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Students Explore Charlottesville’s Local Food Hub in Film

Renaissance School student Nicholas Keen can tell you everything you need to know about the Local Food Hub, and he can do it using film thanks to a local non-profit. Light House Studio of Charlottesville, Virginia offers students a chance to learn all about cinematography through hands-on programs and workshops led by talented mentors. The studio supplies the equipment and students supply the imagination. In a recent workshop, they covered the Local Food Hub

We first met Light House Studio in June, when we heard about the teen-produced documentary Shenandoah National Park: Preserving Our Future. Now another project has caught our eye – about Charlottesville's Local Food Hub. Watch the documentary to learn more about how this non-profit works to bring families food grown locally.


Nine Renaissance School students, including Nicholas Keen, collaborated on production of the documentary. Keen said he has participated in several camps and workshops offered by Light House Studio, but this is the largest group he has worked with.

“This required us to work cooperatively and divide jobs between us, making the editing process longer,” Keen said. “Each of us played a role, making the film a fun and educational experience for my friends and me.”

Students first reviewed famous documentaries, and then learned how to produce their own. The production process included background researching for interviews, shooting “b-roll” film, conducting interviews and editing the film.

Through research, the students learned the Local Food Hub allows farmers to enter larger markets because the Hub is able to distribute on a larger scale. Farmers only need to make one delivery stop to the Local Food Hub warehouse, and can then return to their fields to spend more time focused on production.

In turn, the Local Food Hub is able to provide fresh, local produce to hospitals, restaurants, public schools and grocery stores. They hope to give more families access to “farm to table” fresh vegetables.

The Light House Studio students visited the Local Food Hub’s Educational Farm at Maple Hill to gather the interviews and film needed to create the documentary. Maple Hill Farm shows visitors how the farming process works on a small scale, and provides volunteer opportunities, farming education classes, workshops and community events.   The Local Food Hub project was sponsored/funded by The FUNd @ CACF.

Students can get involved with the Local Food Hub through apprenticeships, workshops, internships and volunteering.

The food revolution stretches beyond Charlottesville; the William Byrd Community House offers Richmond a similar, smaller program to educate families about healthy food choices. A farmlet behind WBCH and a weekly farmer’s market of local distributors help introduce the community to these other sources for produce.

Light House Studio allows students to learn about projects like the Local Food Hub, and practice presenting the information to others. The studio hopes to encourage young filmmakers to think critically about the media they consume and produce. For a modest tuition charge, students ages 8-18 can engage in a workshop at their level of experience. While intensive summer programs are ending, check back early next year because slots fill up quickly. Click here to find out more about what Light House Studio is offering this spring.

Article by Lauren N. Colie, Print/Online Journalism and English major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren is Managing Editor of Auctus, VCU’s Undergraduate Research Journal, as well as a Lead Teaching Assistant for a research-writing course. She recently joined the Science Matters team as a special student correspondent.

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