Farmsteaders on public television

Farmsteaders is NOW STREAMING on POV! Check your local PBS listings for television broadcast in your area. Find more info here: Farmsteaders on POV.

American television’s longest running documentary showcase is back! POV’s 32nd season highlights women’s perspectives on social issues ranging from youth-led climate activism to domestic surveillance, with eight out of the 16 films helmed by women directors!

Go here for the complete listing of POV Season 32 films.


Clear-eyed and intimate, Farmsteaders follows Nick Nolan and his young family on a journey to resurrect his late grandfather’s dairy farm as agriculture moves toward large-scale farming. A study of place and persistence, Farmsteaders points an honest and tender lens at everyday life in rural America, offering an unexpected voice for a forsaken people: those who grow the food that sustains us.


“It’s not just a story about farming, but of standing up to live one’s life in accordance with one’s beliefs, no matter the sacrifice.”


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Farmsteaders is a love story, a farm story, and a story of contemporary rural America. Nick Nolan, his wife Celeste, and their young family are on a journey to resurrect his grandfather’s dairy farm – fighting to keep this homeland from “drying up and blowing away,” something that has happened to about 4.7 million farms in the U.S. as the pressures of corporate-driven food have left deep scars in the region.

“People don't really understand the beauty of life if they don't understand the tragic side of it,” Nick says. “Everything beautiful is created out of pain.” Nick and Celeste’s meditations on life, legacy, and resistance offer an unexpected voice at a time when the country is so deeply divided. With much of the current rift falling along demographic lines, there is a deepening discussion about the rural white American. And yet here they stand in contrast to all of our expectations – heroic, benign, accessible.

Farmsteaders points an honest and tender lens at the beauty and hardship of everyday life, as the Nolans work to balance their fears and hopes with so much at stake. For the Nolans only three things remain certain: family is everything, nothing ever stays the same, and the land holds it all together. 


The Team




Madelyn Helling Library

October 11, 2019 - Nevada City, CA

Valencia Public Library

October 15, 2019 - Valencia, CA

Dickinson Area Public Library

November 9, 2019 - Dickinson, ND

Woods Hole Public Library

November 13, 2019 - Woods Hole, MA

Jupiter Branch Library

January 21, 2020 - Jupiter, FL



Southern Boone County Public Library

October 8, 2019 - Ashland, MO

Newburyport Public Library

September 23, 2019 - Newburyport, MA

Galena Public Library

September 21, 2019 - Galena, IL

Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Center

September 12, 2019 - Huntington, WV

Morehead Planetarium & Science Center: Docs in Domes Series

September 12, 2019 – Chapel Hill, NC

Hamline Midway Library

August 28th, 2019 - St. Paul, MN

Jacobs House

September 6th, 2019 - Medford, MA

Keene Public Library

August 20, 2019 - Keene, NH

Marathon County Public Library

August 13, 2019 - Wausau, WI

Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse

August 11, 2019 - Columbus, OH

Main Street Landing Film House

August 11, 2019 - Burlington VT

EUROPEAN PREMIERE! WinterFilm Festival

March 11-13, 2019 – Treviso, Italy

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

February 17, 2019 – Missoula, MT

Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

November 8 through November 13, 2018

Cucalorus Film Festival

November 11, 2018 – Wilmington, NC

Boone Film Festival

November 3, 2018 – Boone, NC

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

October 21, 2018 – Hot Springs, AK

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

October 06, 2018 and October 7, 2018 – Chagrin Falls, OH

Newburyport Documentary Film Festival

September 15, 2018 –  Newburyport, MA

Independent Film Festival Boston

April 29, 2018  –  Boston, MA  –  3 PM 


Indie Grits Film Festival

April 13, 2018  –  Columbia, SC  –  7 PM 

     Awards: Best Feature Film (Big Grits) and Audience Award (People's Grit)


WORLD PREMIERE! Athens International Film and Video Festival

April 9, 2018  –  Opening Night Film  –  Athens, OH  –  7 PM

April 15, 2018  –  Athens, OH  –  1:30 PM 

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Director Shaena Mallett
Producer Chad A. Stevens
Cinematography Shaena Mallett
Editor Kelly Creedon
Consulting Editors D.L. Anderson, Carlos Sandoval and Chad A. Stevens
Additional Editing Shaena Mallett
Additional Cinematography Brooke LaValley and Chad A. Stevens
Field Sound David Holm
Re-Recording Mixer David Hill
Colorist Alan Maynard C.S.I.


“Beautiful Things” Written and Performed by
Tyler Strickland
“Family” Written and Performed by
Tyler Strickland
“Out of the Blue” Written and Performed by
Tyler Strickland
“Ukelele Interlude” by Shaena Mallett
“Memory Wind” by
Podington Bear
“Salted Caramel” by
Black Twig Pickers and Steve Gunn
“Drone Pine” by
Blue Dot Sessions
“Drone Thistle” by
Blue Dot Sessions
“Snowmelt” by
Blue Dot Sessions
“Softly Through Closed Eyes” by
Lee Resolver


Betty Cook
Cathy Spencer
Madilynn Nolan
Hunter Nolan
Maggie Steber
Trailblazer Studios
Center for Documentary Studies
Athens Farmers Market
Elisabeth Haviland James
Chi-Ho Lee


Jason Arthurs
Eric Johnson
Kate Medley
Jackie Olive
Ashley Panzera
Catherine Orr
Tara Mathur
Emily Harrold
Sara Bell
Elaine Sheldon
Todd Tue


Toby Shimin 
Eric Maierson
Marc Maximov
Ben Wiessner
Jesse Paddock
Leslie Cunningham
Julia Wall
Elena Rue
Sophia Nahli Allison
Ligaiya Romero
Ted Richardson



PBS Unveils POV’s Inclusive, Female-Fronted 32nd Season


“This year will also include The Gospel of Eureka, a campy look at a small Arkansas town’s passion play and drag shows as well as Farmsteaders, which follows a young family  as they return to their late grandfather’s small dairy farm, only to find the challenges of family farming in an age of industrialized agriculture more overwhelming than imagined.”


'Farmsteaders' Is A Beautiful, Sad Reminder Of The Struggles Of Our Family Farms


“It's not a film about the evils of the big guys, at least not directly, but an intimate look into and a celebration of the small family farm -- the unsung heroes of our food system.”


'Farmsteaders': Why family farms still matter


“‘Farmsteaders’ isn't a film focused on the evils of factory farming or the greed of big corporations; instead, it's an intimate and exalting look at the small family farm, the everyday hero of our food system.”


Laurel Valley Creamery to be featured at Athens International Film and Video Festival


“Director Shaena Mallett points an honest and tender lens at the beauty and hardship of everyday life.”


Film captures success & struggles of area dairy farmers


“Mallett’s new film, “Farmsteaders,” shows the personal struggles and the joys of the Nolans and their six children as they work to survive in a business where many have had to close their doors.”


For information on screenings or press inquiries please contact the Farmsteaders team below. Thank you!

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