Red wigglers will be crawling across the big screen when the documentary
Squirm: The Story of Cathy's Crawly Composters debuts at the Green Reel
Film Festival in January.
The film's director and writer, Darcy Hoover, followed Bradford West
Gwillimbury's Cathy Nesbitt, who is the owner and operator of the vermicomposting
company, for a year, filming her presentations and demonstrations at
farmers' markets, schools and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
"She's a local hero for York Region and beyond," Mr. Hoover said. "I
thought what she was doing was really important."
While Ms Nesbitt couldn't be happier with the final result of the
film, Mr. Hoover wasn't her first choice to direct it - it was Michael
For a few years, Ms Nesbitt knew she wanted to make a documentary about
"I want to raise additional awareness about the magic of these worms
and how they're going to play an increasing role in waste management,"
Ms Nesbitt tried to get the most vocal activist known to documentary
filmmaking to direct it to ensure her message would be heard, but Ms
Nesbitt and Mr. Moore were never able to connect, so the search for
a different director was on.
Ms Nesbitt was a vendor at the 2007 Green Reel Environmental Film Festival.
Each year, the festival features environmentally-themed documentaries
from around the world.
It was there that Mr. Hoover heard about Ms Nesbitt's desire to have
a documentary made about vermicomposting.
Since it appeared Michael Moore was otherwise occupied, Mr. Hoover,
a film school graduate, offered to direct the documentary.
Mr. Hoover is also the marketing and program director for Vaughan's
City Playhouse theatre, which is where the film festival takes place
"For me, that was much better, because it was a Canadian environmentalist
(directing) instead of an activist," Ms Nesbitt said.
From mid-2007 to mid-2008, Mr. Hoover followed Ms Nesbitt everywhere.
"He just told me to go do what I do and leave the filming to him,"
The result is a 43-minute documentary! educational film:
"It's the kind of film that every library and school should have,"
Mr. Hoover said.
"I think he's done an amazing job of capturing the essence of what
I want to get out," Ms Nesbitt said.
Prior to committing to the film, Mr. Hoover wanted to actually attempt
verrnicomposting himself, so he bought some worms and the composter
from Ms Nesbitt and gave it a go.
"It was difficult at first, because we started it in the dead of winter
and we over-fed the worms," he said.
Because Ms Nesbitt offers a lifetime of service to her clients, she
helped Mr. Hoover get through the winter and well on his way to being
a successful verrnicomposter.
"It's dead easy and I recommend it," he said.
Squirm: The Story of Cathy's Crawly Composters, debuts Jan. 16 at
11:30 a.m. at the Green Reel Environmental Film Festival.
For more information on the festival, visit www.greenreelfilmfestival.com.
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