Documentary on Mathews farming couple generating interest

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on May 15, 2013 - 02:55 PM

Photo: “Seasons with Brian and Julia,” a documentary by Mathews filmmaker Bob Griffith, left, was screened last month at the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., and at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, and it will be shown this Saturday at the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg. With Griffith are the subjects of the film, Mathews farmers Julia and Brian Anderson. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

“Seasons with Brian and Julia,” a documentary by Mathews filmmaker Bob Griffith, left, was screened last month at the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., and at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, and it will be shown this Saturday at the Kimball Theatre in Williamsburg. With Griffith are the subjects of the film, Mathews farmers Julia and Brian Anderson. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

"Seasons with Brian and Julia," a full-length documentary by filmmaker Robert Griffith about Mathews farmers Brian and Julia Anderson, premiered last month at the American Film Documentary Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., and is now being scheduled for screening at various theaters across Virginia.

A screening on April 20 at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond was well-attended and generated a lot of interest, said Griffith. It will be followed with a screening at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kimball Theatre on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg. 

The film is an intimate portrait of one year in the Andersons’ lives, according to a release. Griffith, who lives at Moon, visited them almost daily over a year’s time to document "their daily and seasonal struggles to farm sustainably, using the methods and wisdoms of centuries past." The film was made in 2011, a year of weather extremes during which the couple was transitioning from selling at farmers’ markets to establishing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation, which would determine whether they could continue to farm for a living.

After a year’s worth of filming, Griffith ended up with more than 50 hours of material that had to be cut down to around an hour-and-a-half with the help of his editor, Todd Raviotto. Olson Studio in Richmond wrote an original score for the film, and Griffith gave special credit to his primary local sponsors, Court and Tammye Van Clief, former owners of the White Dog Inn in Mathews Court House.

"You don’t make it without a team," Griffith said. "You need a lot of help."