Arts and Culture

An independent film that was shot on working farms in Kentucky has its Louisville premiere this weekend.

“Runoff” was written and directed by Louisville native Kimberly Levin. It tells the story of a farm couple facing both ecological and economic pressures.

Levin studied directing at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and she also has a background in biochemistry. The script is partially inspired by biochemical research that she did in Kentucky.

Filming locations included a hog farm, a turkey farm and a dairy farm. Levin enlisted the help of the farmers who hosted the crew in making the film more realistic.

“I gave them the script pages and I said, ‘Help me make this more authentic, help me make this more precise, a more accurate reflection of the pressures you’re facing.’ You know, they really got on board and dug in deep with us,” Levin said.

Levin credited the Kentucky Film Commission with providing connections to essential resources, like a pilot for a crop duster that was part of the film.

“If you need a road closed, if you need a location that you can’t find, they’re an amazing resource,” Levin said.

The film was shot in 22 days, which Levin said was a fairly typical schedule for a low-budget independent film. The short shooting period was also essential for capturing a very specific seasonal look in Kentucky.

“We experience something here in Kentucky that’s quite unique,” Levin said, “which is that very dramatic shift from the kind of verdant lush summer into the burnt reds and umbers of fall and then into the dried and dead look of winter, that doesn’t really happen in many places.

“And we were able to capture that dramatic shift in the visuals of the film, and the interesting thing is that it really works as a metaphor for the story and what’s happening with the family.”

“Runoff” will have a weeklong run at the Village 8 beginning Friday. Director Kimberly Levin and actor Neal Huff will be available for question and answer sessions following some of the screenings this weekend. More information on the Q&A sessions can be found here.