News, premieres and screenings of Down in the Old Belt:

Click here for list of by-invitation screenings.






Botkin Lecture Series,

Lecture and Screening, July 5, 2007






Film Award

in the

Appalachian Film Festival, April 27-29, 2006, Huntingtion, WV.

Click here for pictures and report on the Appalachian Film Festival.



Heritage Award

by the

Roanoke Valley





Welcome to Swinging Gate Productions, LLC. We are pleased to announce the completion of the documentary film, Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the tobacco south.

From Jamestown to the Buyout, “Down in the Old Belt” traces the history and culture of tobacco in the Old Belt of Virginia, revealing tobacco’s historic decline in context to the land and its farming people.

Reviewer’s comments

"I could almost smell the tobacco in the fields and in the barn. This film is excellent." 
Pete Daniel, Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

"Amazingly moving.”
Nancy King, producer, With Good Reason public radio program.

"A remarkable achievement—400 years of history condensed
into one eloquent film that lets tobacco farmers speak for themselves.”

Rex Bowman, Richmond Times Dispatch

"The narrative is rich with contrasts and clarity."
Ann Weinstein, Art Critic, Senior News, Roanoke, VA

We are pleased to announce that

Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the tobacco south

has been licensed by the Films Media Group

of New York City.

We no longer offer DVD's of the Old Belt

documentary for sale online.

To purchase Down in the Old Belt

go to this online link:


The Films Media Group is both the largest and oldest

multi-media distributor to the

North American educatioal market, providing

content in DVD and digital formats, to universities, high schools,

public organizations,the BBC, Bill Moyers' Public Affairs Television,

PBS, National Geographic, HBO, NBC NEWS, CBS NEWS, ABC NEWS,

NHK, CBC,National Film Board of Canada, ZDF,

France Television Distribution, ABC Australia, etc.


The documentary and filmmaker were honored by Virginia General Assembly during the Richmond Premiere at the Library of Virginia, February 15, 2006, with the Senate Joint Resolution No. 174, "Commending Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South by James P. Crawford, Swinging Gate Productions, LLC, as an outstanding documentary on the history and culture of tobacco in Virginia". For information and photos of Richmond Premiere click here.