Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films (Villisca: Living with a Mystery) will present their new documentary The Barn Raisers at Villisca Heritage Day, Sunday, July 1 at 2:00 p.m.. The award-winning film will screen at the Villisca Wellness Center, 219 Central Avenue, Villisca, Iowa and benefit the Villisca Historical Society. 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 their popular 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.
“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.
Film critic Linda Cook, Quad City Times, gave The Barn Raisers four-out-of-four stars.
Numerous Iowa barns are featured in the documentary, including the iconic Tyden No. 6 barn located in Dougherty; Iowa’s oldest barn located in St. Donatus; the barn on the C.G. Good Farm in Ogden where the famous Belgian Stallion Farceur is buried; the Flynn barn at Living History Farms; architect/builder Benton Steele’s last remaining round barn in Iowa, and many others.
In addition to Iowa, The Barn Raisers was filmed in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The film recently received a bronze Telly Award for Excellence in Television and Video.
“These barns are a part of the history of American immigration,” said artist Jeremy Marlow who owns the Marlow-Saak Barn located in Waukon, Iowa. The barn is featured on the film’s poster. “It’s really sad to see these things fall down at an alarming rate.” It is estimated that Iowa loses over 1,000 vintage barns annually.
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 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.
Kelly and Tammy Rundle produced the award-winning documentary "Villisca: Living with a Mystery" about Iowa's worse mass murder, the Villisca axe murders of 1912, which took the lives of eight.
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 (about the 1912 Villisca axe murders), 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).
All of the Rundles' award-winning films are available at Amazon.com and https://www.fourthwallfilms.com/dvds.htm.