Rory Feek was inspired to turn the song “Josephine,” from Joey + Rory’s 2012 album, into a movie. Rory’s film, which is based on true events, will make its premiere at the 2016 Nashville Film Festival April 14, as reported by The Boot.
Rory Feek directed and co-wrote Josephine, which is about “a desperate young farmer’s wife” who disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Army during the Civil War in an effort to find her missing husband.
The song “Josephine” was inspired by actual letters from the woman’s husband, soldier John Robison. Rory Feek was contacted by a man in Virginia who had seen Joey + Rory’s music video, telling Rory he also knew of letters that Josephine had written to John. Those letters, as Rory Feek explained on the project’s Kickstarter page last year, inspired him, along with co-writer Aaron Carnahan, to turn their love story into a movie.
” In 2013, I received an email from a man in Virginia who had seen our music video and he said he knew of letters that Josephine had also written to John. When I found and read those letters, I was even more moved by the words she wrote and the love she clearly had for the husband that the war had separated her from…Page by page, we watched her wait for John until she could wait no more…We watched a lost and scared girl, dressed like a male soldier, not only learn to become a woman again, but also teach the men around her how to be better men. We followed Josephine and her ragtag unit across three states – over six months, against all odds, with nothing to go on, but the belief in the one thing in the world she had left… love.”
In a blog post last May, Rory Feek offered fans a “behind the scenes” look at the making of Josephine. He had just returned home from filming in Halifax County, Virginia, and was preparing to spend the summer editing. Rory had even converted an old milk barn on his and Joey’s farm into and editing room.
Rory Feek said he was “humbled” by the experience, especially by how difficult it was.
“Getting the whole production together and accomplishing the filming of the movie has been the most difficult thing that I, and most of my friends, have ever done.”
Rory Feek explained that getting it all done with the amount of time and money they had was extremely stressful. Rory said he even thought he “was going to have a heart-attack a couple times.”
Rory Feek went on to say that no matter how successful Josephine may or may not be, he was “forever changed by Josephine’s story.”
“I don’t know what the outcome of our film will be – whether it’ll get to play in theaters, or go straight to DVD or online. Whether it will make any money or our investor will see any profit. But I know that it’s already been SO, SO, SO worth it to me. I’m forever changed by Josephine’s story…and bring part of the story of bringing her story to life.”
Rory Feek gave an update on the Josephine Kickstarter page in October. Rory pointed out the many obstacles he and the cast and crew faced, saying most of them had never even been on a movie set before, yet somehow they made one.
Rory Feek praised all involved in the project, saying they pulled it off despite not having the money and resources they really needed.
“Sometimes, not knowing what you don’t know is a blessing. We had an incredible cast of actors that I pray our little film is a blessing to, and that the world gets to see their talent the way that we have. And the crew we had worked tirelessly on this project… knowing like us, that we didn’t really have enough money, time or resources to pull it off. But together, we did.”
As Taste of Country reported, days after revealing Josephine was finally completed, Joey + Rory announced Joey’s cancer was terminal and they planned to spend Joey’s final days together at home.
Watch the trailer for Rory Feek’s Josephine here.
[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CCMA]