Ojai-Ventura International Film Festival: Award-Winning Film About Farmers Transforming Their Relationship To Animals

Screening Friday, Nov. 6 at 3 PM at Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Rd. in Ojai
and Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 AM at the Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. in Ojai
Tickets: $10 ($7 for seniors and students)

A stirring story of awakening conscience, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home offers a rare glimpse into both the moral struggles of farmers and the emotional lives of farm animals

Producer James LaVeck available for interview upon request. Film trailer at www.peaceablekingdomfilm.org

Ojai, CA — This weekend, award-winning filmmaker James LaVeck will be in Ojai to screen his newest film, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home at the Ojai-Ventura International Film Festival. The documentary, which won the Best Feature Documentary award at the Moondance Film Festival where it premiered in September, is the third of LaVeck's films to show at the Ojai festival over the past decade. LaVeck's earlier film, Peaceable Kingdom, which provided the seed of the idea for this new film, won the Ojai Film Festival's top award in 2004, for "enriching the human spirit through film."

A 78-minute documentary, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home focuses on the emotional lives of farm animals as well as the journey of conscience experienced by several farmers in the process of reconsidering their relationship to these animals. "Our goal," says LaVeck, "was to combine an intimate portrait of animal lives with an equally sensitive exploration of a seldom-discussed moral struggle experienced by many people growing up in farm culture."

Also portrayed is the riveting story of a humane police officer who struggles against overwhelming odds to help farm animals in need. Rare footage from dramatic animal rescues vividly depict the individuality and familial bonds of farm animals. "We wanted to let the animals 'speak' to the audience directly through the universal language of behavior," says the film's director, Jenny Stein, "which is far more understandable to us humans than many of us may realize."

"This film reminds me to live with heartfelt connections to animals, people and the earth," wrote one viewer on a comment card following the film. "This is by far the best film on our modern agricultural system, and an alternative view, that I have ever seen," wrote another.

"It's very special for me to be returning to Ojai," says LaVeck. "Steve Grumette, who programs the festival, believed in Jenny's and my work from the start, giving our first film its first award at its first festival, back in 2000." Grumette was a juror at the Canyonlands Film Festival in Moab, Utah, where LaVeck and Stein's film The Witness won the Best Documentary award. A few months later, Grumette invited LaVeck to screen The Witness at the Ojai Film Festival, and the documentary went on from there to become a film festival favorite, being translated into 11 languages and winning awards all around the world.

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home will screen on Friday, November 6 at 3 PM at Matilija Auditorium in Ojai, and on Saturday, November 7 at 10 AM at the Ojai Art Center Theater. Filmmaker James LaVeck and the film's associate producer Kevin Smith will be on hand for Q&A after each showing. Tickets are $10 ($7 for seniors and students) and can be purchased at the venue on the day of the screening.

About producer James LaVeck and director Jenny Stein
LaVeck and Stein are the co-founders of Tribe of Heart, a nonprofit production company that produces life-changing, award-winning films about the journey of awakening conscience. Their documentaries have screened at 72 film festivals around the world, winning 14 top awards. Their first documentary, The Witness, was described by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Howard Rosenberg as "one man's truth that cries out for mass exposure... may be the most important and persuasive film about animals ever made" (Los Angeles Times). LaVeck and Stein's films have been screened on PBS, endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall, and supported by radio personality Paul Harvey as well as actors James Cromwell, Alicia Silverstone and William Baldwin.
Learn more at http://www.tribeofheart.org

About the Ojai-Ventura International Film Festival
The Ojai Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the art of the motion picture through the presentation of an annual multi-day festival in which films and videos submitted by filmmakers throughout the world are publicly exhibited at several venues in and around the city of Ojai, California.

Now in its 10th year, the festival is accredited by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Many of the films it has screened have gone on to receive widespread distribution, recognition and awards, including Academy Awards. The festival's advisory board includes Ellen DeGeneres, Colin Farrell, Matthew Perry, Malcolm McDowell and Diane Ladd. This year's festival runs from November 5 through 8.
Learn more at http://www.ojaifilmfestival.com/