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Film creates awareness of grain entrapment risk

"SILO," released at this year's Farm Progress Show, is first to address threat of grain entrapment faced by agricultural community every day.

Blood Orange Pictures, a New York-based film and television production company, released its narrative feature film "SILO" at this year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., on Aug. 27.

The film is the first to address the threat of grain entrapment faced by the agricultural community every day.

"SILO" tells the story of Cody Rose, a teenager who falls victim to a grain entrapment incident in a small American farm town. As the grain flows like quicksand inside of the grain bin, the film offers viewers a window into the lives and relationships of the town locals as they come together in a race against the clock to save Cody’s life.

“'SILO' has been a project five years in the making that we hope will bridge coastal and middle American audiences through the power of storytelling," said Sam Goldberg of Blood Orange Pictures.

The "SILO" producers were on hand at the Farm Progress Show with the film’s cast as well as special guest country music star Easton Corbin, who performed "The Only Life I Know,” a song he wrote exclusively for the film.

SILO Team is partnering with the Grain Handling Safety Coalition (GHSC), a thought leader on safety in the agriculture industry, to provide a discussion guide and educational resources in conjunction with the film. Alongside the GHSC board of directors and a top group of agricultural educators, the goal is to raise awareness of farm safety and mental health on the farm.

As part of the release at the Farm Progress Show, a farmer insight panel was held to discuss what went into the making of the film. On the panel were Goldberg; "SILO" star Jim Parrack; Quint Pottinger, co-founder of Affinity Farms and advisor on the film, and Bob Aherin, agricultural safety program leader at the University of Illinois.

Pottinger started in farming in 2012 with a few acres and is now working 1,800 acres, with 95% of the grain he produces going to the bourbon industry. “We have to store a lot of grain, so this is a topic that is very important to us,” Pottinger said, adding that farmers preform mundane tasks on farms every season, and many of them can be very dangerous. This film helps create the awareness about the risk of grain entrapment and how quickly it can happen, without warning, he said. The film was produced on Pottinger’s farm.

Aherin said grain entrapment is extremely dangerous, and if the auger is running, a person in a bin of grain can be immobilized in a matter of two to four seconds as grain rises to their knees. The grain can be up to a person’s neck in as little as 10-15 seconds and over the head in 12-20 seconds.

Suffocation and drowning in grain are a very real things, and the rescue itself is very intense, complicated and risky, Aherin noted. He said the movie does a fairly good job of getting at the issue.

As part of the partnership between SILO and GHSC, information has been created to supply tips and create awareness among the farm community. Aherin said SILO will be sharing part of its proceeds to GHSC in support of its ongoing educational efforts.

Community is not only at the heart of the film but is the core principle driving the film's unique distribution strategy. The challenge of reaching a wide audience with an independent film has never been greater, and the filmmakers behind "SILO" aim to empower rural audiences to join a movement that will bring the collective experience of independent cinema to small towns nationwide. The SILO Community Screening Campaign will work with local community organizers to host screenings all across America and will run before, during and after the 2019 harvest season, followed by a digital release later this year.

"SILO" was produced by Samuel Goldberg and Ilan Ulmer and directed by Marshall Burnette. The script was written by Jason Williamson and stars Parrack, Jeremy Holm, Jill Paice, Jack DiFalco, Chris Ellis and Danny Ramirez. 

For more information, visit www.Silothefilm.com.

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