Red Deer filmmaker Kelsey van Moorsel is busy working on her documentary Picture A Farmer, set to be released in 2019. photo submitted

Local filmmaker works on documentary featuring women farmers

Red Deer woman receives $50,000 grant from STORYHIVE to produce documentary

Kelsey van Moorsel, who has spent a lot of her life in Red Deer, has been busy working on her documentary titled Picture A Farmer.

She is part of a team that has received a $50,000 grant from Telus’ STORYHIVE to produce the documentary. Out of over 296 entries, Picture A Farmer was selected as one of the 30 winners from across Alberta and B.C.

“I work for a production company in Edmonton (Lindisfarne Productions), but we don’t always get the opportunity to do our own passion projects and so in applying for this grant it has given me the opportunity to tell a story that I’m really interested in and passionate about and also develop my own production skills as well on my own projects,” said van Moorsel.

The winners of those grants were chosen by both votes and a jury of industry professionals.

Growing up across Alberta, van Moorsel’s parents did a lot of farming in Southern Alberta when she was younger. They unfortunately lost their farm and moved to the city, becoming urbanites, but van Moorsel has always kept that connection to agriculture, as lots of her family still does farming.

“That’s always been in me, so I’ve seen a lot of very strong women on the farm and they were always raising kids and taking care of the house and very active in their communities, but they were also very active on the farm.

“They were running equipment, they were running branding cattle, they were doing the books, they were doing a lot of the same things their husbands were but often times if you asked them to identify their careers they would say, ‘Oh I’m a stay at home mom or I’m a farmer’s wife, rather than acknowledging that they themselves are farmers.”

She added that she wanted to bring attention to strong women who are doing really cool things in agriculture.

“Right now with an increased interest in CSA (community supported agriculture) farms and where your food is coming from, I think it’s important even for us urbanites to have a better idea of what our farmers look like and what they’re doing and just change those unconscious biases that might cause us to picture a farmer as a man rather than a woman,” said van Moorsel.

The original cut of the film will be about 20 minutes, but van Moorsel said they may add some on down the road.

van Moorsel went to Red Deer College for Communications and later decided to switch over to Ryerson University to take Radio and Television.

After working as a talent agent in Toronto for a few years once she graduated, she decided to come home to the big skies, mountains and her family.

Unfortunately for the upcoming documentary, van Moorsel has had to deal with the effects of the weather, but her and a team of others are hoping to start shooting soon across Alberta.

“We’re trying to get a cross section of people from across Alberta. We are talking with a woman who farms just outside of St. Paul and then another woman who farms outside of Wetaskiwin and then there’s a couple of ladies from Southern Alberta.”

The final project will be available in 2019 on TELUS Optik TV On Demand and on STORYHIVE.com.

van Moorsel currently resides in Edmonton with her husband.

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