Film Company Chronicles the Story of America's Oldest Hippie Commune

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Nashville Digital Video and Rudder Productions Partner to Chronicle the History of The Farm, America's Longest-Running Hippie Commune, in Summertown, Tennessee

In 1971, 300 hippies, led by a charismatic English professor named Stephen Gaskin, hopped onto 50 buses and left San Francisco to find land where they could establish their vision of Utopia. They settled in Summertown, Tennessee, and over the past 40 years, The Farm has morphed from a hippie commune to a cooperative community with a book publishing company, an environmental training center, a world-renown midwifery/natural childbirth clinic, and a global relief program. The founders, Stephen and Ina May Gaskin, are still there, along with many of the original ‘caravaners’, although the population has waned to a few hundred from its peak of 1500 back in the 1980s.

Long before solar panels were hip, residents here were installing them and using them to power the local schoolhouse and other facilities at The Farm. Long before programs like the PBS special, "The Business of Being Born" shed light on the abuses of women by OB/GYN doctors through excessive intervention methods, The Farm midwives were performing thousands of natural childbirths successfully. And long before "We Are The World" shed light on world hunger issues, members of The Farm were donating their time, finances, and carpentry skills to earthquake and tornado victims as far away as Guatemala and as close as Alabama. The documentary, "40 Years on The Farm" chronicles the ups and downs of this famed community and has screened at the Nashville Film Festival and other venues. The film’s producers are now set to launch an Indie-Go-Go campaign to raise funds to distribute the program through public television.

Ed Lamberg is a veteran videographer in Nashville with dozens of music videos, training films, and cable television specials to his credit. Randy Rudder has worked as a college English professor, a freelance writer, and a producer with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

In an era when clean energy alternatives are getting a lot of bad press, producers Lamberg and Rudder say they believe it’s important for viewers to see a community where they are working. But more than that, "40 Years" is a fascinating chapter of history in the state of Tennessee--a state that has been home to a number of Utopian experiments, including the communities of Rugby, Nashoba, and Ruskin, which operated in the Volunteer state more than 100 years ago.

40 Years on The Farm will launch its campaign September 23, 2013 at

Randy Rudder is available for interviews and may be contacted at info(at)randyrudder(dot)com.

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Randy Rudder

Ed Lamberg
since: 07/2009
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