Award-winning documentary filmmaker to bring Farragut to life Jan. 31

Farragut tapped an award-winning documentary filmmaker to bring the Town and its history to life in a video that will premier Thursday, Jan. 31.

Keith McDaniel of Oak Ridge, whose acclaimed works have included “Secret City: Oak Ridge Story Parts 1 and 2” and “The Clinton 12” — both of which have won numerous awards — was chosen last year to expand the Town museum’s recorded oral histories.

“We had several oral histories in house, and some small videos, but we had in mind for (something larger) for a little while and it grew into creating a video,” said Julia Barham, Farragut Museum and Historical Resources coordinator, adding “we wanted it to be a professional video.”

McDaniel said he had previously worked with Museum Committee member Steve Stow, who reached out to him “about a year ago” about helping produce a Farragut documentary.

In addition to his filmmaking experience, McDaniel said he also has been involved with the Center for Oak Ridge Oral History “since its beginning nine years ago.

“I have written and produced a number of historical documentaries about areas and events in East Tennessee,” he added. “I feel this project is right up my alley.”

The initial draft “was twice as long as it needed to be,” so McDaniel and the Committee worked to edit the piece down to 30 minutes.

“Because it’s just a 30-minute film, there are many things we didn’t go into in great detail about and things that are not included,” added McDaniel, who has been working on the documentary’s final stages in recent weeks to prepare for the premier.

Town of Farragut employees have been busy getting the museum ready for the Jan. 31 opening by closing it to the public last month so a viewing area, to be called the Bill Dunlap Gallery, could be constructed.

At that time, the Museum also will unveil a special related exhibit, “Hometown History: Concord and Farragut.”

The evening will be a special “Friends of the Museum” event, and will kick off with a 5 p.m. reception preceding the film’s premier showing at 6 p.m.

“We’re very excited about the film,” said Sue Stuhl, Farragut’s Parks and Recreation director.

“... I always enjoy meeting the ‘gatekeepers’ of an area’s history. It facinates me,” McDaniel said. “I hope the folks of the area enjoy the film, and hopefully learn something about their home that they didn’t previously know.”