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"McFarland, USA" Director Finds Inspiration In The San Joaquin Valley

Feb 10, 2015

Kevin Coster stars in the film "McFarland, USA" as McFarland High School cross country coach Jim White
Credit Disney

It’s just 129 miles from the star-lined sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard to the dusty streets of McFarland, in rural Kern County. On the surface it might be hard to think of two parts of the state that could possibly be more different. But a major new motion picture featuring one of Hollywood's biggest stars has brought the two places together in an unlikely way. 

The film is called "McFarland, USA," and is based on a true story. It stars Kevin Costner as a coach who came to the poor largely Latino community of farm laborers just north of Bakersfield and helped his cross country students become legends in the world of high school athletics – eventually winning a state record 9 championships in a row. The Disney film hits screens nationwide later this month.

Director Niki Caro recently joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the film, including finding inspiration in the San Joaquin Valley's landscape, and casting Kevin Costner in the film's lead role. 

Valley Edition guest:

Niki Caro, director "McFarland, USA"