These are the words of people on the river banks, in the waves and floating across placid lakes. Stories from people who have found their place in the world on the water.
The Last Guide: 25.21
Changing the Flow: 10.08
Kayaker and the Angler: 08.02
You Are Home: 03.22
The Grand: 18.51
On, In & Under the Sava: 05.41
Chicas al Agua: 18.08
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9 winning & shortlisted films
Duration: 2 hours, 11 min
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In 2017, Brooke Hess had her best year of kayaking. In January of that year, she spent a month training in Uganda, then traveled from the Stakeout to Unleashed. At the Montréal Eau Vive, she stood on the podium beside her friends and idols. But when she returned to Uganda to train for the next competition, her kayaking came to a halt. Behind her Pit Vipers, Brooke hides an ongoing battle. Between the still-undiagnosed illness she contracted in Uganda and Post-Concussive Syndrome, depression constantly challenges Brooke’s fun-loving spirit.
Director: Matt Devlin
Producer: Ashley Peel
Changing the Flow
In Nepal, women are expected to do a lot of things: stay home to look after their family, work the fields, cook and clean. What aren’t they expected to do? Raft guide. In the late 2000s, Inka Gurung met Sita Thapa and introduced her to kayaking. In the years ahead, Sita searched for independence. Inka knew river guiding could be the path. In 2018, Sita and three other female paddlers started a company, The Himalayan Adventure Girls—the first all-female rafting company in Nepal.
Director: Bjarne Salen
Cinematography: Stefan Erdman, Bjarne Salen, Darby McAdams
Georgie - Winner of Best Rafting Film
Georgie, a forgotten raft rediscovered at a yard sale, narrates her story of running rivers. From her wild days with legendary Georgie White in the Grand Canyon to leisurely weekend floats, Georgie’s wisdom rings true to every generation of river traveler.
Director & Producers: Dale Wright, Isaac Wright
Best Rafting Film Sponsor: Aire
On, In & Under the Sava - Winner Of The Best Short Paddling Film
Armed with a raft, snorkels and flippers, four friends drift down Slovenia’s Sava River. Their one mission: find the elusive finned monsters that dwell in the deep, in order to help protect the Sava from the construction of dams.
Directors: Rožle Bregar, Carmen Kuntz
Producers: Balkan River Defence, Leeway Collective
Best Short Paddling Film Sponsor: The Safer Paddling Campaign
The Last Guide
For 76 years, Frank Kuiack made a living as a fishing guide in Canada’s iconic Algonquin Park. At 84 years old and recently diagnosed with bone cancer, Frank’s health has taken a turn for the worse. His niece, Sharleen, has shown a unique ability to go toe-to-toe with Frank on the water. But, despite her ability and love for her uncle, she remains unsure how to carry on his legacy or whether she desires to be the next “Last Guide.”
Director: Cristian Gomes
Producers: Aidan Cheeatow, Kerim Banka
Chicas al Agua
You can count the number of female paddlers in Futaleufú, Chile on one hand... and they want to change that. After many riverside matés and floating conversations, the idea to create a kayak course for local teenage girls was hatched. Thanks to a committed group of women from around the globe, what started as a dream is now an inspirational contribution to the local community.
Director & Producer: Liz McGregor
Co-Producers: Melanie Kurtz, Stacie Wunsch
Follow Tom Ostapchuk on his self-supported journey to kayak the 300-kilometer-long Grand River in Southern Ontario. The eight-day expedition tests his determination and stamina as he faces powerful rapids, long days of paddling, and isolation with his thoughts. Along the way, he meets passionate paddlers who share their words and wisdom to guide his journey. As Tom rediscovers his place in these lands, he reminds us of the importance of celebrating the natural wonders in our own backyard.
Director: Thomas Ostapchuk
Producer: Joel Perrella
The Kayaker And The Angler
We’re not that different in the outdoors. Leland, a fly fisher, and Tyler Bradt, a whitewater kayaker, learn that even though they use rivers in totally different ways, they can come together to protect public lands.
Director: Alexandra Fuller
Producer: Stevie Meier
You Are Home
From award-winning filmmaker Keegan Kuhn, You Are Home is a reminder of our place in the natural world.
Director & Producer: Keegan Kuhn
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