Kelly Rundle films Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Barn at Taliesin in Spring Green, WI.
The Barn Raisers, the award-winning new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will screen Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Community of Christ Church, 12320 W Bluemound Road, Milwaukee. The filmmakers will take part in Q&A following the 56-minute film presentation. The event is free and open to the public.
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.
“The Barn Raisers feels like a hymn to the solemn beauty and importance of these buildings,” wrote Entertainment Editor Jonathan Turner of the Dispatch-Argus. "It paints a beautiful portrait of rural America."
A number of Wisconsin barns are featured in the film, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Midway Barn at Taliesin in Spring Green, the 1897 Dairy Barn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the story of notable African-American barn builder Alga Shivers who designed and constructed many of Vernon County's round barns in the early 20th century. In addition to Wisconsin, the film was shot in Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and Michigan.
Producer Tammy Rundle with writer Jerry Apps.
Wisconsin scholars, including award-winning writer Jerry Apps, barn historians James Draeger, Dr. William Tishler and writer/photographer Nancy Schumm-Burgess, also appear in the film.
The Barn Raisers is an Official Selection at the upcoming Beloit International Film Festival held February 23-March 4. The film was also an Official Selection at the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Interrobang Film Festival, the Royal Starr Film Festival, the Doc Sunback Film Festival, and was a Judge’s Official Selection for Best Documentary at the Iowa Independent Film Festival.
The Barn Raisers was funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin. The Richland County Historical Society is the fiscal sponsor for the documentary film project.
Additional grants were awarded to the project by the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, the National Barn Alliance/Russ & LuAnn Mawby, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Ohio Humanities Council, the Moline Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
The Rundles are the producers of the regional Emmy® nominated historical documentaries Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT-PBS), Country School: One Room – One Nation, River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, and the award-winning Lost Nation: The Ioway series and Villisca: Living with a Mystery.