Sweet Briar College Screening Documentary on Fairy Shrimp

Amherst, VA - It's the story of two men pursuing their childhood passions and an odd documentary that's bringing them together.

"Secret Pond: A Fairy Shrimp Documentary" was created by two Virginia Naturalists -- one from Sweet Briar College and the other from the Homestead Resort in Bath County.

They created the movie to raise awareness for the rare species that's made its home here in Virginia. But they also say if you watch it, you'll learn a lot more.

It's a movie where two odd and unusual worlds collide about Fairy Shrimp, their habitat and the two men who are committed to saving both.

"I told him where he could find them in a vernal pool within 30 minutes of his house," Michael Hayslett said of his conversation with Brian La Fountain two years ago.

Their 30 minute documentary follows the native Virginia species from birth to death at a secret pond near Brian La Fountain's home.

The two started with a mutual mission to conserve the little creatures and the place they live, and they ended up becoming best friends.

"The film debuted this spring near the Homestead Resort, where Brian works in Bath County," Hayslett said from Sweet Briar College where he works as a naturalist.

Hayslett says the Smithsonian is interested in buying the rights and turning it into an iMax movie.

But he isn't surprised there's so much interest because his story is part of a larger one.

"An animal that can wait as an egg for over a century to live as an adult for a few months is a remarkable lesson in patience," Hayslett said.

You can catch "Secret Pond: A Fairy Shrimp Documentary" at Sweet Briar College on November 12. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. in Murchison Lane Auditorium.

Watch the trailer for the documentary.

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