BEDFORD, N.Y. -- “The Bullish Farmer," a feature-length documentary about John “John Boy” Ubaldo, a successful Wall Street investment banker who abandons his career in the stock market to become a farmer, will have its world premiere on Saturday, March 4, at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, Calif.
The film received the coveted Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award at a private viewing at Cinequest (voted the number-one film festival in the nation by USA TODAY readers).
This acknowledgment recognizes "The Bullish Farmer" as "... one of the world's most inspiring and life-affirming films," according to announcement from Kaiser Permanente.
The award will be presented at the San Jose festival in honor of Jim Boyce (1943-2010), an inspiration to many for his legacy as a brilliant entrepreneur, devout environmentalist, and passion for cuisine, art and independent film.
“The Bullish Farmer," presented in a diary-like format, follows Ubaldo, a Pound Ridge native, from Wall Street to his purchase of 185-acres of land in upstate New York.
In a tenacious desire to join “the ranks of those remarkable people called farmers,’” Ubaldo -- referred to as “Tony Soprano with a ponytail” by Cinequest’s programming team member Sandy Wolf -- wanted to farm the way it was done 100 years ago by raising a variety of livestock and crops, according to a release.
His only goal was to raise delicious and nutritious food for himself and his extended network of family and friends.
Ubaldo soon realizes, though, that living a traditional agrarian life gets complicated when he comes up against Big Agriculture (Big Ag) and realizes that his methods are not in sync with today’s prevailing agricultural methods to produce mass quantities of food at the lowest possible cost, the release said.
Ubaldo, the very private farmer, becomes a passionate and outspoken activist lobbying for GMO labeling, animal rights, the preservation of crop diversity, and the reduction of chemical fertilizers to help preserve small farms and rural America.
Ubaldo currently owns a 185-acre farm in Cambridge, N.Y. He's also the owner of The Outpost, a 100-percent organic and non-GMO store located in Bedford.
“The Bullish Farmer” was co-produced by Westchester residents Ken Marsolais (from Katonah) and Nancy Vick (from Bedford).
Marsolais, who also directed "The Bullish Farmer," is a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner. He was the producer of such Broadway classics as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” directed by Edward Albee, and starring Colleen Dewhurst and Ben Gazzara; and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” starring Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst.
Vick, a filmmaker and writer, has extensive experience in business development and advertising. She has contributed to the arts, education, and human rights in her roles as executive officer and president emeritus of several nonprofits.
She is a trustee of Video Volunteers of Goa, India and NYC, a multiple award-winning social entrepreneurial NGO.
“It is my great hope that ‘The Bullish Farmer’ stimulates vigorous, ongoing dialogue about the state of farming and food in our country,” said Vick. “We are honored to have this opportunity to spark conversation that consumers need to know."
For additional information and to watch the trailer for "The Bullish Farmer," visit thebullishfarmer.com.