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'Farmer of the Year' opens Aug. 31 in Hastings

Barry Corbin (right) and Mackinlee Waddell star in "Farmer of the Year" the award-winning Midwest-made feature film screening at Hastings Cinema. Submitted photo1 / 2
Film creators, Kathy Swanson (left) and Vince O'Connell, on the red carpet at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Internationall Film Festival. Submitted photo2 / 2

Yellow House Films announced the theatrical release of the feature film, "Farmer of the Year," will be coming to Hastings Cinema on Aug. 31.

The film, by the husband and wife team of Kathy Swanson and Vince O'Connell, stars Emmy-nominated Barry Corbin ("Northern Exposure," "No Country for Old Men," "Urban Cowboy" and "War Games"), Mackinlee Waddell ("Good Christian Belles"), and Terry Kiser ("Weekend at Bernie's").

Written by Swanson and filmed largely at the farm on which she grew up in her hometown of Tyler, Minn., "Farmer of the Year" is the story of Hap Anderson, a widowed 83-year-old Minnesota farmer who thinks he's still quite the ladies' man. After selling the family farm he's worked for over 60 years, he finds himself adrift and staring a short future in the face.

Driven by the possibility of showing up with an old flame and impressing his old army buddies, he sets out in a dilapidated '73 Winnebago to attend his 65th World War II reunion in California with his unreasonably self-confident and also directionless granddaughter, Ashley.

Along the way, Hap with his road map and Ashley with her GPS, begin to understand and appreciate each other as individuals while discovering that being young and old aren't all that different.

Filled with typical, understated Midwestern humor and restraint, the film captures the sense of real life, location and spirit of the rural Midwest with a unique combination of homegrown and Hollywood.

"Farmer of the Year" has been selected to screen at film festivals across the country, winning Audience Choice Awards at the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sedona, Ariz., and Woods Hole, Mass., international film festivals.

The film delicately blends the comedy and drama of life. References to the Vikings, mosquitos, fishing and Grainbelt...it's all in there.

Swanson wrote the screenplay. O'Connell, edited. They both directed and produced.

The film will open for one week in 13 theaters across Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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