Corn turns to quicksand and a community turns to each other. That’s the story of Silo, a feature film bringing light to a danger on American farms: grain entrapment. (Grain bins account for 71 percent of confined-space incidents reported over the last 50 years, including 15 fatalities in 2018.) Originally inspired by the tragic true story of two Illinois teenagers, the movie depicts a small farm town that comes together to save a teen from a 50-foot-tall silo.
“A lot of the ‘fringe’ states don’t understand what’s happening in rural America. This film sets out to tell people,” says Quint Pottinger, whose New Haven, Ky., farm was used for production. “It says, ‘Here’s how far ag safety has come, and here’s how far it has to go.’ It also highlights a bigger mental health issue. Farmers face a lot of stressors (finances, time and weather, for example) to get things done, and they enter dangerous situations without even thinking about it.”
Pottinger, a former Kentucky state FFA president from the Larue County Chapter, also served as an advisor for the film, ensuring that farm tasks and processes were depicted accurately. “There wasn’t a whole lot of correcting, though,” he says. “They really did their homework to make it as authentic as possible to modern farm life.”
The film is available for community screenings and includes a post-show grain-handling safety discussion guide. To view the trailer and schedule an event, visit silothethefilm.com.