“Dryland”, a 62-minute documentary by Sue Arbuthnot and Richard Wilhelm of Hare in the Gate Productions, makes its Portland premiere at the 41st Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival, in the Northwest Film Center’s. (Following the screening – “Inside the World of Film Composing,” a workshop given by “Dryland” composer, Mark Orton.)
Filmed over a decade and set in the American West, “Dryland” traces a young man’s quest for victory in a rambunctious contest, while battling to preserve a threatened way of life. This cinematic meditation on the fate of rural America reveals a paradoxical struggle between technological advancement and rural decline. Josh Knodel and best friend Matt Miller strive to win the Lind Combine Demolition Derby, save their town, and preserve the legacy of their families’ Eastern Washington wheat farms. Bittersweet yet exuberant, “Dryland” champions hope, in a celebration of hard work and harder play, fueled by ingenuity, heart…and axle grease.
Called “a bittersweet and beautiful new film” by Modern Farmer Magazine, “Dryland” ultimately champions hope, in a what Farm Aid terms “a raucous celebration of the culture of agriculture and an honest look at the reality of family farming.”
“Dryland”‘s mission is to spark fresh dialogue about agriculture and to build bridges between urban and rural viewers, keen to share insights about where our food comes from. The film’s “Rural Routes” tour provides screenings and panel discussions in cities and rural towns alike, working to preserve farmland and open space, and to foster sustainable agriculture for the next generation.
The filmmakers, along with composer Mark Orton and the film’s leads Josh Knodel and Matt Miller, will be on hand to answer questions.