Extremely cold water trickles out of the Glen Canyon Dam into what's left of Glen Canyon, forming an unnatural stretch of trout water on the Arizona/Utah border in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Ben Knight

DamNation

“DamNation” Wins SXSW Audience Award

March 15, 2014, New York, NY – DamNation has won the SXSW Film 2014 Audience Award in the Documentary Spotlight category, the festival announced today, following the film’s world premiere at SXSW on March 10.

The filmmakers expressed their gratitude to festivalgoers for the positive reception, celebrating the news as a sign that the urgent issue of dam removal is resonating and will continue to build momentum as the film tours across the country.

DamNation is a film odyssey across America that explores the sea change in our 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. The film is produced by Patagonia in association with Stoecker EcologicalFelt Soul Media.

“Premiering DamNation at SXSW was a dream come true for Travis and I, and a dream come true for the film,” said Co-Director Ben Knight. “I honestly can't even wrap my head around the fact that we won the audience award yet, it feels very surreal. I could feel an energy build during the film at our screenings in Austin, our audiences were just amazing.”

“After pouring ourselves into DamNation, it is incredible to see the film resonate so deeply with our audiences,” said Co-Director Travis Rummel. “We’re so appreciative to Patagonia for trusting us with the creative freedom needed to bring this critical story to life.”

“The health of our rivers impacts all of us, and we have too many degraded rivers with unnecessary and obsolete dams,” said Ecologist and Producer Matt Stoecker. “I’m thrilled to see audiences connect with our film and help us build momentum to free our rivers.”

The film will open in theatrical release on May 9 in New York at the IFC Center, followed by a release on May 16 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle NoHo 7.  The theatrical release is coupled with a nine-city tour of one-night film premieres in select markets in April and May, and a nationwide screening event at all U.S. Patagonia retail stores on June 5.

DamNation will also play for one week in Portland, Oregon on April 17 upon its premiere as the opening night film of the Portland EcoFilm Festival.Additionally, the film will receive the Environmental Advocacy Award at the DC Environmental Film Festival on March 30.

For additional play dates, visit: damnationfilm.com.

The film will be available for pre-buy on the DamNation website through Vimeo On Demand in March, and will be released on Vimeo, along with iTunes and a number of other digital platforms in June, after the theatrical release.  To view or embed the trailer on Vimeo, visit: vimeo.com/49700244

About the Film

DamNation is a film odyssey across America that explores the sea change in our 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. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

DamNation, 87 min, U.S., 2014.  Directed by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel. Produced by Matt Stoecker and Travis Rummel.  Editor: Ben Knight. Director of Photography:  Ben Knight.  Director of Underwater Photography:  Matt Stoecker.  Associate Producer:  Beda Calhoun. Executive Producer: Yvon Chouinard.  Featuring: David James Duncan, David Montgomery, Elmer Crow, Rebecca Miles Jim Waddell, Floyd Dominy, Katie Lee, Lee Spencer and Mikal Jakubal.

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