Below are three CR Matty Films that Cynthia created as an MFA student at Montana State University. While pursuing a degree in Science and Natural History Filmmaking, Cynthia chose to focus her student films on the elderly rancher, John Hoiland. John’s narrative explores a traditional lifestyle that is quickly fading, that of a small independent rancher. As a 94-year-old rancher, John is a living legacy representative of a time when independent ranching flourished in Montana.

For Love of the Land

‘For Love of the Land’ is CR Matty Films’ most recent release that has gained critical acclaim across the country. It is the most detailed account of John Hoiland’s story. At 35 minutes long, it explores all aspects of John’s life, including the heartbreaking reality that John’s lifelong home will soon no longer belong to the Hoiland family.

I am Still Here

‘I am Still Here’ is a 15-minute sequel to ‘Where Home Has Always Been,’ going more into John’s story. It exemplifies the reality behind aging with the land and place one has always lived. As John has gotten older, mundane tasks like replacing a sink have become harder. Watch as he navigates life and work with the support of his community, friends, and neighbors.

Where Home Has Always Been

This five-minute documentary short begins to tell John’s story. It is a brief glimpse into his lifestyle, land, heartbreak, and immense appreciation for the place he has always called home. Follow along as he reflects on the past and the events that have made him the man he is today. 

Science and Natural History Filmmaking is a broad category in the film industry with limitless concepts for filmmakers to explore. At CR Matty Films, we view it as an opportunity to merge the past and present, specifically when it comes to ranching and the West. As the West continues to grow and the number of individuals that grew with it declines, our mission is to capture those stories before they vanish entirely. 

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