The Story - July Rising

THE STORY Sixteen-year-old orphan Andy Stone (Alexa Yeames) works alongside her grandpa in their family orchard in the rural hills of Northern California.

Slide Andy works long days in the orchard but her strong connection to the land and her close relationship with her grandfather (Reed Wolthausen) give her a sense of purpose and belonging.

Slide But when Grandpa suddenly dies, Andy becomes the ward of her Aunt Linda (Johanna Putnam), who threatens to sell the orchard and take Andy with her back to the city.

Slide To cope with losing her grandfather, Andy turns to the only thing she feels she has left: the orchard.

In a place where independence and individuality have never been options for young women, Andy sets out to save her grandfather’s orchard by herself and find a path toward adulthood on her own terms.

Explore more of the story

Chauncey Crail

Writer, Director, Producer

Director's Statement

I grew up on a pear farm in Northern California.

I played in the dirt, checked sprinklers among the trees, loaded trucks during harvest and sold pears on the side of the road. I worked hard, but it didn’t seem like work; it’s just what we did.

Then my family moved to the suburbs of Washington D.C.

As I struggled to adjust to life in the city, I began to understand what life on the farm had denied me, but also what it had taught me. I realized not only was there a larger world out there, but most people don’t know what life is like where their food comes from.

Although the diversity in the world beyond rural California provided a freedom I’d never imagined, I also came to value the place where I grew up.

As I began to grasp the cultural, social and political divides between rural and urban Americas, I longed for the serenity of home yet craved the adventure in exploring new perspectives.

July Rising is about learning to straddle both worlds, to be honest with our deepest selves, the people we have yet to discover.

Andy struggles to cope with the loss of her grandfather, rebels against her new guardian, fights the bank and labors to keep her family’s legacy intact. Andy’s journey visits environmental conservation, equal opportunity for women, stewardship of rural lands, food pathways and urban:rural conflict. The threats to Andy’s way of life ensure that her ultimate struggle remains internal–with her future self.

As our society tackles today’s critical issues, we all must look inside ourselves for answers.

Learn more about our Community.