John ChesterDirector

Emmy-winning director John Chester has been a filmmaker and television director for the last 25 years. His recent short films for OWN’s Super Soul Sunday (including Saving Emma, Worry for Maggie and The Orphan) have won five Emmy Awards, for outstanding directing, writing, and cinematography, among others.

Chester first reached a wide audience with his primetime television docu-series on A&E, Random 1, which he directed and starred in in 2006. The series then inspired his feature documentary Lost in Woonsocket, which premiered at SXSW in 2007. Chester also directed the documentary Rock Prophecies, about legendary rock photographer Robert Knight, which won three audience awards for best documentary feature and was distributed nationally on PBS in 2010. Alongside his feature documentary work, it was the time he spent traveling the world as a wildlife filmmaker with Animal Planet and ITV Wildlife shows that inspired his interest in the complex interworking of ecosystems—a curiosity that serves him well on Apricot Lane Farms, the biodynamic and regenerative farm he and his wife Molly started in 2010.

Chester’s latest project The Biggest Little Farm is a feature-length documentary that follows an epic 8-year story of two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land, as they endeavor, perhaps naively, to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind, in complete coexistence with nature. As their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realize that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of nature beyond just the life of their farm.

The Biggest Little Farm will premiere at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Awards include

  • 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Special Class, OWN Super Soul Sunday Short “The Orphan”
  • 2017 (3) Emmy Awards (Directing, Cinematography, Short Format Special Class) for OWN Super Soul Sunday Short “Worry for Maggie”
  • 2016 Emmy Award OWN Super Soul Sunday Short “Saving Emma”
  • 2010 American Public Television Program Excellence Award “Rock Prophecies”/PBS
  • 2009 (1) Best Soundtrack Award “Rock Prophecies”
  • 2009 (3) Audience Awards Best Documentary Feature. “Rock Prophecies”
  • 2006 PRISM AWARD NOMINATION “Random1″/ A&E
  • 2004 Emmy Nomination “Falling Leaves”

When not working on film projects, Chester along with his wife focus their creative energies on running a 214-acre biodynamic orchard and livestock operation in Southern California. Visit www.apricotlanefarms.com for more details.