Tallahassee, Fla. - A documentary celebrating Florida’s heritage as a cattle state is set to premiere in Tallahassee this week, bringing a colorful cast of Florida cowboys, Cracker cattle ranchers and cowboy artists to town.
The Great Florida Cattle Drive: Unbroken Circles, a PBS documentary, was filmed and produced by Blountstown residents Elam Stoltzfus and his son, Nic. The documentary tells the story of the Great Florida Cattle Drive 2016, the history of Florida’s heritage cattle breed, and how Florida’s cow culture is being preserved for future generations.
“The story of the Cracker cattle and horses is one of the richest historical accounts,” said filmmaker and producer Elam Stoltzfus. “As we continue to work on the documentary and roll it out to the public, we really believe people will want to hear more about this, and we have a chance to educate people, entertain them, and bring some information to people here in Florida, and across the country.”
“One thing that excited me as a writer about the Great Florida Cattle Drive project is that it tells the story of this hidden history,” said screenwriter and co-producer Nic Stoltzfus. “It’s also one thing to read about a cattle drive from Kissimmee to Kenansville, but to actually go on the drive and interact with the people, and feel it, and smell it... that brought history to life for me.”
The film will premiere with a VIP reception on Thursday, Feb. 16 at Mission San Luis; tickets to public screenings on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 are available at: https://greatfloridacattledrivepremiere.eventbrite.com. Elam Stoltzfus, Nic Stoltzfus and musician J. Robert Houghtaling, who composed the film’s original score, will be present at Mission San Luis to sign DVDs, CDs, the accompanying coffee table book, movie posters and more. Fans of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will enjoy Grammy Award-winning John McEuen presence on the film’s soundtrack.
The documentary, narrated by America’s most beloved cowboy poet, Baxter Black, will also air on all of Florida’s PBS stations, beginning on Feb. 19 through March 3. A schedule is available online at: http://www.greatfloridacattledrive.com/event/pbs-film-debut/
“WFSU Public Media is proud to partner with Live Oak Productions to bring this documentary to our audience throughout the Big Bend region.,” said David Mullins, General Manager of WFSU Public Media. “This project brings a unique story and also educates, informs and entertains in a special way. It has been great working with Elam and Nic providing counsel and working to ensure that the program will be seen across the state on Public Television.”
The premiere and accompanying events are sponsored by the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and Foundation; Blackbeard’s Ranch; Arrowhead Beef; Vina & Sons; the Yoder Family and Lefty’s Dirt Road Club. To order copies of the book, CD and DVD, visit Live Oak Production’s online store at www.liveoakproductiongroup.com/store.