FARMER VETERAN

Watching a chicken hatch makes combat veteran Alex Sutton smile, so he decides to become a farmer. The sense of purpose he once felt as a soldier returns, but his crippling PTSD remains. Along with his wife, Jessica, he toils through four seasons on a different kind of battlefield and wonders if, for him, the war will ever end.

This intense and intimate feature length documentary opens a window into the complex lives of veterans: wanting and not wanting to be civilians, aching for the intensity of war and yet wishing to cast off the memories that haunt them. It also explores the strengths and limitations of farming as occupational therapy for a population in search of purpose after war and a country in need of young farmers.

THE TEAM

dlanderson_02_bwD.L. Anderson
Producer, Editor

Prefers dirt roads to traffic lights and ten honest seconds with a stranger to most anything else. Recent work includes COOK SCHOOL, a look at culinary education behind bars. Anderson is Co-Director of Vittles; a film company producing and promoting documentaries about people told through the lens of food. Farmer Veteran is the first feature doc from Vittles.

AlixBlair_bwAlix Blair
Co-Director

Alternates between the worlds of documentary making, farming, yoga-teaching and graduate school. Blair has captured the sounds of snails in freezing northern Maine and a country’s transition to democracy in Bhutan. Past work includes The Five Farms Project and Nuestras Histories, Nuestros Sueños.

jml_BWJeremy M. Lange
Co-Director

Father, photographer and steadfast skateboarder, Lange has been focusing his lens on the effects war on veterans and U.S. culture for the past decade. He also freelances for publications including Le Figaro, The New York Times, Texas Monthly, TIME and Outside Magazine.
Blog / Porfolio

Brooke_bwBrooke D. Shuman
Production Manager

Drove to Durham, N.C. for the kudzu vines, the crazy heat and for the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Shuman is Co-Director of Vittles Films and past work includes Wok Next Door and Café Sense.

MikelBarton_BWMikel Barton
Co-Producer, Asst. Editor

Since producing his first film for a chicken breeder in rural India, Mikel has devoted himself to cultivating organizational and leadership skill sets for commercial, educational and documentary films. Recent work includes All of Us, about the struggle against anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina.

KristinHenry_BWKristin Henry
Outreach Strategist

Brings her ebullient spirit and 8 years experience of playing matchmaker to groundbreaking and leading organizations to create social action film campaigns. Kristin is also the Senior Social Media Strategist at Working Films where she is leading ScreeningHQ and Reel Power.

sundholm_bwShaun Sundholm
Creative Director

Currently on world-wide tour as Creative Director for Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai, Mr. Sundholm has also designed interactive art for organizations including Friends of the Children and Repeal Amendment One. Follow him @f_letter / Instagram

chris_heavner_300x300Chris Heavner
Executive Producer

Chris Heavener is the General Manager of Videri Chocolate Factory, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Downtown Raleigh, NC. He’s been interested in sustainable agriculture for over 5 years and has started to get involved in the sustainable ag movement in the Triangle. Coming from a family with connections to the military he’s interested in the well being and proper support of veterans.

Sebastian_bw_300x300Sebastian Naskaris
Associate Producer

As a Supply Chain Fellow with North Carolina State’s Poole School of Management and The Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Sebastian is working to help strengthen the ability of small and medium scale sustainable farmers to have greater market access and secure a healthy livelihood.

 

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News

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Veterans Day 2013

Today we honor all veterans who have served and sacrificed for their country. Unlike Memorial Day, this holiday is reserved for honoring and showing gratitude to living veterans of the armed services. As such, we should reflect on their lives now, after war, and consider what can be done to better their quality of life for the other 364 days of the year. Read the latest news on the state of veteran affairs and how you can do something to improve the lives of those that have served this nation, today.

Photo: Alex Sutton’s kitchen table. – Jeremy M. Lange

READ MORE FV NEWS


 

GET INVOLVED

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SPEAK UP | The Senate and House are trying to negotiate differences with the 2013 Farm Bill. Sign up to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition listserv to help them advocate for the needs of beginning farmers and veterans.

ENLIST | Whether you’re just starting out or already an expert on farming, veterans will find invaluable resources and support through the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Apply for small grants, access all of FVC’s resources, and attend their workshops.

EQUIP | Support a farmer veteran by donating your farm gear; equipment, seeds, feed or stock are all welcome and needed.

CONTACT US

PARTNER UP | We’re pairing up with non-profits, businesses and other groups that support farmers and veterans to seek strategic feedback on how the film can be used to support their important work. Interested? Reach out.

SUPPORT US

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After 15 months of filming with the Suttons, we’re now fully immersed in the post-production process. This means, among other things, shaping our extensive footage into a feature-length story, collaborating with a composer on an original score, and continuing to develop our outreach and audience engagement strategy. At this point we’re a third of the way toward bringing this film into the world and influencing conversation, understanding and policy about veterans, farmers and the way we heal from trauma.

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Making it this far would not have been possible without the generous support of the folks mentioned below. Consider joining this grassroots documentary effort by making a tax-deductible donation at a specific level or any amount you wish.



Read more about our incentives for giving, including fine art prints of Alex’s heritage birds, and what your gift of support makes possible. All donations are processed by our fiscal sponsor, The Southern Documentary Fund, a registered 501(c)(3).
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SUPPORTERS

Silver Appleyard $5,000

Eliza Kraft Olander & Brian McHenry
Philip Shuman & Family

Pearl Guinea $1,000

Farmer Veteran Coalition
Heather Hudson
Margo Blair
Matt Kelly
Peter Lange
Roberta Mitchell

Blue Americana $500

Alexander Protzman
Ashley Christensen
Bob Geary
Brian Joseph
Craig McNamara
David Chapman
Jeffrey Crawford
John & Kathleen Byron
Ken Cleary
Marlene Halverson
Molly Hooper
Nan Schaffer
Susan Blackwell
Ted Strader

Showgirl $100

Andrew Leland
Aldra Robinson
Angela Tafur
Ann Cosper
Ann Sky
Barbara Ann Caudill
Bruce Branson
Bruce R. Kuniholm
Caroline Ann Stewart
Catherine Caprio
Chad Jacobs
Chad Mather
Charles Davies
Charles Edelman
Charles McClung
China Dolls
Christina & Steve Celestini
Christina Keker
Crash Gregg
Cristian & Mary Susan Alva
Deidre Arnold
Eleanor Smith
Elizabeth Hogan
Esteban McMahan
Evette Iverson
Greg Schlenz
Hallie Shinn
Ilene Siegler
Irina Bennett
James Swinerton
Jami Norris
Jennifer Morris
Jenny Hwa
Joe Warmelink
Joes & Chrissy Serrano
John & Julie W. Fox
John & Kathy Piva
John Barton
Juliet Singer
Katie-Rose Tuttle
Kelly McCall Branson
Kimberly Jones
Kristen Polzien
Laura & Grant Williard
Laura Scott Dillman
Laura Stephenson
Leon Grodski de Barrera
Leva Spons
Lexi Hasapis
Lisa Stern
Liz Wasley
Lois Deloatch & Edward Gomes
Mark Moore
Martha Scotford
Michael O’Gorman
Michael Spiritos
Mike Smith
Mital & Rimple Patel
Nion McEvoy
Pamela Gutlon
Paul Finkel
Perry Hooper
Peter Hayes
Phil & Susan Jakes
Rakhi Kilaru
Richard Arnold
Richard Harkrader
Rob Maitland
Robert & Amy Lark
Rusty Taylor
Ruta Slepetis
Sarah Holshouser
Susan McBaine
Taylor Brewton
Thomas Gruber
Tica Lema
Vandana Dake & John Warasila
Vimala Rajendran
Zoe Fuller-Rowell

Baby Muscovy $50

Analisa
Andrew Seifert
Anna Ruth Pickett
Ash Crowe
Ashlie White
Aya Brackett
Corey Dzenko
David Thompson
Debra Portmann
Denise Prickett
Diane Callan
Holly Head
Jennie Laurel Terman & Melissa Westbrook
Johanna Kramer
Johanna Zorn
JP Trostle
Julie Shapiro
K. Jespersen
Kaitlyn Goalen
Karin McIntire
Kennon Kay
Kevin Mathias
Laura Horner
Laurie Higby
Leslie Leslie
Lora Smith
Mark Overbay
Matt Crawford
Megan & Aaron Jones
Meghan Vigeant
Michael Gillen
Michael Good
Michaela Idhammar
Pat and Bob Garcia
Richard K. Eckstein
Ryan Quanstrom
Sara Jane Whyte
Sarah Billotti
Sarah Blackmon
Steve Breedlove
Valerie Sloane

THANK YOU

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