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The Orchard - a new feature film by Kate Twa


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The Orchard - a new feature film by Kate Twa


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Synopsis


Summary

Brash Los Angeles talent agent Max Roth unexpectedly inherits a small peach orchard from an eccentric Aunt – in Canada. Max travels to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley expecting to make a quick sale to foreign developers and move on. His life changes as he becomes enchanted with the countryside, the old house, and a firebrand activist named Olive who is hell-bent on stopping the sale.

Synopsis


Summary

Brash Los Angeles talent agent Max Roth unexpectedly inherits a small peach orchard from an eccentric Aunt – in Canada. Max travels to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley expecting to make a quick sale to foreign developers and move on. His life changes as he becomes enchanted with the countryside, the old house, and a firebrand activist named Olive who is hell-bent on stopping the sale.

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Locations


The Orchard was shot on location in British Columbia and Southern California, and features breakout performances from an
outstanding ensemble cast

Locations


The Orchard was shot on location in British Columbia and Southern California, and features breakout performances from an
outstanding ensemble cast

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Director's Statement


Director's Statement

Director's Statement


Director's Statement

 

I think it takes bravery to be happy. I don’t think choosing to see beauty is without its challenges, and I certainly don’t think change is.

With The Orchard I wanted to explore how we cope with barriers. Life is full of barriers—borders, boxes. They arise between us and our ability to find pleasure, seek adventure and love with abandon. The walls thicken over time and mysteries become daunting. How can some live life as an adventure and others as a task? Can you change? How do you keep fire burning in your belly?

Max inherits a peach orchard from an eccentric aunt he barely remembers – but he does remember. It’s in there - the playful, free spirit he had when he was young. It got buried under empty ambition, desensitized living and gluten free food. Max’s mystery starts with a burden and ends with a change.
 
I am not a fluff monger. I have waded through material that can literally make people faint. My first film, Gods of Youth focused on kids and crystal meth with unflinching grit. That was the story we wanted to tell and we didn’t back down from it. The Orchard took a different kind of courage. It was born from deep sadness in me and a choice to hunt for beauty.
 
I don’t negate other emotions. I adore my anger. It shows me what I don’t want -  but what will show me what I do want? Love baby, only love. Corny as hell but truer than tomatoes.
 
So I started writing The Orchard and in a month I had a first draft. From typing the title to seeing the end credits took less than a year. The damn thing wanted to be written, the story wanted to be told, the characters wanted to come alive and the sultry Okanagan Valley in BC wanted to expose herself to the world. Love baby, only love.

“Stop acting so small.” -- Rumi

A note on the ensemble cast of The Orchard

I have spent most of my life in black box theatre. Many years as an actress, as a theatre director and as an instructor. If you choose to read the actors’ bios, you’ll see that almost all studied with me. We’ve wrestled around in the sanctity and monstrosity of the black box. This had a huge impact on writing both my films and of course, in casting them.

I’ve had the unique advantage of spending years in the black box with these actors (not a few minutes in a sterile audition room). I’ve seen them work, WORK. I’ve seen them be both magnificent and utterly, beautifully dreadful. I’m a badass in the classroom. Relentless, bossy, impossible and at times a little crazed. On set, I got to watch them tell my story with grace, courage and insight (and then lug equipment back to the truck). I am humbled and inspired by what they are capable of and I saw it unfold in both my films. I will see it in many more.

-Kate Twa, August, 2016