100+ New Films for 2021

Adventure. Conservation. Inspiration.

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TitleYearCountryLength
2021: A Surf Odyssey
2021: A Surf Odyssey

Directed by Andrew Wyton

Psychodelic surf siren Andrew Wyton is back with an out-of-this-world twist on Great Lakes surf films.

2020Canada9 min
A Concerto is a Conversation
A Concerto is a Conversation

Directed by Kris Bowers, Ben Proudfoot

A virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

2021--13 min
A Sad Story About a Tree
A Sad Story About a Tree

Directed by Anders Nienstaedt

A video essay about Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Fir Tree,” perhaps the saddest Christmas story every written.

2021United States5 min
A Surfer's Search
A Surfer's Search

Directed by Kevin Steen

An intimate portrait of midwestern lake surfer Erik Wilkie.

2019--4 min
After Antarctica
After Antarctica

Directed by Tasha Van Zandt

A journey across both poles, After Antarctica follows polar explorer Will Steger’s life journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet. In 1989, Steger led an international team of six scientists and explorers on the first coast-to-coast dogsled traverse of Antarctica. The ultimate mission of the expedition was to draw global attention to Antarctica’s changing climate and use the expedition as a tool to renew the Antarctic Treaty, which would protect the continent from mineral exploitation. Even with his background in science and knowledge of the changing climate, Steger could never have expected what he would soon discover. This arduous expedition opened his eyes to the most pressing issue of our time and ultimately changed the course of his life forever. Now, thirty years later, Steger heads out on the ice once again, this time to the opposite end of the Earth, recounting the life-changing journey that led him to where he is today. After Antarctica is a film about a legendary expedition unlike any other - not only were Steger and his team of renegade explorers the first to complete this historic feat, they were also the last.

2021--64 min
After Skid Row
After Skid Row

Directed by Lindsey Hagen

After Skid Row documents the journey of Barbie Carter as she navigates the transition to housed life following the brutal reality of a decade on the streets. The film illuminates the intimate humanity behind homelessness as Barbie rediscovers parts of her identity that she had been forced to stifle in order to survive. Her unique story and compelling character help to both demystify and deeply personalize a homelessness epidemic that continues to swell across the US.

2021USA22 min
All Bodies on Bikes
All Bodies on Bikes

Directed by Zeppelin Zeerip

Kailey Kornhauser and fellow “fat cyclist” Marley Blonsky are on a mission. A mission to change the idea that people with larger bodies can’t ride bikes. They aim to make cycling more inviting to people of all sizes and expand the idea of what it means to be a cyclist — not just on screens, but on trails and in people’s minds.

2021--13 min
An Imperfect Advocate
An Imperfect Advocate

Directed by Jim Aikman

In the rarified air of the world’s wildest mountains, alpinist Graham Zimmerman has seen firsthand the effects of human-driven climate change on the world. And he has been forced to acknowledge that he is complicit in destroying these places that he loves​. Despite his own carbon footprint, Graham decides that he must take action and joins Protect Our Winters, an advocacy group that enlists him in the fight against Climate Change.

2020USA20 min
Arrow 1
Arrow 1

Directed by Jorden Susewitz

Arrow 1 is his best arrow, the first one he will shoot in the fall, but this hunt started 13 years ago.

2021--9 min
Awakenings: A Revolution of Love
Awakenings: A Revolution of Love

Directed by Weyni Mengesha & Lucius Dechausay

“A Revolution of Love” is a short film that follows a young Black woman as she grapples with the histories of her ancestors, the present-day violence ravaging her community, and begins to imagine what her future looks like through dance. Awakenings is a new programming philosophy within Toronto History Museums that will feature art projects that explore untold stories, awaken a new perspective and invite the public to join the conversation.

2020--4 min
Bløm | From Farm to Fourth Ave.
Bløm | From Farm to Fourth Ave.

Directed by Tim Whalen

After a gluten allergy shook up a brewer’s career, him and his wife turned to a new fermentation project using all local ingredients from Michigan; Bløm Meadworks in Ann Arbor, MI was born.

2020United States4 min
Camera Jesus
Camera Jesus

Directed by

Since a family trip to the Grand Canyon as a child, Detroit photographer Joe Gall, aka Camera Jesus, has been in love with the authentic moment. From Joe’s early days photographing BMX riders and shooting concerts, to working with Tony Hawk and Karlie Kloss, his nature photography, and his professional work with adidas global, he has been able to reframe brief flashes of beauty into indelible images of grace.

2019USA2 min
Charge 2
Charge 2

Directed by Anthony Bonello

We took five top freeskiers and a World Champion drone pilot to Mustang Powder Cat Skiing in BC for one week. Their instructions: charge as hard as you can everyday. Featuring Stan Rey, Leah Evans, Alexi Godbout, Josh Daiek, Drew Petersen and Jordan Temkin.

2020Canada4 min
Cities to Crags: Minnesota x The UP
Cities to Crags: Minnesota x The UP

Directed by Cameron Maier

Showcasing and amplifying the climbing culture from each of these places, from the city to the crag.

2021USA6 min
Color Out Here: Shaping Narratives
Color Out Here: Shaping Narratives

Directed by Alice Lyn

Alice Lyn (she/her) is a sustainability professional and outdoor enthusiast. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Alice relocated to Michigan where she attended college at Northern Michigan University in the Upper Peninsula before putting down roots in Grand Rapids. Today, Alice is the creator and host of “Color Out Here” a narrative platform and community organizing initiative designed in collaboration with WGVU and PBS that explores the barriers to inclusion faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship.

2020USA27 min
Coreyon
Coreyon

Directed by Jason Whalen and Chris Zuker

The Coreyon Reef restoration is aimed at bringing open water spawning reef habitat back to Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Throughout history, land use, pollution, overfishing and invasive species have damaged native fish populations in the Great Lakes. But the Saginaw Bay is experiencing an era of restoration, with the Coreyon Reef restoration project being the latest effort toward building up resilient and self-sustaining native fish populations. Coreyon tells the story of this important restoration project for the Great Lakes fishery.

2020United States15 min
Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't: A Sampler Platter
Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't: A Sampler Platter

Directed by Joey Santore

A low-brow, crass approach to plant ecology and evolution as muttered by a misanthropic Chicago Italian. Amidst mild (or not so mild) profanity and general irreverence, Joey Santore examines plant life (the base of Earth’s food chain) and the nature of the rocks and soil they grow on, as well as the evolutionary adaptations that enable them to do what they do. Watch, learn, laugh and go f*ck yourself.

2021--60 min
Diving UP
Diving UP

Directed by Cameron Mattson

In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there are many who enjoy the numerous wonders of nature this state has to offer. However, there is another natural treasure that has been mostly forgotten. One would never guess it was hiding in plain sight under Lake Superior all along.

2020United States5 min
DURGA: Forging a New Trail
DURGA: Forging a New Trail

Directed by Emily Hopcian

“DURGA: Forging a New Trail” tells the story of 34-year-old Durga Rawal, the only guide of any gender from her village in northern Nepal. In a country where boys receive an education, men seek employment in larger cities and girls and women are often left to work on family farms and within their homes, Durga’s is a story of defying cultural, societal and familial expectations to pursue an independent life. It is a story of female empowerment and gender equality about a brave young woman who is forging her own trail. “DURGA” explores and celebrates bold dreams and the unwavering strength it takes to overcome doubt, discrimination and harassment to break free from the narratives that are put before us and intentionally reach for a life that is uniquely ours.

2021Nepal20 min
Eight Days on Isle Royale
Eight Days on Isle Royale

Directed by Kristin Ojaniemi

Isle Royale is the nation’s least visited National Park, however it is the most revisited National Park. In the spring of 2021, Kristin Ojaniemi, co-host of the U.P.’s outdoors show “Discovering”, spent 8 days on Isle Royale; backpacking, exploring the trails and harbors, learning about the island’s wilderness and history, and chatting with the researchers of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose project.

2021United States18 min
Feast or Famine
Feast or Famine

Directed by Mike King

Mike King presents “Feast or Famine”. A film that connects passion with purpose, as I’ve discovered the importance of protecting the places I love while chasing powder and big lines through British Colombia & the Pacific Northwest. Each summer I bring it back home for harvest on the farm in the Great Lakes. This film is just a taste of my complex existence; a way to share my gratitude and concern for the places that feed my soul and my stomach. I’m no expert, but I believe some is better than none, and we need all action for change. I’m a wild and carefree diesel driving activist, and this is my story.

2020United States16 min
Freshwater
Freshwater

Directed by Ian Planchon

Freshwater is a documentary that dives into the cold waters of Lake Superior along Minnesota’s North Shore. Despite the fact that it contains ten percent of Earth’s freshwater, this massive force of nature remains largely unexplored. One group of people, however, is intimately aware of its power. From the surfers who catch its waves to the scientists who study its depths, learn why Lake Superior is a precious resource that should never be taken for granted.

2021--23 min
Gone Tomorrow, The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing
Gone Tomorrow, The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing

Directed by Mike Wilkinson

Ice climbing in Kentucky?! This adventure documentary takes the audience for a bourbon-fueled ride deep into the bushy hollers of Appalachia with a crew of harmless misfits as they race to search out and climb new ice routes before they’re gone, with a few surprises along the way.

2019United States20 min
Gretchen Metsa and the Arrowhead Ultra
Gretchen Metsa and the Arrowhead Ultra

Directed by Carrie and Tim Highman

Gretchen Metsa is a northern Minnesotan woman who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 19. After almost giving up running when she found managing her blood sugar while training too tricky, she recalls a life-changing moment when she looked at her daughter, also diagnosed with Type 1, and realized her example spoke volumes about what they’re capable of despite their disease.

2020--10 min
How to Count a Wolf
How to Count a Wolf

Directed by Benjamin Drummond, Sara Joy Steele

Wolves are recolonizing Washington. How to Count a Wolf follows three wildlife biologists who try to find them as they get here. Learn about the methods they use, and the risks they take, to monitor recovery.

2020USA8 min
Ice Age Trail FKT attempt
Ice Age Trail FKT attempt

Directed by Carrie and Tim Highman

Meet Midwesterner Coree Woltering, 30, as he attempts to set the men’s supported fastest known time (FKT) of 21 days, 13 hours, and 35 minutes on Wisconsin’s 1,147-mile Ice Age Trail.

2020--10 min
Ice Ball
Ice Ball

Directed by Nathaniel Schmidt

Best known for his legendary polar explorations, Will Steger’s life work grew out of a single log cabin he built after moving to the Minnesotan wilderness at age 25. Reliant on sustainable energy and natural commodities, Steger formed a community and culture based on the principle of mutuality. Central to Steger’s operation is the lost art of cutting ice for refrigeration. This annual harvest formed a tradition spanning fifty years that became known as the “Ice Ball”. While this old world technology inevitably became obsolete, its disappearance parallels a concerning loss of social interdependence in modern society. In a nostalgic celebration of this winter craft, the film is a portrayal of human innovation and interconnection that embodies one man’s attempt to move society forward, without leaving the past behind.

2020Australia & US13 min
If I Tell Them
If I Tell Them

Directed by Oliver Sutro

James Sampsel, a plein air painter and fly-fishing guide, comes to terms with his past and a bi-polar diagnosis that hangs over his future.

2021USA12 min
Irakli's Lantern
Irakli's Lantern

Directed by Ben Page

In the Caucasus mountains of Georgia, 78-year-old Irakli Khvedaguridze has spent the past 25 winters living alone as the last inhabitant of Europe’s highest village.

2020United Kingdom16 min
Iron Family
Iron Family

Directed by Patrick Longstreth

Jazmine Faries, a 32-year old woman with Down syndrome, is obsessed with soap operas, Barbie dolls, and Matthew McConaughey. For the past 5 summers, her family has performed her original stage plays for a small audience in their town of Iron River, Michigan. In this sixth season, we follow the creative process of writing, rehearsing, and performing the play. Family bonds between her brother, Chad, and her mother, Kate, are strengthened and put to the test by the mishaps and chaos of coordinating a production with limited resources. Along the way we see Jazmine’s personal struggle for independence, her yearning for a romantic partner, and how a single spark of creativity can spread joy throughout a community.

2021United States90 min
Joe Pera Talks With Fresh Coast
Joe Pera Talks With Fresh Coast

Directed by Marty Schousboe

Comic Joe Pera premieres a never seen before episode of his upcoming season of Joe Pera Talks With You, we’ll also play an episode from Season 1 and 2 … and then he’ll talk with you.

----105 min
Joint Effort
Joint Effort

Directed by Zeppelin Zeerip

Joint Effort is a poetic ode to Zoe Zeerip’s lifelong battle with Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis. Everyday Zoe Zeerip pushes back against a condition that conspires to hold her down. This is her story. This is her fight.

2020United States3 min
Kindling
Kindling

Directed by Mike Call

North Face athlete and Michigan native Sam Elias is on fire, but fire needs fuel.

2021--3 min
Leelanau Conservancy - Farmland Protection
Leelanau Conservancy - Farmland Protection

Directed by Nick Loud & Chris Loud

Local farmers band together with the Leelanau Conservancy to preserve the land, environment, and way of life that defines Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula, and thanks to their efforts, will hopefully do so for centuries beyond. Produced by The Boardman Review, the creative culture and outdoor lifestyle journal of northern Michigan.

2020United States4 min
LOON
LOON

Directed by Jason Whalen

Is wilderness more valuable than money? It depends on who you ask. Loon is a through hiking naturalist who understands what’s truly valuable in life. At 80 years old with more than 2,000 acres of wilderness to his name, he must decide what to do with this precious asset.

2021United States9 min
Made in the Mitten
Made in the Mitten

Directed by Zeppelin Zeerip

On December 25th, 1965, amidst the blustery winds and sand dunes of Muskegon, Michigan, Sherman Poppen made history by strapping two skis together and sending his young daughter careening down his backyard hill. His invention, soon dubbed the Snurfer, laid the foundation for snowboarding as we know it.

2020USA7 min
Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue
Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue

Directed by Chris Ozminski

Follow Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue as they work two heart-wrenching cases helping the families search for their missing loved ones.

2021US75 min
Mission Mountain
Mission Mountain

Directed by Andrew Bydlon & Kody Kohlman

Raising cattle doesn’t usually rate as an earth-friendly practice. Amy O’Hoyt, a first-generation rancher, can confirm. So she bucked the standard way of producing beef to finish her cattle on the grass growing in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, rotating pastures, and proving there’s a way forward that’s connected with the earth, the animals, and, ultimately, a better future.

2020United States10 min
Native and American
Native and American

Directed by Brit and Taylor Hensel

Native and American follows Holly Spaude as she navigates her tribe’s blood quantum standard. Through working to help preserve the endangered Potawatomi language, Holly has come to know her purpose.

2019United States16 min
Nibi: The fight for water, rights and a way of life
Nibi: The fight for water, rights and a way of life

Directed by Ben Cole

While there has been a widespread focus on the controversy of Line 5, this film takes a closer look into perhaps one of the most often overlooked, yet most important perspectives on this issue - that of Michigan’s indigenous communities. From the perspective of Michigan tribal members, scientific researchers, and legal experts we explore what is truly at stake for Michigan’s native tribes. As the original inhabitants of the land, and with protected treaty rights to the Great Lakes and the Straits of Mackinac these perspectives must be shared, along with the responsibility the state of Michigan has in protecting these rights along with the Great Lakes."

2021United States15 min
North Country
North Country

Directed by Nick Martini

In the rugged White Mountains of northern-New Hampshire, Lahout’s has remained open 365 days a year since 1920. While technology and conglomerates have stripped the country of local, independent retailers, a family of Lebanese immigrants has prevailed for a century, beating the Great Depression, World War II, Dot Com Crash and Great Recession. With a family and staff who have spent their entire lives working at the shop, we arrive at their centennial during a vulnerable time. The patriarch (Joe Lahout Sr) is in an intense fight with father time. Having skied, worked-out and traveled well into his 90’s, Joe has begun to struggle with his daily rehab and medication schedule, while his grandson (Anthony Lahout) has returned home to help with his recovery. As Anthony begins spending time with him, he explores his grandfather’s lineage as well as questions the source to the store’s success. As we approach 2020, the reality of life-without-Joe is introduced to the Lahout family and staff, sending shockwaves throughout the ranks. Award-winning director Nick Martini and cinematographer Cam Riley have teamed up with executive producer Anthony Lahout to captivate a nation consumed with hashtags instead of history. This film tells a timeless short story of the American dream and the family that put a community on skis. After 100 years, Lahout’s is still a family business moving onto its fourth generation. Through past and present, we learn the true source of the store’s success. As their monarch passes on, we question and discover the backbone of its longevity. We hope to inspire immigrants, military veterans, millennials, grandchildren, family businesses, and outdoor enthusiasts that all in America is not lost.

2019United States20 min
Ode to Desolation
Ode to Desolation

Directed by Lindsey Hagen

Faced with the ever pressing influence of technology Jim Henterly holds his post as the eyes and ears of the historic Desolation Peak Fire Lookout - in an effort to preserve the human narrative.

2020--13 min
Ode to Minnesota
Ode to Minnesota

Directed by Brenda Piekarski

On August 6, 2018 Stephen Schreader and Eli Nord launched on a self-made 1,000-mile journey around the arrowhead region of Minnesota by bike, canoe and foot, using primarily Minnesota-made gear. Their trip would take them through mining country and deep into the wilderness while giving a grand nod to Minnesota history, culture and trails. As with all great adventures, not everything goes as planned. Follow these two acquaintances as their friendship develops and they attempt to complete an epic homemade adventure with over 6 weeks of trekking and their two dogs in tow.

2020United States27 min
On A Wing and a Prayer
On A Wing and a Prayer

Directed by Dominic Gill

Photographer Ben Depp has set out to chronicle the wetlands in a series of aerial photographs that he captures with the help of a paramotor that he straps to his back. From above he has become acutely aware of the vast network of pipeline canals which are reportedly responsible for up to 30% of the land loss. In this episode we take a trip to the barrier islands where Ben flies his glider and observes the recent restoration that the state has put into rebuilding the land in this area.

2020--10 min
One Man's Trash
One Man's Trash

Directed by Oliver Sutro

After his father passed, Bennett uprooted his idyllic life as a fishing guide to try and get a “real” job in real estate. That plan flops and he spends the summer living on top of his 1990 Cadillac Deville in some of North Americas wealthiest summering locations like Martha’s Vineyard. Strapped for cash, Bennett picks up trash on the beaches to tie flies for fishing, and enters into a fishing tournament. The simple joys of life are exactly that: simple, and often free.

2021USA8 min
Open Water
Open Water

Directed by Kalli Anderson

Open Water is a short documentary film about what it feels like to swim across the largest freshwater lake in the world. It follows 61-year-old open-water swimmer Marilyn Korzekwa as she attempts to be the first person to ever complete a crossing of the eastern end of Lake Superior, from Michigan, USA to Ontario, Canada. The film uses experimental underwater photography techniques and immersive sound design to convey the subjective experience of swimming non-stop through a night and a day. It chronicles the changing moods of the lake over the course of the swim as Marilyn and her small support crew weather the waves and numbing cold. Along the way, we get to know some of the tight-knit community of Canadian women who have, with very little fanfare, been swimming and helping each other swim The Great Lakes for three generations.

2021Canada19 min
Operation Wolf Patrol
Operation Wolf Patrol

Directed by Joe Brown

“Operation Wolf Patrol,” is a feature length documentary about eco-activist, Rod Coronado, and his attempt to end wolf hunting in the United States. Over the course of three years, we watch Rod work to redefine his activism in an era– post 9/11, where some have called him an “eco-terrorist.” The film comes to a climax when Coronado’s “Wolf Patrol” is met with a tightening of “hunter harassment” laws that prohibit photography on public lands. Now Coronado has to ask himself is he willing to go back to prison to fight a law that some are calling “unconstitutional.”

2021United States84 min
Originate
Originate

Directed by Cameron Sylvester and Bryan Smith

In sport, success is often defined by measuring yourself against the competition. With little change to the landscape of Alaska since her first trip 10 years ago, big mountain skier Michelle Parker returns to Haines to test her skillset in the mountains. As she revisits some of the steepest, most unforgiving lines of her career, we discover that her metric for success isn’t measured by competition, Alaskan spines or blower pow, but found within.

2019Canada15 min
Oshkigin: Spirit of Fire
Oshkigin: Spirit of Fire

Directed by Tom Deschenes & Andrew Bydlon

Not all fire is bad. Increased droughts and longer fire seasons in recent decades have caused more frequent, dangerous, and intense fires across the country. But for thousands of years, Native people used fire to prevent these intense fires, while also using it to cultivate the land, build communities, and preserve natural forests. Current laws preventing controlled burns have changed both the environment of the Upper Midwest and the culture of Native Tribes. Like the fire that rejuvenates the forest, a small group is working to revive this valuable practice. Oshkigin - Spirit of Fire shows the ways that traditional fire uses can reconnect us with the land and preserve the natural world.

2021--16 min
Our Common Home
Our Common Home

Directed by Mykhailo Bogdanov

A captivating illustration of Catholic recognition of climate change as an environmental and social problem.

2020--3 min
Our Water
Our Water

Directed by Ryan Busch

Four friends set out on an expedition inspired by Lake Superior. They travel in kayaks, paddle stroke by paddle stroke to circumnavigate the worlds largest freshwater resource. Their story connects the people whose lives have been shaped by the water and our need to protect this precious resource for future generations. Join them on their journey to understand the magic, beauty, and importance of the water right in our backyard.

2019United States90 min
Overland
Overland

Directed by Elisabeth James

Adventure unfolds across four continents as an eagle hunter, a hawk whisperer, and a falcon racer awaken an ancient art to connect to the wild that is fading out of sight and out of mind. How can we connect to our natural, primal spirit when modern society threatens to erase it? Overland is a stunning cinematic journey across four continents that twists and turns like nature itself, bridging ancient to modern, east to west, and earth to sky. Lauren, a daredevil anthropologist, trains injured eagles to fly and hunt while scouring the world for falconry secrets. But a confused eagle whose tragic past seems beyond repair pushes her to the brink. Giovanni left Rome for a solitary life in the countryside with his wolves, horse and hawks. After a transcendent experience with an 800-year-old falconry book, he begins to question his life’s purpose. In Dubai, Khalifa is training to be the world’s best falcon racer. For millennia his nomadic ancestors hunted with falcons in the harsh Arabian desert. Now, with city-life encroaching, he must find a way to keep his fragile Bedouin culture from vanishing forever.

2021--105 min
Pangu
Pangu

Directed by Shaofu Zhang

Based on the ancient Chinese creation myth, Pangu is a modern tale about parenthood and the differences between generations. Pangu creates a rigid world of angular shapes, but there’s just one problem: his son sees the world as curves.

2019USA, China6 min
Pedal Through
Pedal Through

Directed by Analise Cleopatra and Aly Nicklas

Pedal Through invites us into the world of director-lead Analise Cleopatra as she discovers the healing and joy of mountain biking. Analise had never camped or ridden a bike off the pavement when she decided to plan a week-long mountain biking adventure with an all Black female team: her best friend and fellow newcomer to the sport, DeJuanae Toliver, and professional mountain biker Brooklyn Bell. Together, they traverse the Oregon backcountry on an adventure full of exploration, curiosity, waterfalls, old growth forest, sparkling starscapes, and deep healing. With raw authenticity, Analise shares all the intimate foibles, fear, fun, and beauty of discovering her place in the outdoors. The landscape opens to greet her as she learns to lean into uncertainty, accept support and trust herself on this wild ride.

2020--14 min
Protect the Orca: A Story About Whales, Fish, & Trees
Protect the Orca: A Story About Whales, Fish, & Trees

Directed by Ben Hemmings

The endangered Orcas of the Pacific Northwest rely on the West Coast Chinook salmon for food. However, salmon stocks are diminishing due to loss of habitat and increasing pollution - ultimately impacting the Orca. Interestingly, reforestation is one of the best ways to help restore salmon habitats. Trees help reduce runoff into the rivers, cool water temperatures, and add beneficial woody debris to the water that help salmon develop, ultimately increasing food supply for Orca whales.

2019The U.S. and Canada11 min
Reclaimed
Reclaimed

Directed by Tom Deschenes & Andrew Bydlon

Chisholm, Minnesota is barely a dot on the map. But this small town on the Mesabi Iron Range of Minnesota once provided the ore to build the tanks and planes of World War II and the skyscrapers of New York. Chisholm built America and the people of the town prospered. But as time went on, the demand for Chisholm’s ore declined. Although mining continues to thrive in this region, the people of Chisholm are looking to reclaim this abandoned landscape of the past. Now, the community and the industry that built this town are banding together to revitalize a forgotten piece of America. Can Chisholm make the leap from mining town to outdoor capital?

2021--13 min
Recomposed
Recomposed

Directed by Gnarly Bay

Jared Blizzard is a composer and every day he sits at his desk, creating musical wonders for not just gnarly bay and our assortment of commercial clients, but to fulfill the inner pull of his soul toward sound. Occasionally that inner pull leads him down different roads, through dreams and ideas, alongside ghosts and forgotten memories to a more tactile experience. This film explores the powerful resonance of music and the struggle to make sounds that may last well beyond the years of the musician.

2021--9 min
River Therapy
River Therapy

Directed by Jorden Susewitz

There are lots of definitions of therapy. Two fishermen reflect on the peace they’ve found along the AuSable River of Michigan.

2020--5 min
Riwaka | A Hop's Journey From Farmer to Brewer
Riwaka | A Hop's Journey From Farmer to Brewer

Directed by Tim Whalen

Hop Butcher is always searching for new experiences through hops and the search was a long one when trying to find Riwaka. Once connected with Hop Revolution farms in NZ, they got closer to finally getting this elusive hop in their hands. The result - an amazing relationship that resulted in new experiences for the tastebuds, an ocean away from where these hops were grown.

2020United States6 min
Road To Wanderlust
Road To Wanderlust

Directed by Sam Salwei

Meet Sam Salwei, Raquel Hernandez, and the Peace Love Car – two charmingly talented wanderers and their trusty (if quirky) steed. The Peace Love Car is one-of-a-kind. A solar panel on the roof provides power for the fridge, the seats fold down into a bed, and the oven under the hood can cook you a perfect burrito. It custom-built shocks bear 1,500lbs of adventure gear with nary a squeak (OK, not true), and it has transported its occupants with moderate reliability across almost half a million miles of open road.

2021--15 min
Rural Runner
Rural Runner

Directed by Forest Woodward

Rural Runner is a short film about finding purpose and common ground in rural America as Chloe Maxmin makes a bid to be the youngest woman in the Maine house of representatives and Canyon Woodward balances his lifestyle with running rural trails and running political campaigns. Join us for the journey.

2020--15 min
salt & sea
salt & sea

Directed by Jack Sarcone

This film tells of the end of an era. Ireland has a rich history in its lighthouses. Gerald is one of about a dozen living lighthouse keepers in Ireland, as these lighthouses have become automated since the mid-nineties.

2020United States7 min
Sand in the Sky
Sand in the Sky

Directed by Gnarly Bay

Traveling with a baby is an interesting thing. They add all sorts of challenges to any trip you do. Long flights, strollers, nap schedules, and car seats all seem to pile up and complicate what is supposed to be a relaxing vacation. Sometimes, you may even find yourself wondering…is all this effort worth it for a baby who won’t even remember the trip? All these experiences and memories will eventually disappear, like a fading dream. So is it worth it? I hope so. I hope these experiences were somehow baked into Ollie’s tiny cells as his body was developing. So as the dream fades away, he is left with some form of inspiration that may re-surface later in life. Maybe it will help him appreciate nature…or make him want to explore beyond the horizon? I have no idea…but I hope so. This video is a result of me grappling with these questions, and trying to document this point in my son’s life. Ollie was 8 months old when we traveled to Hawaii. Exactly 1 year later, we sat him down and “interviewed” him about his trip. By this time, I assume his memories had already faded to a dream like state, so I wrote a script that reflected that.

2018--4 min
Saving Buffalo Reef
Saving Buffalo Reef

Directed by Finn Ryan

Buffalo Reef is a natural cobble feature in Lake Superior, located just off the eastern edge of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P of Michigan. The reef has historically maintained invaluable spawning habitat for fish species such as lake trout and lake whitefish. These remarkable habitat features are threatened by the migrating stamp sands, produced by harmful mining activities beginning in the late 1800’s. The treaty of 1842 or commonly known as the “Copper Treaty” ceded millions of acres of land to the United States in exchange for rights to hunt, fish, and gather within the ceded territory. Buffalo Reef has always been considered as culturally significant harvesting grounds for local tribal communities. Today’s challenge involving Tribal, State, Federal, and Academic partnerships combine efforts to mitigate damages and ultimately restore Buffalo Reef as the ecological resource that has sustained both tribal and non-tribal communities for generations.

2020United States and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community11 min
Second Wind
Second Wind

Directed by Andrew J. Morgan/Nick Nummerdor

Second Wind is a documentary short film about pulmonary fibrosis patient and double-lung transplant recipient Nick Brown. Nick was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the very young age of 36 and within a year was in need of a double-lung transplant just to survive. As he laid in his hospital bed recovering from the surgery he realized he’d taken too much for granted and wanted to use this second chance at life to bring awareness for pulmonary fibrosis and organ donation to as many people as possible. That’s when he discovered “Skoolies,” school buses converted to mobile homes. Nick bought a Skoolie, converted it into a home and also turned it a rolling billboard for his awareness blog borrowedbreaths.com.

2020--8 min
Small Footprints: Crafting an Eco-Lodge in Wild Alaska
Small Footprints: Crafting an Eco-Lodge in Wild Alaska

Directed by James Daggett

In 2008, a sustainable development project began in the middle of the Kenai Fjords of Alaska, 3 hours by boat from the nearest port of civlization. Told from the points of view of crew members, project coordinators and the Native Alaskan corporation that owns the land itself, the film is both a celebration of and a blueprint for sustainable construction, as well as an exciting battle against time and the elements deep within wild Alaska.

2020USA40 min
Soul Deep
Soul Deep

Directed by Dominic Gill

Thanks to Black Diamond Soul Deep takes the time to show how the face of climbing is changing. We head to Memphis to catch up with local climbing gym Memphis Rocks and some of its local climbers to share what climbing means in Memphis.

2021--14 min
Stewards of All Creation
Stewards of All Creation

Directed by Kristin Ojaniemi

United in stewardship, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa join our neighbors in protecting the land, water, and original orders of creation. The decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.

2020--8 min
Superior Steel 3
Superior Steel 3

Directed by Torrin Grange

The third film of Superior Steel brings acrobatic fish, low and high water, new and old places and the same great fish.

2020USA24 min
Sweetwater
Sweetwater

Directed by Ellie Burck

Cast your line into another world. What is out there? An unknown. Meet the people who explore the hills and valleys of the lake bottom. Why do they do it? What happens when they and the fish meet? Moments are shared. Life cycles circle. And I keep the camera rolling.

2018United States26 min
The Duck Queen of Plaquemines Parish
The Duck Queen of Plaquemines Parish

Directed by Dominic Gill

Albertine Kimble is a duck hunter in Plaquemines Parish. Having worked for the parish, she knows the local wetlands better than almost anyone. In her own words, she explains how leveeing has prevented the Mississippi River from flowing its natural course and has deprived the wetlands of essential nutrients and sediment. As Albertine takes us to her favorite hunting spots, she shares how the dying marsh is disrupting the bird migration route, the Mississippi Flyway, and could eventually put New Orleans at risk.

2020--9 min
The Humongous Fungus Among Us
The Humongous Fungus Among Us

Directed by

A quiet Upper Michigan town becomes the center of an international media frenzy after three scientists discover a record-breaking ‘Humongous Fungus’ living next door. Decades later, the town and the scientists continue to embrace the fungus as a growing symbol of community and wonder. Who will be crowned Mr. Fungi? Will there be a giant mushroom pizza? Will the ‘Humongous Fungus’ outlive us all?

2021--60 min
The Lifer
The Lifer

Directed by Mike Call

Russ Clune is an integral part of climbing’s humble beginnings in America. Recently Black Diamond Athlete Sam Elias paid Clune a visit at his home in upstate New York, where he sampled the historic routes of the past, and attempted a rare ascent of the new-school trad testpiece: Brozone (5.14b). But perhaps the most important thing Sam walked away with, amid all the climbing history lessons, and constant, often hilarious, Clune cliff-banter, was an intimate view into the soul of a man who has dedicated his entire life to climbing.

2020--16 min
The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative
The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative

Directed by Grace Bright

The Arctic Grayling disappeared from Michigan waters over 100 years ago. This is the story of what it will take to bring it back. The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative is a partnership of over 50 organizations committed to restoring the native grayling to its Michigan habitat. This is a project from Troy Athens High School students Grace Bright, Abby Bright, Madison Strachan, and Grace Joo.

2020USA20 min
The No Service Program
The No Service Program

Directed by Trent Lutzke

A BMX combo platter of salty Keweenaw and spicy Puerto Rican spots from Houghton-area rider/filmer Trent Lutzke and The Sampson House. Edited for length and compiled from the Sunday bikes “No Service” edit and the Puerto Rico segment of the DVD “Program.”

2021--8 min
The Other Border
The Other Border

Directed by Justin Zimmerman

High school student Gerardo Hernandez - raised in the United States since six months of age - was arrested by ICE in Ohio, spent almost 2 months in prison and is scheduled to be deported. THE OTHER BORDER is his American story, told through intimate interviews with Gerardo and his sister, Karime, and shot exclusively on 8mm and 16mm film

2019United States8 min
The Story of Ramped Construction
The Story of Ramped Construction

Directed by Jeff Tabb

Passion project I filmed and edited about my friend, Cory Wiergowski and his company, Ramped Construction. I filmed over the course of 6 months, we had a lot of fun making this happen.

2020--6 min
The Trifecta
The Trifecta

Directed by

Twelve hours to chase three things I love.

2020--3 min
The Unwanted Visitor
The Unwanted Visitor

Directed by

Ted Nolan has barely worked in the NHL after winning its Coach of the Year award in 1997. Despite a sometimes turbulent relationship with those in the league, Nolan believes he should be coaching in the NHL. So why is he on the outside, looking in?

2020--16 min
The Waterbird Counter
The Waterbird Counter

Directed by Rusty Malkemes

Tim Baerwald talks the importance of collecting data to establish patterns. The data is essential to have informed discussions on how development can effect our environment. His focus is typically on waterbirds. In this video we get a glimpse into the effort it takes to collect data during the fall waterbird migration in southwest Michigan. Tim gathered data at Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph, MI for the years of 2012-2014 and 2016-2018. To access reports and find out more information visit: https://www.tiscornia.org MUSIC BY Chad Crouch - Algorithms Pictures of the Floating World - Bumbling Mocke - Tu connais Babar DIRECTOR/EDITOR Rusty Malkemes INTERVIEW CAMERAS/SOUND Seth Haley EDITING CONSULTANT Puddingstone Multimedia Pat Noyes ADDITIONAL BIRD FOOTAGE Tim Baerwald

2020USA7 min
This Land
This Land

Directed by Whit Hassett + Chelsea Jolly

Runner and advocate Faith E. Briggs used to run through the streets of Brooklyn every morning. Now, she’s running 150 miles through three U.S. National Monuments that lay in the thick of the controversy around public lands. Accompanied by running companions who represent diverse perspectives in what it means to be a public land owner, she assesses what is at stake if previously protected lands are reduced and if the public is largely unaware. THIS LAND is a story about land access told through a journey of inclusion and empowerment.

2019United States10 min
To The Surface
To The Surface

Directed by gnarly bay

Like most things, Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the RI seafood industry. Through the wisdom of local fishermen, To The Surface explores the struggles and tries to shed light on some common sense solutions to the challenges that face the industry. Epilogue: During production, on May 1st 2020, an emergency action passed, temporarily allowing fishermen in Rhode Island to sell finned fish directly off the boat to consumers. The hope is to make this emergency regulation permanent.

2020USA7 min
Traverse City's Not So Haunted Past - The Northern Michigan Asylum's creation and fall.
Traverse City's Not So Haunted Past - The Northern Michigan Asylum's creation and fall.

Directed by Kathryn Clark

A middle school student was assigned the task to create a documentary that shows how perception altered history. She went into the project simply thinking that a local mental hospital had a bad rap because of ghost stories, but she learned much more about the history of asylums in the United States.

2021United States9 min
UNDERSTORY
UNDERSTORY

Directed by Colin Arisman

Three women set sail on a 350 mile expedition through Alaska’s massive Tongass National Forest, exploring how clearcut logging in this coastal rainforest could affect wildlife, local communities and our planet’s climate. Production | Wild Confluence Media & Last Stands Funding Partners | Peak Design, Patagonia, Sitka Salmon Shares, Audubon Alaska & The Wilderness Director & Editor | Colin Arisman Producer & Narration | Elsa Sebastian Cinematography | Gleb Mikhalev & Colin Arisman Story Advisors | Duct Tape Then Beer, Faith E. Briggs & Natalie Dawson Original score | Aled Roberts Additional music | Liz Cooper and The Stampede, Kēpa & Y La Bamba Animation | Kalakala Motion graphics | Luke Kantola Title design | Lee House Audio post production | Ridgeline Sound Colorist | Arianna Shining Star Featuring | Elsa Sebastian, Natalie Dawson, Mara Menahan & Marina Anderson www.TongassFilm.com

2021United States39 min
Unnúr
Unnúr

Directed by Chris Burkard

Elli Thor is an Icelandic photographer, surfer, and former kayaker. A decade ago Elli nearly drowned under a waterfall while kayaking a challenging Icelandic river. The near death experience became a catalyst for personal growth and his professional career. After walking away from kayaking, a newfound passion for surfing and the birth of his daughter Unnur gave him a new perspective worth living for.

2020Iceland17 min
Utah Stones of Strength
Utah Stones of Strength

Directed by Cameron Maier

Take a deep dive into the international world of stone lifting, then zoom in to the Utah stone lifting scene and one man’s efforts to capture that global experience and recreate it in his home state.

2021--34 min
Vatna Glacier
Vatna Glacier

Directed by Mykhailo Bogdanov

The brutal reality of Vatna Glacier melting in Iceland.

2019USA3 min
Venture Out
Venture Out

Directed by Palmer Morse, Jamie DiNicola, Matt Mikkelsen

Venture Out is a story of overcoming odds, the power of resilience, and ultimately, the ever-lasting effects of LGBTQ community building. The Venture Out Project, founded by Perry Cohen, is a non profit organization that brings LGBTQ folks together outdoors on wilderness trips. In sharing Perry’s story, and hearing from the other TVOP participants, we get a glimpse into the healing qualities of nature and life-saving community bonds that are being forged as a result of Perry’s work.

2020USA14 min
Water Flows Together
Water Flows Together

Directed by Palmer Morse, Taylor Graham, Matt Mikkelsen

Water Flows Together elevates the importance of acknowledging Indigenous land in outdoor recreation through the voice of Colleen Cooley, one of the few female Diné (Navajo) river guides on the San Juan River. In sharing Colleen’s perspective, we are given a glimpse into native views on issues of water resource management, which are often missing from larger discussions of western water challenges.

2020USA11 min
Weird Waves Season 1: Great Lakes Surf
Weird Waves Season 1: Great Lakes Surf

Directed by

What is a lake surfer? Are they different from you and I? Join host Dylan Graves on his quest to the “FREEZING GNARLS” of Duluth, Minnesota to find answers. Dylan links up with lake surfing specialist Burton Hathaway as they connect with the rest of the surfing community in the Great Lakes to experience the biggest winter storm of the season.

2020--13 min
Wild Side
Wild Side

Directed by Brian Hansen

After competing in 3 Olympics for speed skating, this is my story of retirement and discovering a new side of the sport.

2021United States13 min
Will to Live: The Gary Edinger Story
Will to Live: The Gary Edinger Story

Directed by Adam Foss

In 2007, on a fateful February day, in the remote Northern Wisconsin woods, a solo independent logger named Gary Edinger severed his left leg off while felling a tree. Twenty miles from help, alone, and in forty below temperatures, Gary summoned a remarkable willpower and crawled to his pickup, then drove to safety. Gary’s struggle for survival, however, didn’t begin on that frigid winter day in the hardwoods. His whole life had been forged from adversity, rising above a meager upbringing and brushes with death as he learned to hunt, trap and fish alone, on his own terms. Will to Live: the Gary Edinger Story provides a glimpse of a unique perspective gained by cheating death and chasing the call of life-long adventure as only Gary can. The tough-as-nails logger, champion dog sled racer and hunting guide also has a creative side writing poetry, singing cowboy songs and calling square dances. Now, 15 years after the accident and approaching the age of 70, Gary discovers his quest to live a full life and looks back at the impact of his decisions and how they weigh on the loved ones around him.

2020--17 min
Win(d) Over Cancer
Win(d) Over Cancer

Directed by Andrew Jowett

When the world closed, our waters opened and so did an opportunity for this crew of kids to make a difference. Follow our crew of kids as they compete in a sailboat race to raise awareness and money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A race against all adults, professionals, and mother nature herself.

2021--8 min
Wood On Water
Wood On Water

Directed by Hannah Maia

An all girl canoe tripping documentary. Over six weeks of summer, this all-girl group paddle traditional wood-canvas canoes through the remote northern wilderness, travelling a network of streams, lakes, rivers, mudholes and muskeg bogs, with one resupply via float plane. Only one thing is certain the 12 young women taking on this adventure, nine of whom are teenagers, certainly won’t see each other at best. Think bug-bitten, cold and boob-deep in muskeg bog while carrying incredibly heavy canoes on their heads.

2020United Kingdom45 min
You And The Thing You Love
You And The Thing You Love

Directed by Joey Santore

A decade ago, Nick Mullins was one of the most promising skateboarders to come from the Midwest. Then, overnight it all changed. Shot by two strangers on weekends, across three states over two years. This is a story of pain, grit, fight, uncertainty, fear, desperation, and most importantly — love.

2021--11 min
Zibi Yajdan
Zibi Yajdan

Directed by Brit and Taylor Hensel

Zibi Yajdan tells a story of the Kalamazoo River and her relationship to the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Pottawatomi people (Gun Lake Tribe) in the wake of the Enbridge Pipeline 6B oil spill. The Tribe leads efforts to restore and protect the Kalamazoo River, whose waters give life to habitats and natural resources intricately connected to the culture and identity of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish people.

2019United States8 min