“We wanted to experience a different part of the country,” says Christine Anthony, half of the wife/husband team. “Owen is from New York, I’m from L.A., we met in San Francisco in the eighties, moved to L.A. in the nineties and decided that it was time for a new adventure.”
Upon arriving in Atlanta, the pair discovered that there wasn’t much of a local food scene, at least not on the scale they had become accustomed to in their former cities.
“There were only a few farmers markets and it was difficult to find fresh picked organic produce. There wasn’t much demand for good food on a local level,” says Owen.
The couple approached Georgia Organics, the nonprofit farmer advocate organization and offered their photography services, pro bono. The idea was to put a face on farming in Georgia and make farmers into rock stars. For the first three years, they traveled around the state visiting farms and taking photographs of the farmers, their farms and their food, getting to know the growers.
In between farm visits the couple continued to shoot for their commercial clients. In 2008, having reached a creative wall, the couple decided to explore the idea of making a short film, which resulted in the 13-minute short FARM!
GROW! is their first feature length documentary. The inspiration for GROW! came from their young farmer friends. By 2010, the couple realized that in the five years since they arrived in Georgia that there was a growing movement of young people taking up the plow, leaving behind their college educations and city life in order to do something meaningful.
“We were drawn to these young farmers because of their passion, intelligence and idealism,” Christine says. “Not to mention, their willingness to take risks. It was a beautiful story that needed to be told.”
The couple traveled 5,000 miles and filmed on 12 farms, tapping out their own bank account until Georgia Organics and Whole Foods Market stepped in to offer support along with a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Since it’s release last year, GROW! has won seven film festival awards and been screened at environmental film festivals and events around the world.
GROW! is now available as a deluxe edition DVD with 30 minutes of bonus features and is also available on iTunes, Amazon and Movies On Demand.
For more, visit growmovie.net.