Award-winning feature documentary After Winter, Spring, directed by Judith Lit, will have its Vermont premiere at the Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas in Burlington on May 6 at 7 pm. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and a reception featuring local foods sponsored by City Market. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT). Tickets are $15 general admission, or $12 for NOFA-VT and City Market members, and are available online and at the door.
One hundred years ago, half of the population of France were farmers. Now, less that 3% farm. In the Périgord, a rural community fears they may be the last generation of family farmers in a region continuously cultivated for over five thousand years. Filmed over four years, After Winter, Spring captures the roots of farm-to-table and the tenacity of a people who have taken one season at a time for generations.
The farmers’ stories are recorded by one of their neighbors, an American filmmaker who grew up on her family’s farm in Pennsylvania. Inter-weaving her story and theirs, the film explores the nature of the farming life and the impact of rapid modernization on families whose survival is tied to the land. As the farmer’s stories unfold, we see their responses to change…the losses and the surprising adaptations. After Winter, Spring reveals the human story of family farming at a turning point in history.
The film was chosen to tour in France as part of the Mois du Documentaire and has played to sold-out screenings in numerous festivals including The Seattle International Film Festival, The Environmental Film Festival in the Nations Capital (Washington, DC), The International Ecological Television Festival “To Save & Preserve” (Russia), and many more. It has garnered wonderful press and won a number of awards including: the Audience Favorite Award (Mill Valley Film Festival), Best Foreign Documentary (Arizona International Film Festival), Jury Award (Caméras des Champs Festival in France) and was chosen as one of the Best of Festival at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival.
Director Judith Lit spent her childhood on her family’s farm in rural Pennsylvania. She began her filmmaking career as Associate Producer of internationally acclaimed Dark Circle, winner of a National Emmy, the Grand Prize at Sundance, and a Certificate of Special Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Judith went on to produce and direct other award-winning films, including Voices from the Classroom, and As Seen on TV. In addition to her production work, she served as director of the San Francisco Women on Screen Film Festival, and has served on the jury of the San Francisco Film Festival and the American Film Festival. For the last 18 years, Judith has divided her time between New York City and a small farm in the Périgord region of southwestern France.