David “Mas” Masumoto says he finds all of the attention he’s been getting lately to be surprising, overwhelming and a little embarrassing. What’s caused that mix of emotions is “Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm,” a documentary that will be broadcast on public television stations across the country in May.
“We never expected this to happen and we don’t understand this whole notion. Books, I understand, not film, not TV,” Masumoto says.
The documentary will air on Fresno’s ValleyPBS at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, as part of a pledge-drive package. Along with the film, Mas, Marcy, Nikiko and Korio Masumoto sit down with former KSEE reporter Zoua Vang for the locally produced 30-minute “Changing Season: A Conversation.”
Vang says she was eager to host the local special because she’s been a fan of Masumoto’s writing for a long time. “I believe in this project. I believe in this family. I believe in what they are doing.”
The locally produced program is part of a new series launched by KVPT under the “A Conversation” banner that addresses topics of local interest. The first one offered a local perspective to go along with the Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson.
Those who would like to be in the studio for a dinner to be held during the documentary screening should call 559-266-1800 ext. 350 no later than Friday, April 22. Seating is limited for the event starting at 6 p.m.
Masumoto has been writing books related to the farm life he’s embraced for 40 years since his 1995 memoir “Epitaph for a Peach.” Other works include “Wisdom of the Last Farmer,” “Letters to the Valley, A Harvest of Memories” and the cookbook “The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm.”
“Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm,” written by Masumoto and his daughter, Nikiko, looks at farming, family and succession that is explored through funny and dramatic stories of change. It took them three years to write.
The documentary took a year of filming as the crew visited the local farm 15 times.
“They lived with us, basically,” Masumoto says. “They would get to the house at 4 in the morning and stay until 8 or 9 in the evening. We were constantly miked so you had to keep reminding yourself not to say certain things.”
Nikiko Masumoto had no problem with the documentary crew being around so much because she found them all to be “incredible, warm people.” She did find herself not talking very much in the beginning, a real change for her.
“The second or third day, then director pulled me away and said, ‘You can’t hide from the camera.’ ”
“Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm” has been shown in more than 20 film festivals and venues from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., to Honolulu. It was named best feature documentary at the 2015 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival.
There also will be a screening of the documentary at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at Maya Cinemas next to the Fresno State campus. A reception with Fresno State President Joseph Castro will include an opportunity to meet the Masumoto family.
The cost of the ticket is $25 with proceeds benefiting the Fresno State Student Success Support Services. Seating is limited; contact Yvette Angeles at 559-278-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The cast of Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” will be at the Warnors theater on Saturday, April 23 to shoot an episode of the cable series during the Fierce National Dance Competition Fresno event. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the downtown theater. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Everyone who attends will be required to sign an appearance release to allow the production company to use their image in the program production. All parents or guardians must sign an appearance release, as well. Be prepared to have a photo taken by production and complete appearance release forms.
Let’s talk about it: There will be a “Town Hall Roundtable” broadcast on CW59 at 7 p.m. April 28. The topic of the one-hour program is “Dealing with the Homeless: A Panel Discussion.”
Back to school: A casting call for “High School Musical 4” is being held through the Disney Applause App. The search for actors, singers and dancers ages 14-17 will continue through Monday, May 2.
The fourth film in the series goes back to East High where they will deal with their cross-town school rivals, West High.
Local connection: The network getTV is adding 14 classic TV shows to its service. Among them is “Airwolf” starring Jan-Michael Vincent who lived in Hanford as a teen. It will air 2 p.m weekdays on KFTV (Channel 21.2).
In demand: Programming previously only available through the streaming service Crackle is now available through the Xfinity on Demand service from Comcast. This includes “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” “Sports Jeopardy!,” “The Art of More” and “SuperMansion.”
This is the first content deal for Crackle with a cable distribution partner.