DERBY LINE — The award-winning first-time feature film ‘Farmer of the Year,” by Vermonters Kathy Swanson and Vince O’Connell, will screen at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line this Thursday, July 11.
The film, ‘Farmer of the Year,’ written by Swanson and shot largely at the farm on which she grew up in her hometown of Tyler, Minnesota, tells the story of an aging farmer, who, after selling the farm he’s worked for over 60 years, finds himself useless and adrift.
Struggling to maintain his youth he road-trips across the country in a ’73 Winnebago with his equally directionless and unreasonably self-confident granddaughter.
Heading west, they find themselves in seemingly impossible situations with only each other for support.
As the journey progresses so does their relationship and they begin to understand and appreciate each other as individuals while discovering that being young and being old, aren’t all that different.
“A small town screening in a building that’s been the center of the community for generations feels like such a Vermont way to screen the film,” said Swanson.
The filmmakers met at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in the early ’80s where they worked 3 hours a day for room and board before moving to Western Massachusetts to grow their business, VOMAX, a custom athletic apparel manufacturing company started by O’Connell in one of the dorm rooms at the Center.
After selling the company, the couple moved back up north to Craftsbury.
“We’ve wrapped up our festival circuit and self-distributing the film across the country theatrically now,” said O’Connell. “We’ve been in about 90 theaters since September.”
‘Farmer of the Year’ will screen at the Haskell Opera House on July 11, at 7:00 p.m., followed by a Q&A session led by the filmmakers.
General admission tickets are $12, and available at the door.Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.