The International Farmers on Film Festival: Join in the Fun on 29th July!

Now if, like me, you were glued to the TV during the 2012 London Olympics, you might have come across the Farmers on Film project, a series of short video profiles starring farmers and food producers from Staffordshire made by Staffordshire University film students to celebrate the decision to use food produced in Great Britain at the Games. The International Farmers on Film Festival aims to continue this legacy by keeping our brilliant farmers and food producers firmly in the spotlight – and we’re thrilled that the event will be launched at next month’s International Cheese Awards.

The idea is a simple one: to use film, social media and smartphone technology to share the stories of some of the inspiring people who keep the British food industry going. The event is set to take place in the cookery demonstration theatre on Trade Day – Tuesday 29th July – and already features a stunning line-up of guest speakers, including some familiar faces from film and television. For the full line-up, visit the Farmers on Film website at http://farmersonfilm.org/events/farmerson-film-festival-29th-july-2014/. Cheese producers also have the chance to win some great prizes in the Cheese Factor film competition, and have until midnight on 22nd July to send in their own videos demonstrating the farming and cheese making process.

Founder of Farmers on Film Sarah Gayton has been working tirelessly in the run-up to the show, encouraging members of the food industry to come along and get involved. It’s all about putting the public in touch with our very best food producers, sharing when, where and how our food is produced and showcasing the knowledge and passion that goes into it. She had this to say when I caught up with her (no mean feat at the moment!) earlier on today:

“I’m overwhelmed at the great kindness, generosity and creativity of people from all sectors who are getting behind the launch of the first ever 'Farmers on Film Festival'. We have industry experts from the film, food, social media, media, farming and tourism sectors coming to speak at the event and to start this conversation off on how we use film, social media and smart phones to connect the food we eat to the farmers who produce it. I am positive that exciting ideas will emerge from the day and I see it as a pivotal event for the dairy and farming industry to discuss in-depth this concept to help grow their rural businesses.”

Sarah, pictured below at the Leek Fine Food Market, has also been taken aback by the international attention the project has already received:

“I’m thrilled that we have already starting receiving entries for the Cheese Factor Film competition, with one from Suffolk and one from Australia, with other films being undertaken in North Wales, Devon, Staffordshire and hopefully Norfolk. We have received our first entry from Australia and films are being made in Ecuador, New York, Afghanistan and Spain. I think finding about international cheese makers is just awesome and shows how pride, passion and culture can bring people together in this new exciting competition.”

The event is free to attend but participants must register in advance via email, social media or phone – full details are on the Farmers on Film website. Personally I can’t wait – all the passion and commitment of the Olympics, but with less athleticism and considerably more food!

You can see a selection of short films about the event by clicking on the following links:

Sarah's intro to FarmersonFilm
Ernie's Guensleigh A2 Cheese
Chris Horrocks Interview for Media
Chris Horrocks Interview for Cheese Makers

Film Festival