‘The Oyster Farmers’ Documentary Premieres at the Stafford Township Arts Center This Friday

Jul 16, 2017
Photo by: The Oyster Farmers

“The Oyster Farmers,” a documentary tracing the heritage and resurgence of oyster aquaculture in Barnegat Bay, premieres at the Stafford Township Arts Center at 7 p.m. this Friday, July 21. Tickets are $25.

The Oak Leaf Media film, directed by Corinne G. Ruff and produced by Angela C. Andersen, ties together the past and present of local oyster farming, and aims to play a part in its restoration.

As a description of the film states, the documentary “will carry the audience from the depths of the bay bottom through the layers of history, locked in thick detritus, rich with remnants of yesterday’s oyster industry,” which was booming from the late 1800s to the 1950s, and later harmed by overharvesting and shellfish disease.

Oyster farming, though, is making a comeback. “During a time of a cultural resurgence of the oyster as a social-centric icon in oyster bars everywhere,” the film synopsis notes, “the innate story that is told by each oyster’s taste, shape and size, and the grit and time it takes to make it happen from seed to plate, against obstacles, will be presented in this visually stunning and heartfelt film.”

The teaser for the film, on the Oak Leaf media site – at oakleafmedia.com/documentary – features striking videography of the bay and its farmers, with a voiceover noting: “For thousands of years, people have worked this bay. These waters were the lifeblood of generation after generation. But time changes. And as the bayman’s way of life fades to the past, a new generation is bringing the bounty back. Today, the tide is turning. New ways, new trials, and a new legacy to leave behind.”

Viewings are also scheduled for July 26 at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies and Aug. 15 at Sink ’R Swim Men’s Shop in Haven Beach.

Visit jettylife.com/pages/the-oyster-farmers-film to learn more, to make a donation or to purchase tickets for one of the upcoming film showings.

STAC is located at 1000 McKinley Ave. in Manahawkin. Call 609-978-5700, extension 2019, or visit staffordschools.org/stac for more information.  —J.K.-H.

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