more information about this community event please contact Dreamers and Heroes Events at (707)-939-5357. To learn more about THE ORGANIC LIFE documentary project please visit www.TheOrganicLifeMovie.com Due to the historic nature of the venue, persons with disabilities should call in advance to arrange for access and/or special assistance.
Contact: Casey Beck
Tel: (239) 250-0129
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