SALT LAKE CITY – On Friday, August 2, 2013, Sierra magazine and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors -- with The North Face, Outdoor Research, Terramar and the Adventure Travel Trade Association -- will host the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market’s first Veterans Documentary Screening and Mixer at the Umoca Theater, next to the Salt Palace Convention Center. Outdoor enthusiasts, veterans, filmmakers, manufacturers, and retailers will gather at the nation’s largest outdoor sports show to discuss the intersection of military service, climate disruption, and outdoor adventure -- as well as what it means to wholly protect, preserve and defend our country.
World-class mountaineer and The North Face Athlete Conrad Anker will be on site to talk about his role in the Sierra Club’s climate expedition through Glacier National Park last summer. In addition, Sierra Club Mission Outdoors Director Stacy Bare, Adventure Travel Trade Association Director Chris Chesak, and Emmy-award winner and “High Ground” filmmaker Michael Brown will also attend the screening.
“One of the great principles of American heritage is wilderness. This common space, not owned by one, shared by the public, is where we can return to find the experiences that shaped the early history of our nation,” said Conrad Anker. “Climbing a peak requires planning, communication, fitness and a willingness to endure a bit of hardship. The camaraderie of a small expedition taps into the values of trust and determination - two attributes that benefit vets. Our expedition to Glacier National Park was a perfect place to see first-hand the effects of a warmer climate, and I found climbing with veterans to be personally rewarding.”
The three films that will be screened are:
“Mission Outdoors: Glacier National Park,” a 12 minute documentary that follows a team of eight military veterans on an expedition through Glacier National Park, led by world-class mountaineer and The North Face athlete Conrad Anker, to study climate change and learn about the environment in the country they served. The short film, by award-winning filmmaker James Balog, explores the value of America’s public lands for service members and veterans, and why the country they defended in uniform needs continued defense to keep landscapes wild and healthy for future generations.
Since May 2013, the Outside Adventure Film School and Sierra Club Mission Outdoors have been collaborating on programs that provide veterans with tools to tell their own stories in the outdoors. Early in the summer, a group of active service members and veterans participated in an outing in the mountains and deserts of Colorado, experiencing a week of raw emotions, testing their physical and mental limits, and making powerful friendships, all while honing their filmmaking and storytelling skills under the watchful eye of Michael Brown, one of the top outside filmmakers in the industry.
“High Ground” is a 90 minute documentary chronicling a team of veterans returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq as they set out to climb a towering Himalayan peak to overcome challenges and heal the mental and emotional ravages of war. Produced by Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Roger Rabbit), “High Ground” has won several major film festival awards.
"The outdoors provides an excellent analogue to service for returning veterans. As the filmmakers of “High Ground,” we were given a rare opportunity to tell veterans’ stories,” said filmmaker Michael Brown. “We are now following the film with a program with the Sierra Club and the Outside Adventure Film School to allow veterans to tell their own stories in the outdoors with the medium of film.”
“The debut of Sierra Club’s latest documentary is an exciting time to recognize the many ways Sierra works with our partners to create programs that connect outdoor industry leaders with topics that are important to us all,” said Sierra magazine’s National Advertising Director, Kristi Rummel. “Sierra magazine is proud to help spearhead an important industry event that will inspire us and recognize the exceptional contributions of our military colleagues in the outdoor industry.”
The Outdoor Retailer Veterans Documentary Screening and Mixer begins at 5:00PM on Friday, August 2 at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Umoca Theater) Auditorium, next to the Salt Palace Convention Center, with a casual reception, followed by opening remarks from Conrad Anker and the three screenings. The evening was made possible by Sierra magazine, Sierra Club, The North Face, Outdoor Research, Terramar and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
View the “Mission Outdoors: Glacier National Park” trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2hlcJR_qtY&feature=youtu.be.
View the “High Ground” trailer http://highgroundmovie.com/media.html