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Could the Bay Win an Oscar?

Keith__JPChesapeake Bay lovers are in for a cinematic treat in another year or two.

In the works is a new movie called Chesapeake, a film about a reclusive Bay waterman and his relationship with a young boy he rescues from drowning.

To begin shooting next year in Virginia and around the Bay region, the movie will be “a moving tale of loss and redemption [that] centers around the region’s time-honored watermen culture as it faces threats from the modern world,” says a press release issued this week by producers Erica Arvold (Arvold Productions) and Sara Elizabeth Timmins (Life Out Loud Films).

Chesapeake will feature Academy-Award winning actor Keith Carradine (above, courtesy of Arvold Productions), but perhaps the biggest stars will be the Chesapeake Bay and its culture.

“The catalyst for me was the Chesapeake Bay’s watermen culture,” says Eric Hurt, who has written the Farmers to the Bay Sept 2010 C 031 script and will direct the movie. “When I hear their stories and see the integrity and dedication the watermen bring to their lives and work, I am inspired to build and tell a story like this one, and to create a genuine setting where these fictional characters live.”

In a briefing given to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation by Arvold, Timmins, and Hurt, the filmmakers said they hope the setting for the movie – the Bay, its beauty, culture, and problems – will be as powerful a force in the story as, for example, the Louisiana bayou in Beasts of the Southern Wild, a small but compelling film that garnered four Academy Award nominations last year.

Arvold, Timmins, and Hurt all have strong Virginia ties, having helped make such Virginia-based movies as Lincoln, Wish You Well, and House Hunting. For Chesapeake, they continue to consult and research local resources to ensure the film is as an authentic as possible.

“I’ve been amazed at the support and encouragement we have received and continue to receive from so many people and organizations, from the individual watermen we’ve met to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Virginia Film Office, who have been with us every step of the way and who are integral to this process,” Hurt says.

But enough words. Get a better sense of the vision for the film from the moviemakers themselves by clicking here to watch a brief video.


Quick update for regular Bay Daily readers: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has broken ground on the Brock Environmental Center, which when completed next summer will be the greenest, most sustainable building in Virginia and among the greenest structures in the world.

North View 8x10_v2Set on a tiny corner of Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Va., the center is designed to meet the strictest LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge sustainability standards and will have virtually zero impact on the surrounding environment. The building will employ solar and wind power to generate its own electricity, geo-thermal wells for heating, windows designed to catch Bay breezes for cooling, cisterns to catch rain water, flushless composting toilets, and rain gardens and landscaping that eliminate runoff into nearby waterways.

The center will house CBF’s Hampton Roads staff and those of Lynnhaven River NOW, provide community meeting and training space, be home to CBF’s award-winning environmental education programs in Hampton Roads, and serve as a national model for sustainable building, conservation, and restoration.

The Brock Environmental Center is designed by SmithGroupJJR and is being constructed by Hourigan Construction. Also partnering on the project are Skanska and WPL Site Design.

For more about this remarkable building, click here.

Chuck Epes

Chesapeake Bay Foundation



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