Local filmmakers showing ‘Farmer of the Year’ at Panida

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  • Creators of the award-winning feature film, 'Farmer of the Year', Kathy Swanson and Vince O'Connell, on the red carpet at the Minneapolis St. Paul Int'l Film Festival. The Panida Theater in Sandpoint will host a special screening of their film, followed by a Q&A, Oct 11 at 7 pm.

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    Barry Corbin and Mackinlee Waddell star in 'Farmer of the Year' the award-winning independent feature film screening at the Panida Theater at 7 pm October 11 (with Q&A), 18, 19 and 21.

  • Creators of the award-winning feature film, 'Farmer of the Year', Kathy Swanson and Vince O'Connell, on the red carpet at the Minneapolis St. Paul Int'l Film Festival. The Panida Theater in Sandpoint will host a special screening of their film, followed by a Q&A, Oct 11 at 7 pm.

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    Barry Corbin and Mackinlee Waddell star in 'Farmer of the Year' the award-winning independent feature film screening at the Panida Theater at 7 pm October 11 (with Q&A), 18, 19 and 21.

The Panida Theater announces the Idaho premiere, and, of the “coming of aging” feature film, “Farmer of the Year”.

The film screens at The Panida Theater today, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. Filmmakers will be on hand for a question-and-answer session at today’s showing. The film also will screen at the Panida on Oct. 18, 19 and 21, also at 7 p.m.

The film, by the Metaline Falls, Wash. husband-and-wife team of Kathy Swanson and Vince O’Connell, stars Emmy-nominated Barry Corbin (“Northern Exposure”, “No Country for Old Men”, “Urban Cowboy”, “War Games”), Mackinlee Waddell (“Good Christian Belles”), and Terry Kiser (“Weekend at Bernie’s”) and is their first feature.

Written by Swanson, shot largely at the farm on which she grew up and in her hometown in Minnesota (population 1,200), “Farmer of the Year” is the story of Hap Anderson, a widowed 83-year-old Minnesota farmer who thinks he’s still quite the ladies’ man. After selling the family farm he’s worked for over 60 years, he finds himself adrift and staring a short future in the face. Driven by the possibility of showing up with an old flame and impressing his old army buddies, he sets out in a dilapidated ‘73 Winnebago to attend his 65th World War II reunion in California with his unreasonably self-confident and also directionless granddaughter, Ashley. Along the way, Hap with his road map and Ashley with her GPS, they begin to understand and appreciate each other as individuals while discovering that being young and being old, aren’t all that different.

A deceptively simple look, presented lightly and with humor, at aging, transitions, loss and family, the film doesn’t hit the audience over the head with the message.

Filled with typical, understated small town humor and restraint, Farmer of the Year captures the sense of real life, location and spirit of rural America with a unique combination of homegrown and Hollywood.

“We are really excited,” Swanson answered when asked about the Panida screening. “The film is very layered and I know a Sandpoint audience will really enjoy it. Plus, we love having a reason to go to Sandpoint … right down the Pend Oreille River from Metaline Falls.”

“Farmer of the Year” has been selected to screen at film festivals across the country, winning “Audience Choice” awards at the Minneapolis St. Paul, Sedona and Woods Hole International film festivals. It was nominated for “Best Actor” for Barry Corbin at Woods Hole and Best Feature Film and Best Actor at the Soho International Film Festival in New York City and the Lady Filmmakers Festival in LA.

“We’re overwhelmed with the response,” said O’Connell. “Audiences have been loving it …and not just Midwesterners. We were one of the only feature films at Woods Hole to sell out.”

Audiences around the country are raving about the film.

The film delicately blends the comedy and drama of life.

Swanson wrote the screenplay. O’Connell, edited. They both directed and produced.

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