A new documentary telling the inspirational story behind a farm run by recovering addicts in North Side will have its world premiere at Camana Bay Cinema on Wednesday 8 February. Local documentary-maker Candy Whicker spent three years following the team at Beacon Farms to produce a film about this remarkable social enterprise changing lives through agriculture.
Whicker was inspired to make the film after a visit to Beacon Farms in 2019 when the project was still in its infancy. “I loved the idea of a once derelict property being brought back to life and 34 acres of bush being transformed into an organic working farm whilst retaining aspects of the wilderness as a haven for the flora and fauna of Cayman,” she said.
Beacon Farms chief operating officer Sandy Urquhart agreed to give her full access to capture an honest picture of life on the farm. With her camera and tripod, she quickly became a familiar figure at Beacon Farms, encouraging members of staff to feel comfortable about sharing their stories. The result is a candid and moving portrayal of a small group of people having a big impact on the way farming is done in the Cayman Islands.
Beacon Farms is breaking new grounds in agriculture, producing soil with a rock-crushing machine and compost, introducing mechanised farming and trialling new crops that could help increase food security in the Cayman Islands.
However, Beacon Farms’ primary purpose is to provide a safe, sober working environment for Caymanians recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Jobs in agriculture, whether propagating crops or maintaining farm equipment, offer a chance to learn new skills and get closer to nature. As the documentary shows, the recovery journey is not easy. Beacon Farms provides a second chance for many.
Beacon Farms currently employs 12 members of staff and has the potential to change the lives of many more. Set up by philanthropist Granger Haugh and his son Scott, Beacon Farms has the potential to become financially self-sufficient in the next three years.
“I hope this film shows how much hard work, innovation, kindness and money has gone into creating something quite remarkable,” said Whicker.
The premiere for the Beacon Farms documentary on 8 February is an invitation-only event kindly sponsored by Dart. Public screenings will be held at Camana Bay Cinema from Wednesday 15 February through Friday 17 February with tickets available to purchase at the cinema.
For more information, and to watch the trailer, visit BeaconFarmsTheMovie.ky.