The film biz is alive and well in Colorado. Need proof? Look no further than these three flicks currently in production.
The Great Divide
Colorado has a water problem (even in years like this one when it seems to never stop snowing in the mountains). Havey Productions, the Denver production house known for its Emmy Award-winning historical documentaries, wants the public to better understand why—and where we go from here. The Great Divide will tell “the story of water in Colorado, which is also the story of water in the West,” says company founder Jim Havey. It will cover the ancient Pueblo cultures of southwest Colorado, through the first water rights system, to present day, plus take a look toward the future. The feature-length documentary is meant to serve as an unbiased public education tool—the plan is to show it on Rocky Mountain PBS and also distribute copies to schools and libraries around the state—not an activist piece. To that end, the filmmakers are consulting with a 26-member advisory council, which includes water experts representing diverse interests. “What we’re doing is something that will speak to the public, not just the people who are in the debate already,” Havey says.
Anticipated Release: Spring 2015
The Rider and the Wolf
On March 31, 2009, Colorado mountain biking pioneer Mike Rust (pictured at Colorado Cyclery in Salida in the late ’80s) disappeared in Saguache County. Credited with inventing “shorties” (the wheels of the bike sit close together to make maneuvering on dirt trails easier), Rust was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1991. The documentary from Grit & Thistle Film Company will include a recreation of the last hour before Rust’s disappearance, talking heads, interviews with Rust’s family, and historical mountain biking footage—particularly from Crested Butte, which is considered the epicenter of the sport in Colorado. “It’s not your normal bike story,” says G&T co-founder Nathan Ward. “It’s an American bike mystery in the open valley of Colorado.” The Rider and the Wolf is the only Colorado film to receive a 2013 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant. Rust’s disappearance remains a cold case.
Anticipated Release: Spring 2014
Oscar-winning documentary film director Daniel Junge is aiming high with his next project. Being Evel will capture the competing personalities of Evel Knievel: the daredevil the public adored and his darker private persona. Thanks to a $94,270 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, Junge will be able to do all of his post-production work, as well as shoot some scenes and interviews, in Colorado.
Anticipated Release: Early 2015
More: I went one-on-one with Junge last year. Read the Q&A here.