World records, treacherous waters, diseases with no cure, calm, chaos and some pretty insane high-water all make for one amped-up viewing experience.
The paddlers in the Adrenaline 2023 virtual program set themselves seemingly impossible goals. Nouria Newman aims to become the first female kayaker to run a 100-foot waterfall in Wild Waters. Contrast this with Tristan Bussell’s bucket list item to run just one waterfall before he kicks the bucket in Before I Die. Then there are the athletes with life-changing injuries in Testing The Limit, striving to be the first adaptive sea-kayaking team to paddle the length of the UK in some of Europe's most treacherous waters.
On a less serious note, Stakeout embodies the simple act of play and love of kayaking, embracing the chaos of high-water laps on the South Fork Clearwater in Idaho. Speaking of chaos, have you ever experienced the calm and simplicity of kayak fishing until you hook a fish and it becomes controlled chaos? Dan Arbuckle and Matt Guthrie share their story in Calm & Chaos: A Kayak Fishing Story. Watch all these stories and more in the jaw-dropping and inspiring 2023 Paddling Film Festival Adrenaline virtual program.
Wild Waters: 28.23
On the Edge: 13.27
Testing The Limit: 24.48
White Gold: 03.43
Paddle Tribal Waters: 9.11
Calm & Chaos: A Kayak Fishing Story: 05.15
With the Caravan - Etienne Hubert at the lake: 03.21
Before I Die: 10.51
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9 winning & shortlisted film
Duration: 2 hours, 17 min
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Wild Waters - Winner of The Best Paddling Documentary
Adventurer, competitor, daughter, friend, pioneer, hero and badass human are all words used to describe French kayaker, Nouria Newman. In Wild Waters, we watch Nouria grow from a young Olympic hopeful to one of the greatest kayakers of all time, and follow her as she prepares to become the first female to run a 100-foot waterfall. Running the world’s hardest whitewater isn't Nouria's biggest challenge, though. Realizing the expectations placed upon her as an athlete and as a woman weigh heavily as she pushes back to make her own path.
Director: David Arnaud
Producer: Red Bull Media House
Best Paddling Documentary Sponsor: The Canadian Canoe Museum
Before I Die
Following the untimely death of their father from early onset Alzheimer’s, the Bussell family grapples with the life-altering decision of whether to find out if they too carry the gene. Out of the family’s five children, Tristan Bussell, 36, is the only one who decides to take the DNA test. This uplifting documentary focuses on how those test results profoundly change the way Tristan chooses to live his life.
Directors & Producers: Mark Anders, Rush Sturges
On The Edge - Winner of Best Kayak Fishing Film
Five women set out on an eight-day, 65-mile pack rafting journey deep in the wilderness of Montana. A trip inspired by self-growth, adventure and world-class westslope cutthroat trout fishing quickly evolves into a deeper exploration of how we are on the edge of a new climate era. The group begins to question what the future of conservation and ethical wilderness recreation will look like in a rapidly changing climate.
Director & Producer: Katie Falkenberg
Stakeout - Winner of Best Whitewater Film
For decades, Eastern Canada has brought people from all over the world to paddle its huge variety of whitewater. There is one aspect in particular that continues to bring the world's best paddlers—big waves. As the rivers rise with the spring melt, each of these unique waves takes form. Every year, a small group of whitewater athletes dedicates their time to the chase. Those who started this tradition gave it a name: Stakeout.
Director & Producer: Dane Jackson
Best Whitewater Film Sponsor: Ottawa Valley Tourist Association
Calm & Chaos: A Kayak Fishing Story
Kayak fishing is calm and seemingly simple—that is, until you hook a fish and it becomes controlled chaos. Whether you feel the child-like thrill of a tug on your line, or you are cheering on your buddy landing their catch, the fight to reel in a fish never gets old. Watch Dan Arbuckle and Matt Guthrie share their story, as they fight both fish and current while executing beautiful fly casts from their kayaks.
Director & Producer: Seth West
With no agenda, their motivation is simple: the love of kayaking. Watch as the next generation of paddling legends embrace the chaos of high-water laps on the South Fork Clearwater, an Idaho classic.
Director: John Webster
Testing The Limit (The Art of the Possible short)
In August 2016, a climbing accident paralyzed Darren Edwards from the breastbone down. He was told he would never walk again. An adventurer at heart, he needed a new dream. He asked the doctors, did they think he could kayak? Fast-forward to the summer of 2021. Edwards is joined by four ex-military men who share life-changing injuries. They took to the water as the first adaptive kayak team to paddle from Land’s End, England to John o'Groats, Scotland in some of Europe's most treacherous waters.
Director: Ellie Cartwright
Paddle Tribal Waters
In 2024, the largest dam removal project in history will be completed on the Klamath River running through Oregon and California. It will be a monumental victory for Indigenous communities who have been fighting to remove the dams for over a century and make the Klamath free-flowing once again. Paddle Tribal Waters follows the group of Native youth who plan to lead the first descent of the restored river from source to sea.
Directors: Rush Sturges, Paul Robert Wolf Wilson
Producers: Weston Boyles, Rush Sturges, Paul Robert Wolf Wilson
With The Caravan - Etienne Hubert At The Lake
Professional kayaker and Caravan athlete, Étienne Hubert, is preparing for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, where he lives. Part of his process is to take himself away from the metropolis—leaving with just a tent, his bike, and of course, his kayak. One of these trips was to Lake Émosson in Switzerland, at an altitude of 2,000 meters. Up here he finds the space needed to prepare and contemplate, while benefiting from the purity of the mountain air.
Directors: Thomas Silva, Christophe Rousseau
Producer: Clermont Rémi
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