The Barn Raisers, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle (Villisca: Living with a Mystery) of Fourth Wall Films will be showcased at Villisca Heritage Day, Sunday, July 1. The award-winning film will screen at 2:00 p.m. at the Villisca Wellness Center, 219 Central Avenue and benefit the Villisca Historical Society and its efforts to preserve local history. The filmmakers will take part in Q&A following the film. Tickets are $8. Children 12 and under are free. Villisca Heritage Day will feature other festivities on Sunday, including an All Church Service in the park, kids activities, Villisca Public Library open house, food, talent show and the town’s spectacular 4th of July fireworks display in the evening.
A crowd-pleaser at film festivals, The Barn Raisers tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film explores what building methods, barn styles, and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived, and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation. The Barn Raisers is a companion film to the Rundles’ Emmy® nominated historical documentary Country School: One Room – One Nation.
“How could we create something from practically nothing with just a handful of tools and no drawings? The answer is in the barns,” said Rudy Christian, a traditional timber framer and barn preservationist from Burbank, Ohio.
Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders like Wisconsin round barn builder Alga Shivers who traveled from job to job, and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. The Barn Raisers paints a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, an important way of life that has been largely forgotten, and the film reminds us that these remnants from America’s rural past are still here to be interpreted and experienced.
Funds raised during the benefit screening will help the Villisca Historical Society in its efforts to preserve Villisca history and present informative programs and presentations to the public.
The Barn Raisers recently won a Telly Award for Excellence in Television and was an Official Selection at eight film festivals nationwide including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Beloit International Film Festival, the Interrobang Film Festival, the Royal Starr Film Festival, the Sunback Film Festival, and it was an award-winner at the Iowa Independent Film Festival and the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.
The Barn Raisers was partially funded by grants from Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Ohio Humanities Council, the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, the National Barn Alliance/Russ & LuAnn Mawby, the Moline Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Jackson County. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this documentary film and program do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations.
The Villisca Historical Society, Inc. (VHSI) collects, preserves, and interprets historical materials, images and artifacts to shed light on the natural, civil and political history of the City of Villisca, Iowa. VHSI develops programs and provides information–via its membership quarterly newsletter, website VilliscaHistory.org, blog, and other social media–to promote public awareness, scholarly research, and appreciation of Villisca’s unique history. VHSI fosters excellence and leadership, historical inquiry, believing that an understanding of the past illuminates the present and gives vision to the future.
The Rundles are the producers of twelve award-winning documentaries including the Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Lost Nation: The Ioway 1, 2 & 3 series, and the Emmy® nominated River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, and Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT-PBS). Their award-winning documentary Movie: Star the Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (co-produced with Garry McGee of McMarr Films, Ltd.) will be released on DVD later this year, and their new docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunders will premiere at the Putnam Giant Screen in March 2019.