WINNERS

2020 Waterwalker Winners and Honourable Mentions

Places Like This – Best Environmental

Calder Cheverie, Genevieve Pare – 08:33

A 10-day journey through Canada’s north brings to light the intimate relationship we have with the land. Places Like This takes you over beaver dams, through winding creeks, and into the heart of the Beaver River Watershed, which is under threat from development. Watch Trailer

Exploring the Land of the Netsilik – Best Adventure

Chris Rush – 37:03

A modern journey through the traditional home of the Netsilik Inuit along the Kellett River from its headwaters to the Arctic Ocean. Discoveries in this unspoiled land include ancient monuments, wildlife of all kinds and white water. This first contemporary complete descent of the river ends in a wild ride on the frigid sea water of Pelly Bay. Watch Trailer

The Patagonia Triple Crown – Best Action

Nomade Media, Lorenzo Andrade Astorga- 52:42

A group of kayakers find themselves in the difficult mission of running the three less explored and most dangerous rivers of the south of the world. The Pascua River, Bravo and Baker. They will overcome the difficult tests that the Patagonia will put on them, in addition they will learn about of the complicated environmental situation that Chile is suffering in its fight for fresh water. Watch Trailer

Family Routes – Best Canadian Location

Keith Robertson- 40:00

Leanne Robinson and Dwayne Wohlgemuth embarked on a summer-long canoe trip across the Northwest Territories with their two sons: four-year-old Emile, and one-year-old Aleksi. Together they face the challenges of living off the land and criticism back home. Watch Trailer

Adventure of the Spirit – Best Amateur

Mathias Ekornaas, Lannie Su, Mathias Ekornaas, Five2Nine- 23:08

A short film about two Norwegian friends with very different backgrounds; one yoga teacher and one ex military adventurer, searching for the same depth and state of being through different approaches. Mathias Ekornaas and Mats Onsum explore packrafting together for the first time, whitewater rafting down the entire 175km long Paquare River in Costa Rica, driven by a passion for exploration of inner and outer landscapes. We follow them through peaks and valleys, on their way through a lush jungle scenery, aiming for the mouth of the river at the Caribbean Ocean.

Vitamin Sea – Best SUP

James Appleton, Cal Major- 1:08:00

One woman’s record breaking stand up paddle boarding journey the entire length of mainland UK. 1000 miles, from Land’s End to John O’Groats, documenting the positive ways to tackle plastic pollution, and how crucial our connection to nature is in driving positive environmental change. Watch Trailer

ICEolation – Best Documentary

Sarah Abbott, Sophie Ballagh, Ewan Blyth , Mathew Farrell – Flowstate Photography- 28:00

Two People, two weeks, two kayaks. Sophie and Ewan took a journey beyond wilderness, a self supported journey via sea kayak to connect with an uninhabited land of ice and penguins. The film takes you with them on their journey from the preparations of planning such an expedition, through the challenges and riding the highs of Antarctica. Watch Trailer

Howe Sound – Best Short Film

Kelsey Thompson Blackfish Paddles- 08:21

After being declared a dead zone from mining pollution the waters of Howe Sound are undergoing a miraculous recovery. Follow Norm Hann as he takes you on a tour of his backyard waters and describes the current state of the Sound. Watch Trailer

The Long River Home – Best Inspirational

Seth Dahl, Sarah Leone- 19:56

The Long River Home is a 20 minute documentary film about overcoming the residual impacts of war through kayaking with a team. Aaron Howell and Russell Davies are combat veterans who were injured in war and now come together for another mission as they guide blind Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, on his third trip through the Grand Canyon. Over a 14 day river trip they battle more than 80 powerful rapids, screaming directions to Lonnie the whole way. Always looming downstream roars Lava Falls, the largest rapid of them all. Throughout the journey they remember their past experiences and learn that negotiating the rapids of life is as simple as forming a team, kicking out in the current, and finding a line through the chaos. Watch Trailer

Toutan Rider – Honourable Mention

Fima Film, Mohsen Shizaei- 19:53

Dad Khoda Sayad is one of the few Toutan riders in Hamoun. While many are not interested in riding Tutans – a regional name for a local boat -, he has grown a strong passion towards Tutans and is transporting people on Hamoun.

River Kingdom – Honourable Mention

Aaron Stone, Cade Yanowski- 09:54

Three westerners and their Cambodian friend set out on a journey through rural Cambodia. Our goal was to paddle the Srepok River, a tributary to the mighty Mekong River. We did not reach our destination. Our expedition came to a quick halt when the river took an unexpected turn. Just when we thought our journey was over a new story unfolded in front of us. This film demonstrates the sweet and joyful side of humanity as two cultures come together in an unexpected circumstance. Watch Trailer

Tumblehome – Honourable Mention

David Arthur, Brian Cook – 18:33

Brian Cook is a Master Canoe Builder in Dwight, Ontario. His life hasn’t always been so simple though. Against the backdrop of the interiors of Algonquin Park, Cook’s poetic narration explains why he stopped believing in the stem-cell / longevity research pursuit, and returned home to Canada to paddle.

Goodbye Olympics – Honourable Mention

Mojtaba Poorbakhsh- 18:37

Maria is a girl whom she is a champion of Kayak; she is waiting for dispatching to the Olympics Qualification which held in France. The schedule of dispatching the kayaking team will be called off because of some troubles.

Spirit of Jaguar – Honourable Mention

Pavol Barabas, Alena Koscova- 58:00

Four friends are heading into the Amazonian jungle for a challenging journey. They paddle down the wild rivers and hike through deep forests to become a part of the Indian Hodi tribe. The mysterious Sierra Maigualida Mountains, which haven´t been crossed by any European human being ever before, hides them from the surrounding world. Living side by side with Indians in their natural way of life and spending many days in their village show them how to respect the nature and its balance. Indian tribe Hodi represents the opposite of our western culture. It is their pleasure from the simple things and happiness from life versus our never- ending urge and desire to buy and possess. Watch Trailer

Solo Canoe – Honourable Mention

Matt Steeves – 09:55

Paddling and portaging over 80km through the pristine landscape of Temagami, Ontario, Solo Canoe captures the serenity of the being alone in the wilderness on a canoe trip. Watch Trailer

Fitzroy – Honourable Mention

Roland Handel- 06:09

Five paddlers enter and paddle the remote and mighty Fitzroy River in remote north-west Australia.

Pull of the North – Honourable Mention

Caroline Cote, Ian Finch- 52:57

In late May 2016 a team of 4 adventurers started a 3 month, 2000 mile canoe journey from the source of the Yukon River at Lake Bennett, Canada to its mouth at Emmonak at the Bering Sea, Alaska. Along the entirety of this wilderness expedition is the home of the Athapaskan first nation people who more than 10,000 years ago, crossing the Bering land bridge from Asia settled within Western Canada, Alaska and the Yukon River region. As we made our way to them, it was our aim to ground ourselves in their story and landscape as we go. Watch Trailer

Homecoming,  A Boundary Waters Story – Honourable Mention

Joe Fairbanks- 08:19

Joe Fairbanks was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. In HOMECOMING, he travels through the same waters where he learned to paddle as a boy: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Today, proposed mining on the edge of the wilderness threatens these waters. Joe reflects on the experience of being diagnosed with cancer and draws on his personal connection to the natural landscape for strength and healing to illustrate the importance of nature preservation. Watch Trailer

Crossing Lake Erie – Honourable Mention

Corey Adkins – 40:46

Different Lake, different cause and different challenge. The men from Stand Up for Great Lakes we’re at it again as they paddled 73 miles from Belle Isle, Detroit MI to Catawba Island, OH to raise money for the Cooperative Institution for Great Lake Research (CIGLR). Experience the beauty, the heat, the unbelievable sunset and the pain as we show you the journey across the 4th Great Lake they’ve SUP’d across, Lake Erie. Watch Trailer

2019 Waterwalker Winners and Honourable Mentions

Sea Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling Côte-Nord, Québec – Best Canadian Location

Sierra Stinson – 13.22

Paddle Tales host, Ken Whiting, travels to Côte-Nord, Québec—a seemingly boundless area that’s known for its rugged beauty and diversity of its wildlife—to go sea kayaking with puffins and monoliths in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, as well as stand up paddle and whitewater kayak one of the many rivers that drops into the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence River.

Confluir – Best Rafting

Henry Worobec – 39:17

In Perú, the headwaters of the Amazon River cut through the Andes Mountains and help sustain resident communities as well as the most diverse ecosystem on Earth. As the energy demands of Perú increase, the currently free flowing Marañón River faces over 20 proposed dam projects, two of which have already been approved. Our international team of scientists and river experts spent 28 days rafting the Marañón while documenting the natural and cultural resources that would be eminently impacted by proposed dam projects.

We Are Send – Best River Kayak

Adrian Mattern – 3.48

This edit is a little bit about the story of send but it is much more about what you can accomplish with a great set of friends. It has been a crazy two years since we formed SEND and we are looking forward to plenty more. Starring Bren Orton Adrian Mattern Dane Jackson Kalob Grady Music by Plan B – Guess again

The Undamaged – Best Documentary

Carmen Kuntz – 51.25

The Balkan Peninsula cradles Europe’s last wild rivers and supports abundant wildlife and healthy, intact ecosystems. These rivers are The Undamaged – clean, pristine, and undammed. With over 2,700 small and large hydro power plants planned or under construction in the Balkans, corruption and greed are destroying the last free-flowing rivers of Europe. Follow the Balkan Rivers Tour, a crew of whitewater kayakers, filmers, photographers and friends who decided to stand up for the rivers, travelling from Slovenia to Albania for 36 days, kayaking 23 rivers in 6 countries to protest the dams and show the world the secret, wild rivers of the Balkans. The film honours everyday people and local activists who are fighting to defend rivers and aims to spread the word of the plight of these rivers.

The Passage – Best Adventure

Kori Price – 25.19

A story of growing up, growing old and the wild places that define us.

Junk Paddle – Best Inspirational

Beau Miles – 11:00

You can buy a paddle, or buy wood to make a paddle, but what about making one from junk? Collecting junk wood found between my train station and my office, this is the story of a junk-made-paddle.

Rising Waters – Best Canoe

Richard Alexander – 24.53

Rising Waters documents an attempt to be the first group to run all the rapids of the lower Terra Nova River in Tandem Canoe. At the start of the decent, water levels were 50% higher than the group had hoped and heavy rain during the trip pushed the levels higher, increasing group’s anxiety. The story also connects two generations of paddlers, all of whom love the river

Wild Temagami – Best Environmental

Hailey Sonntag – 13.57

Environmental documentary on canoeists Hap and Andrea Wilson in Temagami, home to the worlds largest stand of old growth forests in the world. The film highlights Hap and Andrea Wilson’s relationship with the Temagami wilderness and the threats that the land faces.

Confessions of a Baja addict

Justine Curgenven- 22:00

There’s a reason why Ginni Callahan says ‘It’s an addiction!’ but she doesn’t want a cure. With stunning drone footage, wildlife galore and good humor, the first film by Justine Curgenven in 3 years showcases why one woman makes her annual migration down to Baja to kayak, surf and star gaze. Mexico is home to 10% of the worlds wildlife and almost 40% of the world’s species of dolphins & whales. The sea is clear and warm and you don’t need a drysuit. . Join Ginni and Justine at surf camp, in Loreto and on a remote 14 day trip around the 2nd biggest island in the Sea of Cortez.

Iceland – Best SUP

Trevor Tunnington – 4.22

Three friends paddled around Iceland checking out the sights. These passionate and elite Stand Up Paddle Boarding paddlers want to showcase the unique views and opporunties of touring from a SUP perspective.

Green Paddle Down – Best Amateur

Thom Harvey Kline – 20:00

Five guys paddle down the Green River Utah looking for the ancient ones

Adventure in Understanding – Honourable Mention

The Canoe, an iconic Canadian vessel symbolizing respect, relevance, reciprocity and reconciliation.  The Adventure in Understanding embodies that spirit in bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous youth from across the province and the globe, to be proud leaders to share and to experience aspects of Indigenous culture to lead to greater understanding and reconciliation.

Bears Ears – Honourable Mention

Hank Leukart – 28.45

When two paddlers head out on a backpacking and packrafting trip to explore Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, the protected area created by President Barack Obama and recently slashed by Donald Trump, they discover a political battle that epitomizes the strange culture war sweeping the nation.

Manor Makers / Trade Routes – Honourable Mention

Christopher Jarratt – 03.18

Documenting the production and maiden voyage of a canoe built by The Manor Makers, the Trade Routes exhibition lifts the lid off an extraordinary project led by Sheffield-based artist Christopher Jarratt. The Manor Makers, are a group of young people who want to learn. Over three months, they worked to build the land and water-going vessel. The completed canoe was paddled, horse drawn and portaged from Manor to Site Gallery in the heart of Sheffield, UK.

Paddle Tales: Sea Kayak Surfing in Jamaica – Honourable Mention

Sierra Stinson – 04.14

While the island of Jamaica is surrounded by beautiful blue ocean and blessed with great surf along much of the coast, the surfing scene is surprisingly small and undeveloped. Hoping to change all that is Jamaica’s ‘First Family of Surfing’, the Wilmot’s. With a passion for both surf and Jamaican culture, the Wilmot family lives and plays at Jamnesia Surf Camp, a surf school located just outside of Kingston and a short paddle out to some of the best surf breaks you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Paddle Tales: Sea Kayaking les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine – Honourable Mention

Sierra Stinson – 07.57

Looking to experience some world-class waves himself, Ken Whiting meets up with two members of the Wilmot family, Icah and Ivah, to sea kayak and surf some of the big waves the area has to offer; A breathtaking chain of islands located far from anywhere else in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, les Îles de la Madeleine are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Join host, Ken Whiting, as he sea kayaks along the stunning coastline, explores amazing sea caves and discovers the unique pleasures of island living.

Dear Liza – Honourable Mention

David Hartman

This short film features a postcard home and highlights the magic and beauty of sea kayaking with the abundant wildlife of the B.C. coast. Shot in the Broughton Archipelago and Great Bear Rainforest.

2018 Waterwalker Film Festival Winners & Honourable Mentions

Kharma Bums – Best International

Jeremiah Kent – 1:09:40

The spiritual journey of four friends from California as they embark on an epic adventure down the Ganges River, the most revered and potentially most polluted river on the planet. The documentary follows them from largest gathering of human beings ever recorded known as the Kumbh Mela, some 140 miles down river to the holy city of Varanasi. Their quest to discover purity amongst pollution is a true test of will, patience, and perseverance. Watch Trailer

Kayaking: Inside the Indus – Best Kayaking

Ciarán Heurteau – 26:42

In November 2016, fresh from winning the extreme kayaking world title, Spaniard Aniol Serrasolses, New Zealander Mike Dawson and Irish filmmaker Ciarán Heurteau headed to Pakistan to attempt a descent of the fabled Rondu Gorge, on the indus river. Hidden behind a wall of political & security factors meant it had been 8 years since the last expedition, lead by American Ben Stooksberry, ventured into the gorge. Since then Pakistan’s perceived reputation off the water had stopped any planned trips into the North Pakistan state of Gilgit Baltistan in their tracks. Watch Trailer

Skye’s The Limit – Best Environmental

Cal Major – 24:21

Paddle Against Plastic 2017: One woman (Cal Major)’s solo circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, on a Stand up Paddleboard. The adventure serves to highlight the effects of plastic pollution on even stunning, remote and wild places such as this, and brings positive and engaging solutions to the issue. The full film follows Cal’s epic and dramatic ocean voyage, vulnerable to Scotland’s famous winds, waves and tidal races, alone. Featuring beautiful scenery, wildlife, farm animals and Tunnocks teacakes.

Bass By Kayak – Best Sea Kayak

Beau Miles

A 6 episode film series about a small expedition party crossing from the Australian mainland to Tasmania in sea kayaks.

Wild Coast – Best Canadian Location

Kelsey Thompson – 4:38

Local SUP surfers Emre Bosut and Glen Pearson discuss the experience of living and surfing in Tofino, British Columbia.

Crossing Home – Best Multi-Sport (NEW)

Jordan Manley – 28:53

A Skier’s Journey is a series that explores the edges of skiing, where it exists and why. From surprising to superlative to obscure locations. From Iran, to China, to the vast ice fields of British Columbia’s Coast Range, the final season involves from a quest for snow to a search for home.

Don’s Canoe – Inspirational

Leanne Allison – 8:03

For Banff, Alberta locals Don Gardner is a name associated with legendary climbs and epic ski traverses. Don’s Canoe is a simple short film that shows his other life long passion from old ways. A life well lived shapes this beautiful canoe.

The World Beneath the Rims – Documentary

James Martin 15:54

There are few places in the world like the Grand Canyon, a place that is so magical, so immense, and so recognizable by billions of people around the planet. The Grand Canyon inspires you, whether you are standing on its rims and gazing into the abyss or neck-craning views at the bottom of the gorge. It creates wonder as you watch the fragile life clinging in its small seeps, springs and waterfalls in small, intimate spaces within this giant landscape. Precious water in this arid environment not only created the place, but sustains its life and allure to so many, and provides inspiration for artists who come to the Canyon to discover and expose their inner creativity. Watch Trailer

Home of the Vikings – Best Action

Adrian Mattern 10:30

Norway has been known as a kayaking Mecca for decades. The countries whitewater was explored, pioneered and descended by a dedicated crew of local and international kayakers. They recorded their exploits in a book and passed down their knowledge to the next generation. In the summer of 2017 the Send crew embarked on a Norwegian odyssey with the aim to push hard and progress on some of the biggest and best sections of whitewater in the world. Despite how epic the classic sections are, there is still so much left to be found in Norway and their trip cultivated in one final descent of the infamous “Megatron” rapid.

Beauty of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail – HM Short

Austin Graham – 3:27

Completed in 2006, the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) connects waterways from the New York state’s Adirondack Park to the Canadian border in northern Maine. Following traditional travel routes used by Native American, settlers and guides, the NFCT connects 22 rivers and streams, 58 lakes and ponds and 45 communities. It is the largest inland water trail in the nation.
Filmed during a 2017 thru-paddle by Adventureitus Productions. Watch Trailer

2017 Waterwalker Film Festival Winners & Honourable Mentions

Botella – Best Environment

Mike McKay – 5:11

The Rio Alseseca in Mexico tears its way from a dormant volcano high above Veracruz in a ceaseless torrent of waterfalls, a wildly majestic river that is one of the most unique in the world. The river, beloved as a paddler playground, plummets its way through towns and villages filling its banks and eddies with filth and forgotten things. Discarded as a dump, a small legion of paddlers are hoping a race through this heart-quickening waterscape might be the best way to save it.

https://vimeo.com/152912126

Jondachi – Best Canadian Filmmaker 

Mike McKay/ Guy Erb – 12:51

The Jondachi river cuts its way through the jungles of the Napo Valley in Ecuador. For those who live with the river it provides more than a physical connection. It provides a connection that fills the spirit.

https://vimeo.com/186450443

Rediscover North America – Best Adventure

Winchell Delano, Dan Flynn – 45:00

In March of 2014, six friends decided to attempt a canoe expedition from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. Nine months later, they set out to do just that. They battled against the current on the Mighty Mississippi, weathered a winter of snow and ice, traversed massive lakes, dodged constantly shifting forest fires, and shot challenging whitewater. It took eight long months to complete the journey.

https://vimeo.com/130634129

Eyes of God – Best Action

Olaf Obsommer – 30:58

Thirty-three-year-old Tomass Marnics from Latvia has put together an international team of extreme kayakers. Together they plan to descent the legendary Saryjaz River. The expedition will take the adventurers directly to the Eyes of God, a mystical cliff face reminiscent of an enormous human face, in the no-man’s land between Kyrgyzstan and China.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/theeyesofgod/199158691

Women Outward Bound – Best Youth Adventure 

Maxine Davis and Melody Gilbert – 28:14

Fifty years ago, girls were not allowed to participate in the rigorous U.S. Outward Bound wilderness school. Then 24 women broke that barrier. Find out how one month of surviving in the woods changed them and history forever.

Download link: sent directly to WWFF by Maxine Davis

Trailer: http://www.womenoutwardbound.com/trailerwob/

Wild Ones – Best Music Best Adventure

Frank Wolf – 47:57

Wild ones documents an unconventional 750 km-long music tour undertaken by musician Peirson Ross and his roadie/tour manager, Frank Wolf. Instead of using his usual touring van, Peirson decides to promote his latest album by travelling fully self-propelled using that most quintessential of Canadian vehicles: the canoe.

Vimeo Trailer: https://vimeo.com/139800872

Message in a Plastic Bottle – Best Sea Kayaking

Ken Campbell – 21:55

Message in a Plastic Bottle tells the story of the 150 mile journet of the Hyas jiem, a kayak constructed out of discarded single-use plastic bottles. This improbably voyage through Washington’s Puget Sound was made to help raise awareness about the proliferation of single-use plastics and the effect they have on our marine environment. Message in a Plastic Bottle is a documentary account of a unique small-boat adventure focused on the effects that plastic is having in the world’s oceans.

Vimeo trailer: https://vimeo.com/144775843

Together to the Tundra – Canadian Location

Dan Clark – 21:00

TUNDRA = BUGS = CRAZY right? There is a lot more to the tundra than bugs, but few visit this northern wilderness. Paddling ancient waterways, our extended family discovers an exotic realm that is more isolated, varied, and memorable than we imagined.

https://vimeo.com/155524938

River of a Path – Amateur

Alberto Sachero – 58:37

A solo canoe trip, from the centre of Turin in north-west Italy to the channels of Venice nord-east Italy, on a water trail along 400 miles. A journey full of emotions and feelings, the discovery off extraordinary landscapes and bizarre encounters with people of the banks. A journey in the silence with the sound of nature.

Trailer: http://www.albertosacherofotografo.com/video/

The Canoe – Best Canoe Film 

Goh Iromoto – 26:58

“If it is love that blinds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations, then one enduring expression of that simple truth is surely the canoe.” –  James Raffan, adventurer, acclaimed author and director emeritus of the Canadian Canoe Museum. This short documentary film captures the remarkable bond created by Canada’s well-loved national symbol – the canoe. Illustrated by the stories of five paddling enthusiasts across the province of Ontario, Canada, viewers see firsthand how the canoe fosters connection between families, landscapes, traditional Canadian cultures and our inner selves. This film underscores the strength of the canoe and human spirit, and how the canoe is a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections. This film is a reflection of what Canadian canoe culture looks like today.

https://vimeo.com/198960220

Labrador Passage – Inspirational 

Peter Marshall – 23:05

Labrador Passage is a documentary film that follows two men who set out to retrace a historic 1905 canoe journey through Labrador, using non-synthetic equipment such as a waxed canvas tent, tin-cloth rain gear and a cedar-canvas canoe. Blending history, adventure and profiles of the men and women who made the gear, this film explores what it means to be inspired and defeated by the wilderness.

Vimeo Trailers: https://vimeo.com/78524248https://vimeo.com/88403546

We Are Not Ready – Best Short

Hugo Clouzeau – 4:24

This summer French paddlers Stephane Pion – Mathieu Coldebella – Louis Hetier – Guillaume Fievez and Hugo Clouzeau will be exploring the rivers of Iceland. It will be a hell of a trip! BUT are they ready to throw themselves in those powerful Icelandic waterfalls? Before taking off, why not practice on some drops in the French Jura.

https://vimeo.com/171208788 

Alone on the River – Documentary

Stephane Pion – 37:00

In the heart of the Himilayas, 5 world-class paddlers embark on a month long self-supported kayaking adventure. In this spectacularly harsh world of snow, rock and water, they’re faced with a myriad of challenges. Surviving and supporting one another proves harder than expected. Logistics are crucial. A whitewater kayak has minimal loading capacity, making the duration of the trip the critical factor.

From the back alleys of Kathmandu to the deepest gorges of the Langu Kola, via the frozen summits of the Upper Dolpo, experience this exceptional expedition.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/80777417

Why – 7:08 – Best Social Media, Les Eaux Blanches  52:00 (Feature Length)

Hugo Clouzeau

Iceland. A cold, rugged and forbidding landscape where powerful rivers plunge through bedrock gorges, over massive waterfalls, towards the sea. Director Hugo Clouzeau and a crew of French kayakers travel here to ask the question, “Why?”

“Why? Why do we do this?”

In the GoPro age, images of extreme feats flood our social media streams. We watch skiers drop into impossibly steep and narrow shoots. We follow jumpers in wing suits flying over mountains. We see climbers, slackliners, mountain bikers and paddlers doing things that appear to most people insane, but the action seems empty when we don’t understand the motivation behind it. “Why?” we ask. “Why do they do this?”

WHY, a short film from NRS and We Are Hungry, goes beyond the spectacle of extreme kayaking in search of an elusive answer.

https://vimeo.com/186005787 (English)

https://vimeo.com/201271760  (French)

Yukon SUP 2016 – Best SUP Film 

Thomas Schillig – 05:57

The Yukon River is one of the most historic River in North America. 120 years ago, thousands of stampeders went on the river to find their fortune. Today the gold has almost gone, but the adventure is still there. Find the fortune and discover this abandoned wilderness by Stand Up Paddleboard.

Honourable Mentions

Natla River: Ride the Dragon 

Dan Wong – 06:00

A journey down the remote and beautiful Natla River, Sahtu Region, Northwest Territories.

https://vimeo.com/204480535

In the Middle of Everything

Nicholas Castel – 4:21

This film is about the moments that stick in your heart forever, and those that rush you by in a whirlwind. In the north, the epic landscapes can make you feel like a small and insignificant part of the picture. But the existence of all things, no matter their size or function is significant at all scales. We exist in the perfectly intricate and unexplainable reality, “in the middle of everything”. Shot in Nunavut, Labrador, Greenland.

Vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/180676307 

Wilderness Trails 

Daryl Phillips & Scott Jordan – 40:21

After 22 years of paddling the waterways of Killarney Provincial Park, Daryl Phillips and Scott Jordan traded in their paddles for trekking poles. Wilderness Trails brings you along for the hike and shares with you their experience of hiking through the backcountry of the La Cloche Silhouette Trail within Killarney Provincial Park.

YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjvgAHSISdI

2016 Waterwalker Film Festival Winners and Honourable Mention

The Suitcase Boat – Best Canadian Location – Anton & Paula Zyback 20 mins

Anton dreamt of a canoe that would fold and need no roof rack or large charter plane for remote trips. Finding none that he liked, he made it. To test out his boat Anton chose the spectacular Thaidene Nene (Lands of the Ancestors) in the east arm of Great Slave Lake. This region will soon become Canada’s newest national park and proved to be worthy of the coming designation.

Canoes for Peru – Best Documentary – Kieran Hodges, Director 19 mins – Joe Pavelka, Producer

Imagine getting 19 canoes and gear to the Peruvian Amazon to run a trip on the Alto Madre de Dios River with a group of university students from Canada. Really… how hard could that be? The film Canoes for Peru chronicles the program of the same name. Canoes for Peru was to bring 15 canoes from Canada and ship them to Peru to add program components to our experiential learning component of our Peru field studies; to help reintroduce canoes (Canadian canoes) to the Amazon and to support local ecotourism business. We achieved all three of our aims but how we got there is another story that the film tells. This film represents the first time we brought with us a “film crew”. The crew includes Kieran Hodges (Director and Chief Camera) Jason Wright (Camera) and Ben Gillies (Drone).

Expedition Q – A crossing of Baffin Island Best Adventure – Skip Armstrong 12 mins

A group of friends set out on an adventure only they could have dreamed up. The journey takes them across Baffin Island’s Penny Ic Cap on skis, on a first descent of the Class V Weasel River and finally–by way of traditional kayaks they hand-built themselves–over age-old Inuit hunting routes across the southern portion of the island all the way to the sea. Join Erik, Sarah, Eric and Kate on a 1,000 kilometer ski, river, sea kayak and portage across the south portion of the world’s fifth-largest island. This is Expedition Q.

Slave River Paddlefest: Outrageous. Letting the river speak for itself. – Leif & Natalie Anderson – Best Social Media – 1:06

Leif and Natalie Anderson are professional kayakers, based out of the USA. They have kayaked some incredible places over the last 20 years but their absolute favourite place is the Salve River. The kayak has allowed Leif and Natalie to both paddle and film this stunningly beautiful spot. Their friend Ben is surfing a wave called Outrageous on the Slave. They hope this clip inspires paddlers to visit and paddle the amazing and mighty Slave. A celebration of the Annual Slave River Paddlefest

This is the Roll 2 – Best Sea Kayak and Education – Justine Curgenven varied

Five years in the making, This is the Roll 2 brings you expert instruction on 22 Greenland style rolls. From the butterfly, progress to the more difficult hand and norsaq rolls, and culminate with the straight jacket and sculling rolls. Each roll is clearly demonstrated with underwater footage, multiple angles, detailed analysis and easy-to-follow learning progressions. This film will inspire and instruct in equal measure. Shot in: Canada, USA, Italy, Wales, Scotland and England.

The Yukon Blues – Best Amateur and Canoe – Igor D’India (Italy) / Teresa D’Elia (Canada) 52 mins

In 1965 well known mountaineer and reporter Walter Bonatti, accomplished a solo expedition by canoe down the Yukon and Porcupine rivers. He experienced the amazing Yukon ice breaks in Dawson City, explored the Bonanza and El Dorado Creeks and prepared himself for the long canoe trip. “The Yukon Blues” is Igor D’India’s attempt to recreate this journey and to document what has changed since then, with the fresh view of a young explorer

K2O: Kingston to Ottawa 200 – Best Short – Brad Jennings 7:34 mins

The K2O is an ultra endurance, 202km marathon paddling race from Kingston to Ottawa through a UNESCO world heritage site. Racers have up to 36hrs to paddle the length of the Rideau Canal, portaging 22 times around lock stations as they race non-stop against the clock and each other. Large windy lakes, boat wake, weeds, fog and night time navigation add to the difficulty as paddlers make a push to the finish line.

On the Allagash – Best Environmental – Deborah Gardner 21 mins

Maine’s Allagash Wilderness Waterway is on the must-to do list for many who love to canoe and camp on north woods rivers and lakes. The video follows a group of paddlers diverse in age, skill and backgrounds, led by Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guides. They came together to paddle and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway which was established to protect the character of the river and woods for future generations.

Path of the Paddle Water Trail – Best Inspirational – Jon Nolan 10:34 mins

Join Carrie and Jon Nolan for the muddy and magical moments of their 10 weeks spend paddling and working on the 1265 km trans Canada canoe-kayak trail from Thunder Bay to Whiteshell Provinical Park in Manitoba in honour of Bill Mason, The Path of the Paddle.

The Rebirth of the Tatachikapika River – Honourable Mention – Daniel Kirouac 18:15 mins

The Precambrian Shield is the oldest geological formation on the planet and within it’s beautiful tapestry lies the Tatachikapika River system. This system was devastated by one of Canada’s largest forest fires in 2012. One year later, adventurer and explorer Dan Kirouac embark on an epic journey by canoe down this pristine waterway to capture the miraculous rebirth of this biological wonder. The only documentary of it’s kind that unveils Mother Nature’s artistic hand at work!

2015 Waterwalker Film Festival Winners & Honourable Mention

Return to Nastapoka – Best Canadian Location – Chris Rush – 56 minutes

In 2002, Jimmy Deschesnes led 2 friends on an expedition down the Nastapoka River. They vowed to return after 10 eyars, bringing their brothers with them. After Jimmy tragically died in 2011, five of his friends brought his younger brother, Alaide, back to the river to fulfil the pledge. This is a realistic look at the joys and the difficlties of the voyage.

Nonagenarian Canoeist – Best Inspirational – Donna R Kurt – 2:04 minutes

Alice Kolisnyk is a 93 year old nonagenarian who uses a walker to get around in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She asks why she would go on a canoe camping trip and then shows the enjoyment she experienced canoeing to camp on a remote wilderness lake north of Kenora, Ontario. With the assistance of her daughter, Donna Kurt, she paddles, portages, cooks, bakes, sleeps in a tent and even picks blueberries.

Like a River – Best Short – Erin McKnight – 8 minutes

Between 1998 – 2000, I paddled 9,000 km across Canada to raise awareness about mental illness. What I didnʼt expect, was how the expedition brought up memories of my mother, who took her own life when I was nine years old. The river journey became a catalyst and useful metaphor for understanding my grief around her death. This is a story about how the journeys we take can take us to a place that is not on any map. Although it is my story, I believe it speaks to the universal experience of grief and out unique quest for identity and self-fulfillment. Itʼs a story that will hopefully give people the courage to share their own stories, especially the ones that are the hardest to tell.

Contemporary Canoe Builders and Their Work: A Perfect Mating of Art, Craft and Nature – Best Documentary – Deborah Gardner – 61 minutes

After WWII major canoe companies closed or stopped building traditional canoes as outboard motor boats and aluminum and plastic canoes became popular. It took a new generation to: appreciate the virtues of wood, wood-canvas, or birchbark canoes, preserve the skills to make them and find a way to make a living by building them. In this documentary, contemporary canoe builders tell how and why they build traditional canoes and how they learned to craft.

Another Kick at the Cat – Best Amateur – Jon Weller – 52 minutes

It was a canoe trip they talked about for the rest of their lives. But when the children of the original group set out to recreate the trip a seemingly straightforward plan becomes something far more.

Kayaking the Aleutians – Best Sea Kayaking Film – Justine Curgenven – 55 minutes

No-one has succeeded in kayaking the length of the remote and stormy Aleutian Islands which stretch from Russia to Alaska. Explorers Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen set out to paddle 2,500 km along the archipelago to the nearest road confronting more than 20 long crossings which separate the tiny unpopulated islands. Alone for 101 days in one of the windiest, roughest places on earth, these two women are swept away from land by unknown currents, pounded by rough seas and approached by bears.

A Paddlerʼs Pilgrimage – Best Education – James Roberts – 26:46 minutes

The sport of kayaking has its roots in the skills that Inuit people needed to hunt and survive in Arctic waters. In 2014, Canadians James Roberts and James Manke went to learn more about the Greenlandic people and Qajaq culture, and to participate in the legendary Greenland National Qajaq Championships. In this short film, they share their experiences with the games and with the people whose ancestors kayaked for survival and who continue this competition to preserve those traditional skills.

We Belong To It – Best Canoe Film – Goh Ironmoto – 4:57 minutes

“We must remember… that in the end… nature does not belong to us, we belong to it.” This film explores the visual beauty of the Boreal Forest landscape but also delves into Ray Mearsʼ reflection on nature and his mastered skill-set in bushcraft. Follow Ray Mears – a renowned traveller and British TV Personality – as he journeyʼs into the heart of Wabakimi Provincial Park in Northern Ontario.

Onaping Lake Region, Explore Backcountry – Best Social Media — Wayne Jennings & Brad Jennings –  7:34 minutes

Wayne and Brad Jennings head north-west from the city of Sudbury to the Onaping Lake region. In this vast area of crown land where the transition zone to the boreal forest begins they found a spectacular, un-crowded paddling destination. A 114 kilometer loop, 14 portages and 4 days of head winds and rain storms made for an adventurous outing.

Adirondack Park! – Honourable Mention: Short – Wayne and Brad Jennings – 8:09 minutes
Father and son adventures Wayne and Brad Jennings head to Upper New York State to check out Adirondack Park, which at 6.1 million acres in size, makes it the largest park in the United States. Starting on LIttle Tupper Lake in the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area they spend 5 days paddling and hiking a 115 km loop that takes them through many scenic waterways and mountain hikes.

2014 Waterwalker Film Festival Winners and Short Listed

Canadian Filmmaker & Adventure – Frank Wolf – “KITTURIAQ” – 52 minutes

In the summer of 2012, Frank Wolf and Todd McGowan completed a 620 km journey by canoe from Nain, NL to Kangiqsualujjuaq, QC via a new route over the vast tundra of the Labrador Plateau. The resulting film- Kitturiaq- intimately portrays this little-known region of the north.

Canadian Location & Best Canoe Film – Peter Marshall – “2600 above 60” – 25 minutes

Join four men on a 2600-mile canoe journey through blizzards, frozen lakes, and mountains as they travel for 130 days from the Alaskan coast to the Hudson Bay. From the challenge of paddling up the Rocky Mountains to the stark beauty of the tundra.

Education & Safety – Simon Willis & Gordon Brown – Handling Emergency Situations with Gordon Brown – 19 minutes

Simon Willis films sea kayaker Gordon Brown and the rescue professionals of the UK Coastguard and Lifeboat service. We see each stage of the rescue from every angle – control room, helicopter, lifeboat and kayakers – so you learn how to best help yourself. We reveal the most effective ways to summon assistance and to help the professionals conduct a safe, efficient rescue.

Best Inspirational Film – Jeff Pew/Kalum Ko – The Questions We Ask – 6 minutes

In the spring of 2013, Canadian adventurer Bruce Kirkby crossed the Georgia Straight from Vancouver to Victoria on a stand up paddle board. During this journey, he contemplates what is the true meaning of adventure. Accompanying Bruce in a double kayak are Dave Quinn and filmmaker Kalum Ko.

Best Short – Rejean Roy – Le Peintre, le canot et la foret – 6:44 minutes

“The video is a bit contemplative, but it will give an idea to the fans of my work how I get inspired. So take a few relaxing minutes, and let me bring you on a little canoe trip in the wilderness.”

Environmental & Best SUP Film – Anthony Bonello & Nicolas Teichrob – STAND – 46 minutes

STAND, takes viewers on a journey through the waters of British Columbia’s west coast. Under threat by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route is a coastline of immense beauty, pristine ecosystems, and a way of life rich in culture and history. Through the efforts of expedition stand-up paddler Norm Hann, an aboriginal high school class building their own stand-up paddleboards as a form of protest, and the powerful surfing of iconic west coast native Raph Bruhwiler, the diversity of people, landscape and wildlife that would be affected by an oil spill is articulated. STAND takes
you to the core of the issue and unfurls the soul of B.C.’s west coast one paddle stroke at a time.

Ameteur – Jason Irwin – Sunbeam Dreams and the Carolyn Jane – 43 minutes

7 days of solo paddling bliss in the beautiful Algonquin Park, Ontario. Beautifully filmed with stunning still shots.

Social Media Award – Etienne Green – A collection of personal short films where friends come together for a great time!

Whitewater Paddling (canoe/kayak/sea kayak)
A_Season, 2:47 minutes
Movember, 3:37 minutes
Overnighter, 2:36 minutes
Take It With You, 3:52 minutes

2014 Short Listed – Honourable Mention

Brad and Wayne Jennings – Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park – 7.27 mins

This video looks at the Jennings exploring the park located in south-central Ontario. This huge park, established in 2002 falls under the “non-operating” status within the Ontario provincial parks system. Itʼs undeveloped nature presented an opportunity for exploring and mapping new canoe routes and to document their efforts. This video highlights the park in all seasons.

Florida Everglades – a Canoe Journey – 11:40 mins

In an effort to escape a cold Canadian winter, father and son adventurers Wayne and Brad Jennings loaded the canoe atop their car and headed to the Florida everglades.

Temagami Sturgeon River, Solace Wildlands – 7 mins

Explore Ontarioʼs Temagami region.

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