"A young girl must choose between her ill grandmother and a scholarship that will take her away from the small town her family founded."
Local newspaper columnist and delivery girl Ozzie Yost cares for her ill grandmother Wilda, the woman that raised her in a small Western Kansas ghost town. When she is awarded a full scholarship that would take her away from the small town her family founded, she must decided between leaving or staying.
With Wilda's health rapidly deteriorating, Ozzie reluctantly decides to stay to care for Wilda, who has become bedridden. When Wilda suddenly passes away, Ozzie becomes free to leave and pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
Somewhere Between Freedom and Protection, Kansas is about the exodus of young people from rural Kansas communities.
In 2011 I took a job as the editor of a small town newspaper, primarily because it seemed like an adventure but hoped it would inform my work as a filmmaker. I knew I would make a film, but stayed open to story and plot ideas.
In the hundreds of news and features I wrote at the newspaper, I found many were closely tied to young people and a growing sentiment that, once having left, most would never return. I wrote Somewhere as a film mediation on one young person and this trend of rural exodus'.
The film is about isolation, loneliness, distance and the weight of family-centered communities on young people. Much of the themes and visual ques in the film stem from my personal experiences and impressions of these communities. Using middle framing, wide-angled lenses, deep focus and repetition we tried to recreate the singular, expansive and routine characteristics of the people and landscape in western Kansas.
I hope audiences will appreciate and enjoy my thoughtful and textured film and walk away with an impression of authenticity.