Filmmaker focuses on Crooked Road in documentary

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“Crooked” will be shown Friday at the Front Porch Gallery

By Staff Reports

WOODLAWN — The Fiddle and the Plow at Front Porch Gallery will host a showing of “Crooked,” an independent film about The Crooked Road today, Friday, at 7 p.m.

“Crooked” is a Kickstarter-financed film project written and directed by David Ensign and his son, Martin Lederle Ensign.

According to their Kickstarter funding page, “Crooked” is an expansion of a brief documentary that explores The Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail, and the people who make its music. The filmmakers launched the Kickstarter page to collect donations to make a more in-depth documentary based on Martin’s high school senior project.

“I had an incredible experience on the Crooked Road last time, but I was not able to learn as much as I would have liked, and I didn’t have the time and equipment necessary to take it to the next step,” Martin wrote.

The finished project was made possible by Kickstarter donations totaling $5,161, with 86 backers. The project was successfully funded on Oct. 23, 2012.

The completed film features Crooked Road legends, including Dr. Ralph Stanley, Arthur Conner and Rita Forrester, along with Willard Gayheart and Bobby Patterson of the Fiddle & Plow, David Williams, Ken Winans, Scott Perry and a jam of local musicians in Independence. It’s run-time is approximately 55 minutes.

“Old-time bluegrass is relatively untouched by documentaries, and those that do exist focus on the big stars of the music. The stories of the people who make the live, do-it-yourself music found down along the Crooked Road are virtually untold,” said Martin.

The film showing is a feature of “The Fiddle and the Plow,” an event that is held each week at The Front Porch Gallery in Woodlawn. Admission is $5. For more information, call (276) 236-3034.