AN AMERICAN ASCENT Screens for 3000 DC Students

Every year the DC Environmental Film Festival hosts a huge pre-festival event for youth. They pick one film that they think best inspires students from DC schools to engage with the outdoors. We are incredibly honored and happy to say that this year they picked our film!

AN AMERICAN ASCENT screened at Constitution Hall in front of three thousand middle and high school kids (arriving in about 50 busses!). It was the largest and most energetic audience we've had yet - at times it felt more like a rock concert than a film screening, with the young audience erupting into cheers after many of the film's scenes. It was on of the most amazing events we've ever been a part of! We couldn't be more proud to be there and reach this many kids with our story.

Elwood York, Wilderness Program Leader for the U.S. Forest Service introduced the film. Climber and DC native Tyrhee Moore along with Producer Andy Adkins fielded questions after the screening.

A senior from Ballou High School summed it up this way: "This is the best field trip I've ever been on." This about sums up the whole experience for us too.

The film also screens in the regular festival lineup on March 19th. Details here.

Thanks to DCEFF, the schools, teachers and kids who came. You can read more in a good write up from the DC Collaborative.

The White House Screens AN AMERICAN ASCENT

A few days ago, our film AN AMERICAN ASCENT screened to two packed theaters at a White House event. Of all the recognition the film has received so far, having the film introduced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and shown on a main stage of the White House, is our biggest honor to date.

The White House asked us to do Q&A panel after the movie. Rosemary Saal, Billy Long, Tyrhee Moore, James Mills and Producer Andy Adkins were on the panel and the audience of mostly youth from the DC area was incredibly receptive and enthusiastic, with great follow up discussions affirming the importance of this project to urban communities of color. At one point, a kid in the audience asked a seemingly innocent question: "Do you think I could climb a mountain?" Rosemary, summing up the project in a nutshell responded "Do you think you can climb a mountain?”

We are beside ourselves. We've had some success up until now, but this is the result of a true groundswell. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped us get here including our 700+ kickstarter backers, Jason & Suzanne Johnson, Menno Van Wykk, NOLS, REI, Columbia Sportswear, the Expedition Denali climbing team (Erica, Rosemary, Billy, Tyrhee, Ryan, Adina, Scott, Shobe, Deberry), NOLS and the expedition instructors, James Mills & The Joy Trip Project, our additional shooters Kyle Duba and Hudson Henry, Denali National Park, and special thanks to The Wilderness Society for helping us get to the event, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality for hosting it and making it an amazing event.

We would love your help in spreading the word and keeping this momentum going. Please contact us for information on how you can be involved.