“The Sugar Maker” Documentary from Factory Underground Studio to Premiere at 2024 Ridgefield Independent Film Festival

Scene from The Sugar Maker Documentary

Why Don’t You Call Me Anymore by Pete Campbell

Logo for Factory Underground Studio

Factory Underground Studio of Norwalk, CT

Ridgefield, CT-based farmer Pete Campbell takes viewers on a tour of Horse Shoe Farm, amidst the McMansions of one of the Northeast’s wealthiest enclaves.

As a local filmmaker and resident of Ridgefield, it is meaningful to all of us who worked on the film that it will premiere at the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival…”

— Ethan Isaac of Factory Underground Studio

RIDGEFIELD, CT , USA, May 14, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Celebrating more than a decade of maple syrup production, local “sugar maker “Pete Campbell takes us on an intimate behind-the-scenes tour of his Ridgefield, CT, “Horse Shoe Farm,” in a new documentary titled, The Sugar Maker. The film is set to premiere at 5 p.m. on May 18 at the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield as part of the 9th Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) which runs from May 16 to 19, 2024.

Directed by Ethan Isaac, and Co-Produced by Factory Underground Studio with Emmy Award-winning film director William F. Fitzgerald, the film is a commentary of living in a more eco-friendly way and finding your identity through your passions.

“As a local filmmaker and a resident of Ridgefield, it is meaningful to all of us who worked on the film, include Pete Campbell himself, that it will premiere at the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival. It’s a story that we put our hearts into telling, and we are thankful to have this opportunity to share it at this highly esteemed festival,” said Isaac.

A Different Perspective

The documentary takes an up-close look at Campbell’s maple sugaring process, from tapping and evaporation to filtering and bottling. Growing up in one of the wealthiest communities in Connecticut and the country, Campbell and his syrup farm stand at stark contrast to the manicured lawns and large custom homes that surround them. Among the third-generation family members of local home improvement chain Ring’s End lumber, Campbell, whose father David is the CEO of Ring’s End, could have effortlessly folded into the family business, but instead, he is pursuing his passions with his family’s blessings.

Locally Grown

While he learned an appreciation for nature and the woods through camping and hiking as a child, it wasn’t until Campbell was an adult that he learned that he could tap the maples right on his property and make syrup. “The process was fascinating to me,” says Campbell in the film. Fast forward 10 years later, and Campbell taps about 800 trees each year and collects between 500 and 800 gallons of sap to make maple syrup. In recent years, he’s noticed global warming is making his maple syrup tapping season smaller and smaller. To tap a tree, you need overnight temperatures below freezing and mild but cool during the day to keep the sap flowing smoothly. With warmer temperatures year-to-year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have a successful tapping season, but he is not giving up the fight. “Somehow, man, I always come back, no matter how beat I am from it or discouraged,” Campbell confesses in the film.

‘100% Legit’

He reveals to viewers the stringent standards he has for his syrup and how his hypercriticism of his own work is what has kept the quality and integrity of his syrup at the highest level from Day 1. “I know that what I’m putting out there is 100% legit, safe and most importantly delicious,” says Campbell. His syrup can be found at local markets like Nature’s Temptations Organic and Whole Foods Market in Ridgefield, CT, and Phinny’s in Newtown, CT, as well as right out of the cooler at the edge of his farm. His fans rave that it’s extraordinary.  “The last thing I want to do is put bad syrup out into the world,” says Campbell in the interview. “Then you might as well pack it in and go fishing.”

Behind the Film

Outside of farming, “Farmer Pete,” as he is affectionately called by friends and neighbors, is a musician and singer-songwriter, signed to Norwalk, CT-based Pilot Light Records. His most recent release, “Why Don’t You Call Me Anymore,” premiered on world-wide streaming outlets on May 11, 2024. 

It was through his recording at Factory Underground Studio that Campbell met Isaac, a co-owner of the Norwalk, CT, recording studio. An avid outdoorsman and woodcrafter, Isaac became fascinated with Campbell’s organic farming and maple syrup production, and proposed to make a documentary about his story. 

This is Isaac’s second film documentary. His work “Bulletproof Wings,” detailing his own music performances for American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007, debuted on the TUBI network in 2021.

Isaac says they didn’t use Campbell’s music in the documentary for timing reasons, but the music they did use, and the production of the film all reflect Campbell as an entrepreneur, artist and local grower in an authentic way. 

“The Sugar Maker” was co-produced by Emmy-winning Cinematographer William Fitzgerald of Westport, CT. He says, as a maple syrup fan since childhood, he signed on to help with the film not only because he was impressed by the product and fascinated by the process, which has become highly scientific with modern technology, but also intrigued by the person behind it.  “It’s more about who this guy is and why he is doing this,” says Fitzgerald. He hopes the film is well-received. “It’s a cool local story,” says Fitzgerald. “I love telling great stories.”

Isaac said getting Fitzgerald to sign on to the film “was really good fortune.” He described Fitzgerald’s drone camera work through the film as spectacular. “He also went above and beyond with the final edit,” adds Isaac. “I’m both proud and excited to have had him as a partner, to bring ‘The Sugar Maker’ to fruition.” 

The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival No. 9 will be held May 16 to May 19, 2024. Thirty-nine films will be shown during the four-day festival held at Prospect Theater. The weekend includes screenings, panel discussions, special events and parties. Entries are judged on a point system for craft, originality and storytelling. For more information about the film festival, visit riffct.org.  

Factory Underground Studio is a cutting-edge media production company with an in-house team of award-winning engineers, producers, musicians, songwriters, composers videographers, photographers and other artists.

Marc Alan
Pilot Light Records
+1 203-275-8672
email us here

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/711467303/the-sugar-maker-documentary-from-factory-underground-studio-to-premiere-at-2024-ridgefield-independent-film-festival