TID projected their film, “The Irrigationist,” up onto the big screen at the Turlock Community Theatre this past weekend when about 1,100 people viewed the public debut of the film. Now the DVD and Blu-ray discs are available.
Last Friday night, a premiere event was held that was originally intended for about 100 invite only guests but ended up being host to an estimated 300 attendees.
On February 25th, TID held two free public showings at 2pm and 7pm, each drew about 400 people.
“There were approximately 1,100 people who viewed the film over the weekend,” said Michelle Reimers, TID Public Information Division Manager.
The District has received a lot of positive feedback from those who attended the screenings. Most people have commented about how much they learned about the District.
“We hope that all of our customers will have the opportunity to view the film,” stated Reimers. “We feel that it is an educational tool that will be used for generations to come.”
“The Irrigationist” took about 2 years to complete and cost $219,200. The film was made by The Creation Lab, a local Turlock business.
At the public showings, TID President Michael Frantz announced that the film was part of celebrating TID’s 125 Anniversary. He also acknowledged that “The Irrigationist” Producer Michael Everett and Director Dustin Veneman were in the audience.
Frantz explained that the film shows TID’s legacy of customer service and commitment, which continues today.
“Hard work and vision overcoming diversity” is what Frantz said that TID is about.
With that said, the lights went down and the film telling the story of TID began playing on the big screen. The film has sweeping shots of landscapes and filmed in high definition, with epic sounding orchestrated music. Many historical pictures were shown with moving motion with sound effects added to help make the story that much more interesting and entertaining.
After the 62 minute film, everyone at all the showings applauded and many stayed throughout the credits. Many were commenting on the film afterward.
Carl Goubb, who has lived in Turlock his whole life, said, “It is great, it was excellent. It’s really a beautiful movie.”
“It’s good to know the history, learn where the district came from and how it got where it’s at,” said Paul Sousa of Turlock.
Sousa’s dad, Armelim Desousa, has been a dairy farmer west of Turlock for 41 years and wasn’t expecting that many people to be interested in coming out to see the story of TID.
“There were a lot of people, surprised me,” said Desousa.
Related couples, Joe and Joan Russo and Sam and Kathy Vaughn, had some connection to the film as they knew some of the people mentioned in the film and have a farming background from the Hughson area.
“It was great to see history here that we don’t see,” said Joe Russo. “I used to, as a young fellow, gone through all of that up in there, seen where all that stuff came from.”
“The photography was wonderful,” added Joan Russo. “I think the kids in school ought to see this.”
Peter and Joanne Teem brought their 3rd grade homeschooled son, Joshua, to the film. The entire family learned a lot and each one equally enjoyed the film.
“Awesome,” exclaimed Joshua. “I learned a lot.”
Joshua’s dad even learned about things such as the issues TID faced due to the Hetch Hetchy project.
“I remembered seeing signs during the times but didn’t know the story behind it,” said Peter. He also added that when watching the credits he recognized a second cousin on his dad’s side of the family who played some of the music in the film, Brian Cogburn.
Joanne Teem said that she thought it was really entertaining, well done, and that in her opinion, could be shown on PBS.
“We watch a lot of PBS and it made me think that this was something that we would see on PBS,” said Joanne.
So if anyone missed the free public showings of “The Irrigationist,” you don’t have to wait for it to be shown on PBS.
Copies of the film will are available to be purchased beginning on March 1st at the cost it takes to produce the copies ($5 DVD and $15 Blu-ray disc). The copies may be purchased from TID offices in Turlock, Ceres, and Patterson.
TID Celebrates 125 Years with Film: “The Irrigationist”
"The Irrigationist" Film Trailer