One of the strangest trailer we have ever watched involves a documentary on a very peculiar and weird show. The British you got a chance to watch a show that some describes part Monty Python part Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Read ahead for the details on it's screening at this years FANTASTIC FEST and look for more updates on the film soon!
Found footage documentary A Life on the Farm revives a unique, inspiring – and sometimes morbid – portrait of rural English life that is in danger of being forgotten. Now, this era and the creative pursuits of an extraordinary man are being celebrated with a Texas Premiere at Fantastic Fest, with screenings on 25 September at 2pm and 29 September at 11am. The unique, touching and often shocking legacy of Somerset farmer Charles Carson captured the imagination of supporters from all over the world, who funded the film via Kickstarter, as well as executive producers and found footage aficionados Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, whose credits include the Colbert Report, Chop & Steele and the Onion. Since the film's World Premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival - the city Director Oscar Harding calls home, where it won the Cream City Cinema Jury Award alongside the likes of Céline Sciamma - Carson's life and work is being appreciated by audiences and critics alike, from the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, to Revelation Perth in Australia, to a home country screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and at Alabama’s Sidewalk Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature Now, even decades after his death, Charles Carson returns to the USA once again, as A Life on the Farm screens in Austin at the largest genre film festival in the United States.
A Life on the Farm celebrates the life and unique perspectives on life, death and community of Charles Carson, a farmer who turned to photography and filmmaking to relieve the pressures of looking after his family and running their farm in rural Somerset, England. Even as the pressures of isolation, caring and grief bore down on Carson, he captured the realities of farm life, including many cow births, but also a cat funeral, skeletons riding tractors, and concerts with his own homemade instruments (including a rendition of “Scotland the Brave” using only tractor parts).
While his work was recognised in national competitions and became a staple in his local community as he distributed his works to neighbours (sometimes against their will), he had to wait until his death to receive the international appreciation experts know he deserved. Director Oscar Harding rescued his work from obscurity thanks to Carson’s habit of sharing tapes with his fellow villagers – one such villager was Harding’s grandfather. After his passing, ten-year-old Oscar saw the original full-length video Carson created called Life on the Farm – but the content was so shocking that his parents stopped the tape halfway through.
Reunited with the footage as an adult, in his directorial debut, Harding explores Carson’s feature-length film, his other creative pursuits and the farmer-cum-showman himself. As well as letting those who knew Carson best tell his story, we hear from a variety of experts analysing Carson and his work from a modern perspective – a psychologist with an interest in rural mental health; a progressive mortician, who offers insight into Carson’s pioneering attitude towards death; Found Footage curators who provide insight into amateur filmmakers like Carson; and two journalists who judged an amateur filmmaking competition that Carson entered back in the late ‘90s, speaking for the first time in over 20 years about the fan club that Carson was unaware existed when he was alive.
Director Oscar Harding said, “Since meeting in college almost a decade ago, myself and my production partners never thought we would get a chance to visit Fantastic Fest, let alone have a feature film play there! And I don’t think in Charles’ wildest dreams, he ever imagined his movies would make it to somewhere like Texas! We never anticipated elevating Charles’ legacy would take three years and collaboration across states, countries, oceans and Zoom to do it – let alone that people from all over the world would connect with his story. The whole team is thrilled and honoured to share Charles’ eccentric, unique and positive – if not a little macabre – view of the world at Fantastic Fest. Ultimately, I hope Charles helps to show that film and history in Britain is as tapestried as the people in it, beyond the period dramas and romantic comedies the UK seems to be known for today.” - Ends - About the film
● Genre, Countries of Production: Documentary, UK/USA
● Year, Length, Language: 2021, 75 Minutes, English
● Shooting Format, Aspect Ratio, Audio Format: Digital, 16:9, 5.1
● Logline: An eccentric story from rural England about an art-inclined farmer and the inspiring, death-positive legacy of his long-lost home movies. The feature-length iteration of the film began with a Kickstarter campaign that exceeded expectations, raising 113% of its goal on the back of overwhelming support from Australia to Canada to Italy.
The film’s principal photography was meant to have been completed in the summer of 2020. Yet, like so many other films, the COVID-19 pandemic halted production, which resulted in an unconventional transatlantic collaboration.
With director Oscar Harding in the USA, and his fellow producers Edward Lomas and Dominik Platen in the UK, the trio embarked on their own journeys across several US states, England, and recruited crew in Los Angeles, New York, Dublin and Belfast to complete the film. Ultimately, direction and production relied upon Zoom.
With post-production completed across Ireland, the USA and the UK in September 2021, A Life On The Farm is the result of a three-year journey to tell Charles Carson’s story, and the culmination of a 30-year odyssey for Carson’s work to reach the kind of audience he deserved.
Sunday 09/25 @2.00pm
Thursday 09/29 @11.00am