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The story of love, grit and hope as one family struggles to keep the family farm alive in America’s heartland.
The story of love, grit and hope as one family struggles to keep the family farm alive in America’s heartland.
The story of love, grit and hope as one family struggles to keep the family farm alive in America’s heartland.
198 backers pledged $13,850 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$13,850

198

Over the course of the last four years, I’ve been filming the story of one very soulful family farm. The filming for the documentary is complete and I'm ready to move the film into postproduction, but I need your help to make this goal a reality.

Update: 

We made it to our goal!! Farmsteaders has been receiving amazing feedback and support from folks so far, and I am just bursting with gratitude. Folks have been asking and yes, you can keep pledging!

The goal of $10,000 was the minimum amount needed to bring Farmsteaders to life. Every penny that we can fund above that baseline will help me make this film experience even more amazing! Can you help Farmsteaders raise $20,000? 

The money for the new goal will help me: 

- Hire a co-editor

- Expand the film's community outreach strategy 

- Score original music: The original plan was to license pre-recorded music, but more funding would make it possible to work with a composer to create a unique musical score and soundscape just for Farmsteaders

- Create education curriculum(!): This is my favorite plan for more funds and something I've been dreaming about for awhile! I can hire an assistant-editor to help me create a 5 minute version of the film that focuses on the Nolan kids living life on the farm. And, together with the help of a team of professional educators, I will create a lesson plan with fun, engaging project prompts all about food and farming. This will be available as a free (or pay-what-you-can) educational package that is geared toward engaging middle-school aged students to learn about nutrition and connect to the sources of their food.

The Film 

The fog is rolling slowly, nestled in between the hills - the breath of the little creek across the pasture. A calf was born this morning. The big maple tree in front of the house - the one Grandpa planted - is just starting to turn fire red. Over there is the hill where Grandpa died that September day. Nick swears at a tractor that just broke out in the field. He’s a red headed, sinewy, Appalachian prodigal son. Celeste is making a list of things to do that is almost too long for the paper she's writing it on. She's hopeful and steady like a deep river. The kids are out in the yard somewhere, thinking about the arrowheads they found and groaning about chores. 

Farmsteaders immerses you in the world of one family who is choosing to stay and fight in the economically distressed foothills of Southeastern Ohio. The film reveals their spirit of resistance and resilience. There are other families like the Nolans, and it's time we start paying attention.

If you are alive and you eat food, thank a farmer! Did you know that only 1% of the American population claims farming as their occupation? The amount of food that we produce is increasing steadily, but the production is primarily controlled by 10 major corporations who grow through huge corporate farms. The small scale family farm is going extinct. 

My goals as a filmmaker are to tell a beautiful and honest story about a family doing everything they can to make it, and to help viewers deepen their understanding of the toll it takes on small scale farmers trying to do things the right way.

Take a look at the extended trailer for an even better sense of the film:

The Big Picture 

Farmsteaders takes place in the lush, rolling foothills of Ohio, just a few miles north of the Ohio River. The region is like countless other places in rural America. It was once a thriving agriculture economy, but for years farmers have fallen victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Fertile farmland is unused, barns are falling over, health issues are skyrocketing. This is the land of plenty and people are going hungry every day. 

The film is shot mostly in a cinéma vérité style (fly on the wall). You are able to watch the children grow over the years, and I pay a deep reverence to the rhythms of the changing seasons. The film explores the daily experience of life on a farm, family legacy, choices, resilience and adaptation in the face of a changing industry.

Make Hay While the Sun is Shining

Now is the time to stand up and fight for the family farm. All of us. Together. In all of the ways that we are able. 

This film is a hopeful voice in the larger conversation at hand, and I believe it is of great value. It's time to bring the final pieces together and bring the story to life! Your generosity will help move this film into post-production, which means color correction and sound design, finish editing, and initial marketing and outreach including free community screenings, film festivals, publication and creating online access. 

How Will the Funds be Used? 

Over the years, I have poured all of my time, energy and financial resources into Farmsteaders. Fortunately, the film has been shot already - the footage is ready to go! But post-production is not cheap. I need to raise at least $10,000 to make this film a reality.

All of the money we raise through this Kickstarter campaign will go toward covering major post production costs. Please help me make this story come to life! I cannot do it without your sweet support.

How the Funds Will be Distributed:

  • 30% Final color and sound design
  • 20% Finish Editing
  • 18% Music
  • 10% Initial Community Outreach 
  • 9% Kickstarter Donor Rewards 
  • 8% Kickstarter and Third Party Payment Processing
  • 5% Harddrives (for editing)

I am currently on track to have the initial film rough cut by September. This autumn, I will be embarking on a grass roots screening tour and showing the Farmsteaders rough cut around the country in discussion/feedback sessions. The fine cut edit will follow in January, and the finished 40 minute long documentary film premiere in early 2016. 

$10,000 is the minimum needed to complete Farmsteaders. If we are able to raise more than that goal, the extra money will go toward creating the next phase of outreach - a free educational package with a short video edit from the project geared toward kids, along with engaging project ideas that encourage middle-school aged students to have fun learning about nutrition and the sources of their food. 

Get These Wonderful Rewards!

 NEWLY ADDED: 

A new signed 8"x10" print available! This photograph was taken in the old farmhouse nextdoor to my childhood home. The farmers were like family and they taught me many things.
A new signed 8"x10" print available! This photograph was taken in the old farmhouse nextdoor to my childhood home. The farmers were like family and they taught me many things.

You can read more about this photographer on the Farmsteaders' blog - click here.  

All of these awesome rewards have been made with love by yours truly, my very talented family members, or donated by wonderfully creative friends!

How You Can Help:

Donate! Every single dollar counts. Your donation will help fund the completion of this film! 

Spread the Word! Share this campaign and the Farmsteaders project with your family and friends on social media. 

Find Farmsteaders on:

Facebook 

Instagram 

Twitter 

Farmsteaders.com + the blog!

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

Risks and challenges

Making an independant film is a HUGE undertaking, and this project has been no exception. There are unexpected hardships and hurdles every step of the way.

The good news is that after putting in years worth of work, I've already met many of the challenges head on! We are in the home stretch and I am truly committed to this story. Over the years, I've seen this project evolve with help from my community, and I'm ready to meet any challenges that may arise.

The greatest risk we run now is not meeting the Kickstarter goal for funding.

With your support, we can complete the film and build the team for distribution, education, and impact.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Gratitude and project updates.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A thank you postcard from the project, a custom temporary tattoo, your name on the website and project updates.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A packet of non-gmo seeds! Keep the goodness growing.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, custom temporary tattoo, your name on the website and project updates.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The whole set of custom temporary tattoos and a "support local farmers" sticker!

    + A thank you postcard from the project, your name on the website and project updates.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A digital download of Farmsteaders sent right to you after the premiere (in early 2016) to enjoy anytime.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website and project updates.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A signed 8" x 10" print of the first photograph I made on the Nolan's farm, long before Farmsteaders was hatched. Printed on archival paper.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Hand dyed indigo Shabori cotton bandana

    Made with love by Shaena - each one is unique.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    NEW REWARD: A signed 8" x 10" print of a crack in the wallpaper of an old farmhouse. The house belonged to my neighbors growing up; a couple who farmed well into their 90's! They taught me a lot about living and farming. Printed on archival paper.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A seed variety kit! Includes 5 different garden favorites (tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, etc) and a tin of my favorite homemade gardener's hand salve.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Organic Cotton Tea Towel made in the USA at Ortolan Organic. Comes with a small jar of fresh homemade fruit preserves.

    These gorgeous tea towels are by my talented sisters, Jenna and Bethany Mallett

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A wooden block frame with 4 changeable images from the farm.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A mozzarella & ricotta cheese making kit! The kit contains enough ingredients to make Mozzarella 30 times.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

    These cheese kits were donated by the wonderful folks at New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A lovely, homegrown, homemade herbal bath and tea set! Includes nettle rose tea, aromatherapy room spray, lavender foot soak, herbal hand salve for hardworking hands, and more.

    Hand crafted with love (and some of the herbs were even grown on my homestead!)

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    An original, hand-printed linocut of "Hope Sustains the Farmer" by artist Mike Costello. The print is 13" x 18" on natural brown paper.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Name a cow! Pick a name for one of the Laurel Valley Creamery cows and we'll send you a photo of your cow friend to cherish (and show off!).

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A 2 lb sample selection of cheese made right on the farm! Comes with a handy custom cooler bag with the Laurel Valley Creamery logo.

    + A signed 8" x 10" print of the old farm truck, a thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!.

    Note: The cheese does not ship until at least October - cooler weather will maintain the integrity of the cheese while shipping.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A beautiful handcarved spoon! Ready to help you cook delicious meals and doubles as a work of art. Comes with a beeswax/walnut oil spoon butter to condition the wood.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

    Made with love by Shaena! Each spoon is unique and may vary slightly.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    A beautiful mirror! Made out of the reclaimed wood from an old barn on my childhood homestead that fell down in a tornado. I'm not kidding.

    Made with love by my talented woodworking-extraordinaire father! Each one is unique and the wood grain will vary slightly.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A grilled cheese party and a Farmsteaders movie night for you and up to 14 friends! I'll bring the party to you.**

    Aside from filmmaking, I consider grilled cheese as one of my specialties. These will be made with Laurel Valley Creamery Cheese.

    + A thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

    ** Does not include the cost of of travel

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Homemade dinner on the farm for you and 10 of your friends, with the cast and filmmaker! Includes a private tour of the farm and the cheesehouse.

    + An invitation to screenings, a thank you postcard from the project, a sticker, your name on the website, project updates, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

    ** Does not include the cost of of travel

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Assistant Producer credit!

    You are truly helping us make this happen!
    Your name will appear in the film credits as an Assistant Producer, in recognition of your generous contribution. You will also be invited as a VIP to the film screenings, parties and events.

    YOU CHOOSE: one of the following handmade gifts: Barnwood mirror, handcarved spoon, block frame with four project prints.

    + A signed archival quality 8" x 10" print of the old farm truck, a thank you postcard from the project, your name on the website, project updates, stickers and temporary tattoos, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Executive Producer credit! And a private film screening for up to 25 people!

    Your name will appear in the film credits as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER in recognition of your generous contribution. Along with your own private screening, you will be invited as a VIP to future film screenings, parties and events.

    Wow, you are so wonderful! This is a great opportunity for businesses to experience a screening of the film and have thoughtful discussion, guided by filmmaker Shaena Mallett, around the issues.

    YOU CHOOSE: one of the following handmade gifts: Barnwood mirror, handcarved spoon, block frame with four project prints.

    + A signed archival quality 8" x 10" print of the old farm truck, a thank you postcard from the project, your name on the website, project updates, stickers and temporary tattoos, and a digital download of the film when it's finished!

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Funding period

- (27 days)