Film festival announces opening night pick
The Biggest Little Farm unlocks secrets of biodiversity
Submitted by Salt Spring Film Festival Society
A crowd-pleasing documentary on the challenges of restoring biodiversity headlines this year’s Salt Spring Film Festival.
The Biggest Little Farm – which has already won audience awards and best documentary prizes at over a dozen film festivals – has been selected from among over 100 contenders to headline the opening night gala on Friday, Feb. 28 for the 21st annual celebration of excellence in documentary film.
“This has been a really great year for documentaries,” said festival manager James Cowan. “We had an unusual number of very strong films vying for the opening night spot.”
Featuring 50 documentaries from around the world and visiting filmmakers from across the country, the film festival continues through the weekend of Feb. 29 to March 1 at Gulf Islands Secondary School. Full festival passes — which include the Opening Gala — are now available online, in person or by phone from the ArtSpring box office.
Shortlisted for the Oscars, The Biggest Little Farm follows two idealistic dreamers on an eight-year odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog leads to eviction from their tiny apartment, filmmaker John Chester and his wife Molly make a dramatic decision that takes them out of Los Angeles and back to the land, naïvely endeavouring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature.
Trading city living for 200 acres of barren farmland in the foothills of Ventura County, the Chesters chronicle eight exhausting years of dogged perseverance as they attempt to create the organic utopia they seek. When the farm’s depleted soil and drought-stricken ecosystem finally begins to re-awaken, so does the Chesters’ hope for the future, as they unlock the biodiversity that provides a vital blueprint for healthier living and a sustainable planet.
Refusing to give up on their ambitious dream despite repeated setbacks, they plant 10,000 fruit trees and over 200 different crops that attract wildlife of every kind, and capture it all in spectacular high-definition cinematography. This uplifting, informative and optimistic film is an unforgettable testament to the complexity of nature and an invitation for us all to heed Mother Nature’s call.
The Salt Spring Film Festival Opening Night Gala is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at Gulf Islands Secondary School; doors open at 5:30 p.m.
More information is available at www.saltspringfilmfestival.com.