“Combining a sense of ecological urgency with a compelling yet stirring morality play, Runoff tells the story of a woman who goes to desperate lengths to save her family and farm when they are threatened from their land.”
For Sarah Cavanaugh ’12, working as an outreach assistant for a feature film wasn’t the career path she envisioned while working on her Bachelor of Arts Degree cum laude in history. Two years later, after adding a graduate degree to her resume, Cavanaugh found herself applying to various public affairs firms and nonprofit positions. When “the opportunity to work for a feature film that tells an amazing story came up, it seemed like the perfect fit.”
Though still a history fanatic, Cavanaugh has reinvented the ways in which she applies such knowledge to her work. “I love history because it’s really all about telling a story and finding out the underlying thread and how it relates to us today. Things that you read about from 50 to 100+ years ago are still happening, just with slight modifications or different geopolitical boundaries-we’re all facing similar issues when you get down to their bones. I wanted to be able to communicate these powerful and important issues, but in a way that really connects to people and gets them thinking.”
Cavanaugh currently acts as a liaison between the promotional efforts of the feature film, “Runoff,” and advocacy groups focused on the “environment, food and agricultural industries, and female empowerment.” She also provides day-to-day executive support and project delivery for Writer/Director Kimberly Levin, and assistance in the development of strategic ideas for audience engagement along the film’s distribution timeline. Of all these responsibilities, the most rewarding part is “getting to feel like you make an impact and seeing the consequences of your work,” while “realizing that there are people all across the country that are so passionate about how they can help.”
Happy to sing its praises, Cavanaugh encourages the HWS community to participate in the conversation by watching the film. “The idea is to reach beyond the choir, so to speak, of the audiences that would typically watch the many excellent documentaries out there. The film is beautifully shot, beautifully written, but above all it’s a character study and a morality play. It examines the building blocks of human malevolence, and reminds you that there is often a pervasive grey area between what separates the good from the bad in all of us. You don’t need to know anything about farming and agriculture, or pesticides and chemicals to connect to the film and be able to have a conversation about it.”
“Runoff” premieres Friday, June 26 at the Village East Cinema in New York City, with a week-long engagement. Los Angeles and other cities nationwide will follow, and the film will be released across digital formats July 28. Advance tickets are available now on Fandango. You can follow “Runoff” on Facebook for updates, and can view the trailer here.