EARTHWORK, a film by Chris Ordal, and winner over 20 film festival awards, will open in New York at Angelika Film Center on April 29 and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall on May 20.
EARTHWORK is the true story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd (played by Oscar nominee and Spirit Award Winner for “Winter’s Bone” John Hawkes, in his first starring role), told through a single episode of his life. In 1994, Stan traveled from Kansas to New York City and risked everything to create a massive environmental artwork on land owned by Donald Trump. The multi-acre piece was made from soil, rock, plants and vegetation near an underground railway tunnel. Stan recruited a number of homeless individuals living in the tunnel as his crew. Over the months it took to complete the earthwork, Stan dealt with the difficulties of bringing his unique, rural art form to an urban canvas and the many costs exacted upon his life. In an effort to show his unique perspective to a larger audience, Stan unexpectedly encountered the true meaning of his art and it’s ultimate, lasting rewards.
Shot almost entirely in rural Kansas (with a one-day shoot in New York City) on a minimal budget, EARTHWORK is Chris Ordal’s feature film debut. Ordal, a University of Kansas alum, was taken by Stan Herd’s dedication to his temporary art and found it the perfect story to tell through film, a permanent art form. “It was important to me that my first feature capture a story that needed to be told via the cinema. Stan Herd’s art is temporary, eventually returning to the earth after it has lived its life. EARTHWORK is an attempt to share the beauty and truth that Stan creates with an audience through a medium that can last forever. Stan has to get people into a helicopter or a tall building in order for them to see his work, so getting his art on the big screen finally allows audiences to experience his art and discover his incredible story.”
The filmmakers were very determined to exemplify the spirit of Stan Herd throughout production, and thanks to an amazing and supportive crew, EARTHWORK was a production as “green” as the story it told.
with Laura Kirk (Jan Herd); James McDaniel (Lone Wolf); Zach Grenier (Mayor); Chris Bachand (Ryan); Brandon Glad (Cage) and Sam Greenlee (El-Trac)