Subjects: Physical and Mental Health, Race Studies, African American Studies
AN AMERICAN ASCENT is a documentary film about the first African-American expedition to tackle North America's highest peak, Denali.
In only a few decades the United States will become a majority-minority nation, as people of color will outnumber today's white majority for the first time ever. Yet, a staggering number of people in this soon-to-be majority do not consider the outdoors as a place for them. By by taking on the grueling, 20,310 foot peak of the continent's biggest mountain, nine African-American climbers set out to shrink this Adventure Gap by building a legacy of inclusion in the outdoor/adventure community.
The film addresses often overlooked issues of race and the outdoors as it follows the team up the mountain, chronicling the many challenges of climbing one of the worlds most iconic peaks.
Selected for a 2015 Private White House Screening and Winner of the Best Documentary at 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival
“From the first interspersed bits of interviews, the viewer quickly grasps the importance of the climb. Not only is it a testament to human prowess, but also a feat that has the potential to both inspire youth of color to discover the outdoors, and create a more welcoming environment for them to do so.” – The Mac Weekly
“In addition to the issues of race that the documentary explores, it is equally an impressive feat both of the climbers and the filmmakers to have made this film at all; the spectacle of this team summiting the 20,310 ft. peak alone makes for an enthralling documentary.” – The As Review
About the filmmaker
The founder of Wild Vision Films, George Potter, has traveled the world as a conservation biologist and filmmaker. Growing up in Australia and now based in Montana, he has produced documentary and commercial work for outdoor companies, environmental groups, government organizations and businesses looking to enhance their brand. Highlights from the last few years include filming a series for Rolls Royce showing off their new SUV, producing the latest broadcast campaign for Montana Tourism and raising over one hundred thousand dollars on Kickstarter to document the first African American team to attempt the summit of Denali. He has a Bachelor's degree in Zoology and a Masters in Science and Natural History Filmmaking.
Andy Adkins has had a two season stint as Senior Producer for the Emmy-winning Montana PBS series TERRA, and won an Emmy and Western Writers Spur Award for his editorial work on the nationally televised PBS documentary INDIAN RELAY. Andy co-produced and edited the award-winning documentary Source to Sea and have produced films for the National Park Service, and National 4-H Council. His commercial work includes producing the Get Lost, and High Plains broadcast campaigns for Montana Tourism and various other projects for Vasque, First Interstate Bank, Iqra Fund, and on1 Photography. Andy is based in Portland, Oregon where he sometimes teach doc classes at NW Documentary.