DUNCAN, OKLAHOMA (01/24/2013)(readMedia)-- The award-winning short film The Garden and the Wilderness will make its Oklahoma debut this weekend at the Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma.
After premiering in 2011 at the Rome International Film Festival, The Garden and the Wilderness was awarded the prize for Best Editing at the 2012 Beverly Film Festival, and is nominated for Best Short Drama at the Trail Dance Film Festival's Golden Drover awards.
"The Trail Dance Film Festival is one of the most exciting film festivals in the country, and the cast and crew of The Garden and the Wilderness could not be more excited to be among the incredible roster of films that will be screening there this weekend," says the film's director, Craig Whitney. "Trail Dance has twice been named to MovieMaker Magazine's list of the top 25 film festivals in the country, and we are honored that the festival and its organizers have given us the opportunity to show our film in front of its first Oklahoma audience."
A poetic re-imagining of the Western genre, The Garden and the Wilderness examines the intersection between the demands of work and family in our lives, and how they can both help and hinder our ability to deal with life's hardships.
After 30 years spent caring for a Texas hunting estate, ranch hand Will James must confront the prospect of moving on from his life's work when he learns that the property will be sold following the owner's death. A final visit from the late owner's son offers him a chance to reflect on his past, and to figure out what to make of himself in the uncertain future that awaits his family.
The Garden and the Wilderness was written and directed by Craig Whitney, whose previous film, Harvest Home, premiered in 2009 at the Cannes Film Festival. Produced by Stephanie Huettner (The Peacemaker, Mighty Mutant Mollusks) and photographed by Christopher Rusch (Closing Night), the film stars Larry Grant Harbin, DJ Economou, Terri Merritt Bennett, Billy Kring, and Julia Lorenz.
Whitney says that he hopes the themes of The Garden and the Wilderness will connect with an Oklahoma audience.
"Many of our cast and crew members come from the central Texas area and have witnessed similar stories to the one told in The Garden and the Wilderness, of ranches that are sold in bankruptcy or broken up. Although some of the details in this movie are unique to the land where it was filmed, I think this is a story that a lot of people, especially in rural communities, have become all too familiar with over the last few years."
"In some ways, The Garden and the Wilderness carries a lot of the traditional themes of the Western film, but in a way that undoubtedly reflects the realities of the 21st century. The fact is, we just don't have gunfights at the O.K. Corral anymore; the pioneering spirit of the frontier west is mostly irrelevant to the lives that we lead today. If Wyatt Earp or John Wayne's Ethan Edwards from The Searchers were alive today, I imagine they would be leading lives and going through the same kind of struggles that Will James has experienced in his life."
The Garden and the Wilderness will screen at Chisholm Hall inside the Simmons Center in Duncan, Oklahoma on Saturday, January 26 at 2:00 PM. Director Craig Whitney and star D.J. Economou will be appearing at a question and answer session following the screening to talk about the making of the film.
Festival badges, day passes, and two-hour block passes for the Trail Dance Film Festival can be purchased at the Simmons Center box office or online at the festival's website.
About Better Archangel Pictures
Better Archangel Pictures was founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas by writer and director Craig Whitney. For more information about The Garden and the Wilderness and other Better Archangel Pictures film, please visit us on Facebook or visit us online at betterarchangel.com.