The 10th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival premiered last night at Famous Players Canada Square on Yonge Street in Toronto, hosted by The Complete Paddler. The sold-out show treated audience members to the first screenings of some of the year’s award-winning films. All proceeds—almost $4000 in total—went to Project Canoe, a canoe camp for at-risk youth. Rapid Media founder Scott MacGregor emceed the red canvas carpet event screening this year’s award-winning and shortlisted films.
The 2015 winners are:
Adventure Travel>> Andørja World Record Expedition: This is a story about Joel Abrahamsson and his successful attempt to break the former world record for biggest fish ever caught from a kayak—a 1,200-pound Greenland shark. Director: Erik Lundin & Markus Wickelgren | Producer: Oskar Stenberg Website: www.freewaterpictures.se
Documentary>> DamNation: This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in the national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Director: Ben Knight, Travis Rummel | Producer: Matt Stoecker, Travis Rummel Website: www.damnationfilm.com
Environmental>> Delta Dawn: The Colorado River had not kissed the sea in almost two decades, until the spring of 2014 when an experimental pulse of water was released into this forgotten delta. A team of river runners followed the water to witness this unprecedented restoration effort. Director and Producer: Peter McBride | Website: www.petemcbride.com
SUP>> Facing Waves: Outriggers and SUP in Tahiti: Explore Tahiti by paddleboard, both above and below the tropical waters of Moorea. Featuring ACA SUP instructor and trainer Jimmy Blakeney and the queen of SUP, Nikki Gregg. Director: Kelsey Thompson | Producer: Ken Whiting | Website: www.helipress.com
Amateur>> How Not To Steal A Kayak...: FTS Style is a group of professional amateur kayakers who bring paddling movies to another level. The goal of their game is to put a smile on your face. In this short, they offer a few examples of how not to steal a kayak. Director: Sebastien Leger | Producer: FTS Style
Kayak Fishing>> Kayak Fishing Lake Guntersville: Chad Hoover visits Alabama’s legendary Lake Guntersville, looking to hook up hogs with frogs in pursuit of the ultimate kayak bass fishing experience. Director and Producer: Ken Whiting | Website: www.helipress.com
Sea Kayaking>> A Paddler’s Pilgrimage: This documentary follows James Manke and James Roberts as they travel to Qaqortaq, Greenland, to experience and participate in the Greenland National Kayak Championships. Director: David Hartman, James Roberts | Producer: James Roberts, James Manke Website: www.ontarioseakayakcentre.com, www.hayfiremedia.com
Whitewater>> The Grand Canyon of the Stikine: Shrouded in darkness and legend, the Grand Canyon of the Stikine River is the Everest of whitewater. For over 30 years, its menacing difficulty has lured expedition kayakers looking for the ultimate challenge. Director and Producer: Olaf Obsommer | Website: www.big-o-productions.com
Instructional>> Top 10 Tips for Canoeing & Kayaking Safely: Canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards were responsible for 20 percent of all boating causalities in 2013. The ACA, with funding from the U.S. Coast Guard, partnered with Anzovin Studio to create this animated video with the goal of educating and empowering paddlers to take responsibility for their personal safety on the water. Director: ACA | Producer: U.S. Coast Guard | Website: www.americancanoe.org
Canoeing>> We Belong To It: We Belong To It follows renowned traveler and British TV personality Ray Mears’ journey into the heart of Wabakimi Provincial Park in northern Ontario, Canada. The film explores the visual beauty of the Boreal forest landscape, and delves into Mears’ reflections on nature and his mastered skill set in bushcraft. Director and Producer: Goh Iromoto | Website: www.gohiromoto.com
The premiere kicks off the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour, an international paddling film tour with 23 short-listed films screening in 100 cities hosted by paddling shops, clubs and events. Visit reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com for the most up-to-date tour schedule.