CALL US THE BOLD NORTH, Fly-over Land, that place that’s too cold and snowy—whatever your description of Minnesota, I love this place. Most of the time.
We are a place of prairie vistas, lakes and woods, rolling hills, river bluffs. We are urban and rural. We are separately and together Minnesota.
The Minnesota I know best, and love most, is rural. South of the Twin Cities metro. Gravel roads and small towns. Church gatherings and family reunions. Popping into the grocery store only to strike up conversations with friends and acquaintances. This is the place of hotdishes (not casseroles) and recipes passed among generations.
But we are also a place of growth. In technology, industry, education, the arts. This weekend art follows rural roads to my native southwestern Minnesota. To an independent feature film written by former Lincoln County Dairy Princess Kathy Swanson. I blogged a few days ago about Farmer of the Year, a film which Kathy co-produced and directed with her partner, Vince O’Connell.
Even though she now calls Vermont home, Kathy remains true to her rural roots in the writing of this fictional story about a retired farmer embarking on a cross country road trip. I’m thankful for that rural authenticity. I’m thankful for Kathy’s creative focus on her rural southwestern Minnesota. It’s a place too often overlooked. Even by Minnesotans. When I tell people where I grew up, I often get a blank look. So I work my way back east, asking whether they know the location of New Ulm. If not, I backtrack even farther east to Mankato. Or often I will say “half-way between Redwood Falls and Marshall” and let them figure out the precise location of Vesta, my hometown. Portions of the film are shot in Marshall, but most are primarily around Kathy’s hometown of Tyler. That includes on her childhood family farm, still in the family.
I hope you will follow Interstate 35, Minnesota State Highway 60, or whatever highway or backroad to Faribault this weekend to view the Minnesota made film Farmer of the Year by YellowHouse Films. It’s showing at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the Paradise Center for the Arts.
If you are interested in viewing this independent feature film in your community, talk to the folks at your local movie theater or arts center as the film is not widely distributed. Then connect with Kathy at YellowHouse Films so she can follow up. Whether you live in Minnesota or New York or California or any place in between, Kathy’s happy to work with you in bringing Farmer of the Year to a screen in your area. I’d love for you all to see this rural Minnesota made film that features the place of my roots, southwestern Minnesota.
CLICK HERE to view a trailer of the film and for additional info.
© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Audrey, your love of Minnesota shows in every post. I love the way you describe this place you love. Through your posts, you help people see the beauty that you see. ❤ ❤
Thank you, Penny. I hope, through my writing, that people will begin to look at their communities through an appreciative lens. Every single place holds beauty.
Hi, Audrey, A heads-up on my new doc feature competing in upcoming 38thMpls/St.PaulInternat’l Film Fest. Check fest website for “Singin’ in the Grain” and premiering2 pm Sat.,Apr.6 at St.Anthony Main Theater , screen 3; 2d screening 4:15 Wed,Apr.17. Film also showing at Rochester Int’l fest 12 noon, Thurs.,Apr.18. Advise adv.ticket purchases ASAP, as both Mpls. showings are selling outfast already. Film was shot over 45 years in following the Eddie Shimota polkaband, beginning with the Veseli hoedowns. Thanks for any mentions. –Al Milgrom, director
Al, thanks for reaching out to me and my readership with info on “Singin’ in the Grain.” This sounds like another must-see rural-themed film. I’ll check out your website tomorrow.
Speaking of the Veseli Hoedown, I attended several years ago and documented it here:
Excuse the photo angles, taken during a time when slanted images were popular. I’m glad I got over that photography phase.
I have fond memories of the Veseli hoedowns and the Eddie Shimota polkaband since I live a few blocks from downtown Veseli. I will have to check out Singin in the Grain. Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome.
I thouhgt of you when I saw this. https://twosparrowsfarm.com/the-end-of-the-road/?fbclid=IwAR19HqZ9vPWGpbzk8EV7NwqMyLo5KrKxszYgwj11h51VsC-WJlGwIczJnX0
Thanks for the link, Ken. I’ll check it out.
I know you are going to laugh at me, but when I think of MN I think of tater tot hotdish for some reason – comfort, warmth, etc. 🙂 Ha! Happy Day – Enjoy
Oh, I’m not going to laugh at your thoughts. We Minnesotans are proud of our hotdishes and our bars (not drinking establishments, as you know).