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Pie Lady of Pie Town
Why did Kathy Knapp, a successful businesswoman, decide to leave her charmed life to bake pie in a dusty town with no traffic light? This film follows Kathy's resolve, heartache, and healing--and demonstrates how pie may be a vehicle for love.
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Pie Lady of Pie Town

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Running Time
29 minutes

Pie Lady of Pie Town

Pie Town came upon its name in the 1920s when the area was a cattle driveway and stopping point for people escaping severe dust bowl conditions Travelers needed sustenance, someone made pies, and not much has changed since. So why did the latest pie lady, Kathy Knapp, leave her charmed, privileged life in Dallas to bake pie in a dusty town with no traffic light, no gas station, no motel? On a road trip with her family in 1995, they drove through Pie Town and saw a sign posted on the door of a defunct trading post: “There used to be pie. There ain’t no more.” Knapp’s mother insisted Pie Town needed a pie shop. “This isn’t right, it’s unAmerican” she repeated, and so they bought it.


The film chronicles the history of the area, and Kathy’s and her mother’s place in its distinction.  We become privy to her resolve, her heartache, the subsequent healing, and how for her pie is a vehicle for love and peace.


You’ll see an alien, a dummy, feel connections to deep space, and hear some finger-snapping tunes. You’ll want pie. Welcome to Pie Town, New Mexico. The name is no joke.

Filmmaker Notes:

“Pie Town, I thought, was a joke” says the pie-loving biker chick in Pie Lady of Pie Town. She echoes what I thought many years ago when I saw “Pie Town” listed on a mileage chart in a gift shop many miles away. “What’s in Pie Town? I asked the clerk. She paused, leaned forward on the counter, looked me square in the eye and said ”pie.” Pie Town. No stop sign, no motel, no grocery store….it felt as though I walked onto a movie set. We shot in Pie Town four different times throughout the year, staying in a dusty little room within the pie shop just steps away from all the pie we could eat. The local characters were only slightly cautious but always gracious. Kathy Knapp, the pie lady herself, has become a dear friend. I could not have asked for an easier group of people to work with. At the end of every working day I felt nothing but gratitude. One of the biggest challenges was the unpredictable New Mexico weather. At any given time a fierce wind would kick up, disrupting the sound or sweeping away the drone. As we were filming the pie eating contest at the Annual Pie Festival, it decided to rain on the RED, a costly camera indeed. The biggest challenge of all was self control. Can you imagine what it’s like to be in a pie shop with “the best pies in the universe” and having to choose between Cheery Cherry, Starry Starry Blueberry Night, Chocolate Cream, Coconut Cream, Chile Apple Pie, Peachy Keen, Pear and Lemon Ginger, Pecan Oat, Very Merry Mixed Berry, Apple Cranberry Crumble…? We maneuvered around this obstacle by not thinking of it as an obstacle at all but rather an invitation. We did the right thing, erred on the side of diplomacy, and sampled every single pie there was to be had. All in the name of research of course….


Film details
Year(s) screened
  • 2014
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