The Long River Home | 20min | Documentary Short | 2022 | USA
Director: Seth Dahl
A film about overcoming the residual impacts of war through kayaking with a team. Aaron Howell and Russell Davies are combat veterans who were injured in war and now come together for another mission as they guide blind Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, on his third trip through the Grand Canyon. Over a 14 day river trip they battle more than 80 powerful rapids, screaming directions to Lonnie the whole way. Always looming downstream roars Lava Falls, the largest rapid of them all. Throughout the journey they remember their past experiences and learn that negotiating the rapids of life is as simple as forming a team, kicking out in the current, and finding a line through the chaos.
In 2004 I served one year in Iraq with the 1-163rd Infantry, a Montana ARNG unit. On one mission an Associated Press photojournalist snapped photos of my platoon clearing houses. Motivated by the photojournalist’s mission, I returned home where I studied Journalism at the University of Montana with intent to return to conflict zones. In school I found video editing and my passion pivoted to documentary based outdoor stories. In the summers I worked as a river guide on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon and kayaked in my off time. After graduation I started my video production business, Big Cedar Media, with intent to tell documentary stories. As a veteran storyteller I have focused my camera on post 9/11 veterans overcoming combat injuries through outdoor adventure. Some of these stories take place around rivers and consist of kayaking.