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2021 Waterwalker Film Festival Trailers

Here’s a selection of trailers from our 2021 Waterwalker Film Festival lineup!

On Pensive Waters – Best Inspirational

Keith Roberston – 0:15:55 Two dozen youth from the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut and the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories embark on a two-week canoe trip on the Pensive Lakes Loop near Yellowknife. Along the way they learn canoe skills and about themselves. In all, they paddled, portaged, swam, created delicious meals, play games, learn new skills, and just enjoy being out on the land and living healthily, all the while developing new friendships along with confidence and pride in themselves.

Klarälven: From Source to Sea – Honourable Mention

Eike Kähler – 0:32:35 This is an adventure of 3 friends starting at their doorstep, hitchhiking to the source of Swedens longest river Klarälven and enjoying the flow with their kayaks until they reach the Ocean.

The River That Flows Both Ways – Honourable Mention

Kirk Muir Horton, Brendan P. Davis – 0:15:26 In August 2019, Brendan Davis and Kirk Muir Horton paddled 315 miles from source to sea down the Hudson River in record time. Starting in the Adirondacks and ending at the Statue of Liberty, their trip was about as unpredictable and complex as the river itself. Without much paddling experience, and with a relatively new friendship to boot, they encountered dry riverbeds and Class III whitewater, battled heavy tides, met strangers who became friends, and revisited Brendan’s childhood home in Cornwall, NY.

24 Leeches – Best Canoe

Aaron Peterson – 10:00 My 10-year-old son died in 2019, but lived an adventure-filled and wise life. In 24 Leeches he narrates a family canoe adventure to the Slate Islands of Ontario, Canada and reflects on camping, the changing climate of our Earth and especially his beloved Lake Superior. One part family adventure, one part environmental film, 24 Leeches is also a tribute to my best friend and adventure partner. I ache to know what he would have become. Finishing this film was incredibly painful but also cathartic as I came to realize how special our time was together and how blessed I am to have shared his short life.

Rattlesnake to Westwater – Best Action

Hank Leukart – 16:09 Best friends travel to Colorado to backpack a difficult route in Rattlesnake Canyon to paddle Horsethief, Ruby, and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River.

A Quiet Excitement; A Paddleboarding Journey – Best Social Media

David Rohm, Melissa Rohm – 0:04:41 A compelling, well written and beautifully filmed story that inspires exploration into lesser known waterways in Southwestern Pennsylvania and introspective into unique life changing paddling experiences.

Contours: a Story of First Waves – Honourable Mention

Rishi Sethi, Ian Smith – 0:09:40 A short documentary about the First Waves program in Johnstown, PA, and the efforts to engage the youth of the region through watershed conservation, river surfing, and filmmaking.

The Ghost Nets – Honourable Mention

Marco Spinelli – 0:03:00 The “Ghost Nets” project (Le Reti Fantasma) stems from the need to tell one of the biggest problems linked to sea pollution through the voice of the Sea. Every year, 640,000 tons of fishing nets are abandoned in the oceans, according to the annual reports of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the data is increasing.

It’s Only Natural- Honourable Mention

Ro Privett – 0:26:17 Ever since the world famous wilderness adventurers and photographers Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis captured the Gordon River Splits (Tasmania, Australia) on film; it has enchanted so many of us wilderness seekers to be immersed in such a stunning landscape.’Words can scarcely describe the glory of the place’ is how Sticht described them in 1928. But the rarely touched jewel of the Splits has eluded all but the most dedicated due its terrifying rapids and remoteness……

The Father at Cape Broyle – Best Amateur

Richard Alexander – 0:17:14 Corey Locke lost his father at a young age. Today, he is the father of two young boys. Like any father, he is often torn between adventures with his kids and keeping up with his paddling buddies. What is balance, and how do we know when we have it?

Kao Talking To Me – Best Documentary

David Ehrenberg – 0:04:32 This National Park Service film follows a Hawaiian man’s love for one of the rarest and most threatened trees in the world. Junior’s connection with koa trees on his native island compels him to conserve and honor the spirt of fallen trees that would normally be wasted. His way of using the trees connects him to one of the oldest Hawaiian traditions.

Following Lines – Best Adventure

Seeking a deeper encounter with the territory of the Inuit, six paddlers plan to make the first recorded descent of a little-known river in northern Quebec. This mapping expedition, beset by adverse weather conditions and other unforeseeable situations, is also, for the filmmaker, a reminder of his ancestry. What we have come to think of as an “adventure” was here, for thousands of years, simply a way of life. While much has been forgotten, a tradition survives in the life and language of the Inuit; their knowledge of the physical world and of the seasons guides the team in its journey. Set against an imposing background of snow, tundra and white-water rapids, the documentary is a call to go beyond: out onto the land, and also inward into ourselves.

Voice of the River – Honourable Mention

Hop on board with videographer and environmental educator Sanne van der Ros and head downstream with the Columbia River Field School students. Discover how this place-based, experiential education river journey influenced the youth’s environmental attitudes and values in relation to the watershed they call home. Let the youth’s voices, educational model, and the Columbia Basin headwaters inspire you.

Disrupted Landscape #6 – Honourable Mention

Yossi Galanti – 0:02:56 The filmed sites are located in various areas around Israel. Their visibility and significance revolve around nature and history, and are either man-preserved, man-made or even man- designed. In some cases, they are depicted free of human activity in order to use them as primary “canvases” on which to build the montage. Inspiration for the works in this project could be found, among other things, in landscape paintings, throughout the history of art and especially in the late Renaissance, where the landscape was used as a tool for religious, historical or daily events, and carried with it a conceptual / symbolic charge that hints at the actual occurrence.

Tales of the Waveslayer – Honourable Mention

Himay Rivera – 0:05:34 Many of us in the inland northwest are familiar with rivers. When it comes to surfing, most think that it is done in a boat. The waveslayer brings river mindedness to a higher level.


Olaf Obsommer – 27:52 A climate-neutral journey by bike and kayak across the Alps. The award-winning filmmaker Olaf Obsommer and his team travelled in July 2020 from river to river over the main ridge of the Alps. Always in search of the most spectacular wild rivers. This philosophy is also behind the project “Bike2Boat”: With their own legs/under their own steam the four kayakers worked their way up the pearls of the Alps by bike — the rapid descent on the wild streams were thus became an even more intense experience.

A Voyage Against Time – Best Sea Kayak

Jonathan Ali Khan, Steve Mackay – 1:26:08 After several dangerous brushes with death the Expedition is rewarded by Mother Earth with breathtaking scenery, marine and wildlife on the journey of exposing the regions plastic and pollution of The Gulf. This spiritual journey raises awareness of the region’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity and highlights the urgent need for a sustainable strategy to protect the environment so fundamental to the region’s heritage and culture.

Flotsam – Honourable Mention

Kjell Redal – 0:10:04 You’re paddling a kayak in open ocean 6 miles off the South Florida coast when a sailfish bigger than you peels off with the fishing line at your rear. This is David Gauzens’ day to day. A Miami native, David knows glitz—but he shuns it as part of a small, gritty band of kayak fishermen who forsake flashy boats for utilitarian pieces of plastic to pursue their passion. High seas, storms, even capsizing don’t deter David from exhaustive encounters with prehistoric fish and he learns in the process how little he needs to be content.