The film is a documentary that follows John and Molly Chester’s journey from city living in Los Angeles to starting and caring for the 200-acre Apricot Lane Farms 40 miles north of the city. The Chesters’ approach to the farm centers around balancing the local ecosystem and respecting the farm’s animals and land. Park City Film Executive Director Katy Wang says the film looks at the environment through a hopeful lens.
“I think when we think about environmental issues it's a lot of gloom and doom, and people kind of think, 'things are going terribly, and we're never going to recover,'" Wang said. "It's about the beautiful complexity of natural systems and how diversity, if we let diversity do its thing and natural systems do their thing, that there is a possibility of restoration and a beautiful kind of future for all of us, in terms of our natural environment.”
Local restaurateur and founder of Bill White Farms Bill White will participate in a question-and-answer session Saturday and Sunday after the film. White says his time as a restaurant owner made him realize the amount of waste the restaurant industry produces.
“As we started, I realized that most efforts that people do are abdicating their responsibility for their waste or their consumption to somebody else," White said. "For example, they want the city to take care of solid waste compost, or something to that nature, instead of doing it themselves, and so we decided to leapfrog over all the people in the middle and start doing our own thing—raising our own food as best we can.”
From there, White says that led to the farms getting involved with nonprofits in the community through providing them with food, like at the Christian Center of Park City’s food pantry, and fundraisers to support the organizations. White says that sense of community responsibility is what he hopes people take away from the film.
“Just like I said before, our community is a quilt—it’s stitched together from different colors of fabric to make this wonderful mosaic of a quilt, and if we were all the same color, that would be a blanket," White said. "So, as a community I think our goal should be we want to be a quilt and have all this diversity within our community.”
“The Biggest Little Farm” shows at the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library Friday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $8. More information about upcoming showtimes and ticket prices is available at parkcityfilm.org.