TOWNSEND -- There may not be a red carpet, but the town will unveil its big-screen debut with a celebration anyway.

Just a few days after the television debut of "The Spruces and the Pines," an independent movie filmed in part at the D.J. Hussey Farm in Townsend, the farm's owner and a town official will host a free screening in Memorial Hall.

John Hussey, the farm's owner, and Town Clerk Kathleen Spofford said they wanted to bring the town together to celebrate its moment in the spotlight.

"We thought it would be a nice community event to get people out doing things," Spofford said. "It'd be a nice thing to do."

The screening will take place in the Great Hall at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. Hussey said studio executives were receptive to his idea for a non-profit public screening, and in fact, he expects the film's director, John Stimpson, to attend and bring a copy for the event.

Organizers also hope to use the event as a benefit for charity. The screening is free and open to the public, but Hussey and Spofford will ask attendees to make a monetary donation, which will go toward Townsend's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, or bring canned goods for the Townsend Ecumenical Outreach.

Hussey said he hopes the event will help residents reconnect after a year of tumultuous local politics.

"I think a charity event is always good," Hussey said. "Our town has been ripped apart for quite a while, so we could do some things that help heal.



The made-for-TV movie is available for streaming now, but it will debut on the ION network on Dec. 3. Those who worked on it previously described it as a holiday-season romance about two people falling in love, despite having families who run rival Christmas tree farms -- a modern "Romeo and Juliet" featuring sweaters and pine needles.

Crews were based at New England Studios in Devens. Filming took place at Hussey's farm, the Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm in Stow, Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton and several locations in downtown Ayer.

Hussey has not yet seen his property on the big screen, although he did watch the trailer and described drone footage shot for the movie as "pretty awesome." He also expects the film is to be a boost to his already-strong business.

"It's going to be pretty neat," Hussey said. "I really think it's going to be good. I felt very blessed, very humbled by the fact that they even chose us."

The screening begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 in the Great Hall.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisLisinski.