An enthusiastic crowd at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival gathered for the premiere of Seven Points on Earth last night.

The film was directed by Paul Plett, who now calls Winnipeg home, but grew up in Landmark and Africa where his parents worked for the Mennonite Central Committee.

"It's a documentary about seven Mennonite farmers around the world," Plett says.

He spent a hectic two months crisscrossing the globe to film the footage for the documentary, which features farmers from Apollonovka, Siberia; Matobo, Zimbabwe; Riva Palacios, Bolivia; Margorejo, Java; Friesland, the Netherlands; Kalona, Iowa; and Neubergthal, Manitoba.

Plett says the idea for the film came from the research work of Dr. Royden Loewen. Loewen is the Chair in Mennonite Studies and the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg.

Loewen has been researching the relationships between Mennonites and the land in seven different farming communities around the world since 2013.

He and a team of seven researchers spent three years researching and interviewing Mennonite farmers, Loewen says.

Loewen and Plett teamed up to bring part of that research to life on the big screen.

Plett says that one of the most surprising things about filming was how the farmers opened up their lives to him while he followed them. 

"I was constantly surprised at how open, and welcoming, and giving each of these farmers was."

Seven Points on Earth shows two more times at Real to Reel, which takes place at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church. Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.