The OutLive Film Festival will debut at Spokane’s historic Bing Crosby Theater on Saturday September 25, 2020.
The evening will feature approximately a dozen inspirational short films about people who overcome major life obstacles by taking on new challenges in the outdoors.
“Each of these films brings up different questions and emotions for the audience,” says festival co-director Brad Thiessen. “The people in them face unique challenges that they solve in different ways.” The one thing they have in common though, he says, is their impact, saying, “People won’t be able to walk out of the theater unchanged.”
“The quality of outdoors filmmaking is stellar these days, and some of these stories are just gut-wrenching and beautiful,” adds co-director Adam Harum.
Harum, an award-winning Spokane filmmaker, spent most of 2017 making a documentary about Thiessen’s quest to train for and complete a 50k (31 mile) trail run 9 months after ending treatment for terminal brain cancer.
“Working on the film showed me some of the challenges a person can face coming out of something as serious as a year and a half of cancer treatment,” Harum says. “Watching Brad recover literally right in front of my eyes while we were out in these gorgeous natural settings right around town – it changed my whole view of nature and fitness.”
For his part, Thiessen sees the benefit of being active outdoors stretching far beyond his own cancer recovery. “While I was stuck in my recliner during treatment, I started watching all these inspiring short films online about people dealing with PTSD or mental illness or amputation or cancer. And they were all doing what I was looking forward to so much: getting outdoors and letting nature heal them.”
The festival’s final lineup will be determined by mid-April, once submissions have been completed, but Harum says there are already enough excellent films in place to more than fill an evening.
“We want people to see more than just the amazing healing power of being active in nature,” Thiessen adds. “We want them to come face to face with the surprising strength we all have within ourselves to overcome the challenges life throws at us.”
Ticket sales benefit OutLive, a local nonprofit that engages cancer survivors in the healing power of nature (outlivecancer.org).