Paddle to the Amazon

One hell of an adventure

Please visit: Paddle to the Amazon

Documentary and Transmedia Experience

The book Paddle to the Amazon inspired my career as a documentary filmmaker. After reading this father and son canoe adventure, I was fortunate enough to establish a relationship with the lead paddler, Don Starkell, and to eventually earn his  “Go ahead” to create a documentary of his story. Now, many years after my first conversation with Don Starkell, my documentary is nearing completion. I am honoured to have been recently asked to be the principle consultant on the movie version of Paddle to the Amazon that is currently under way by another production company. Whatever forms the storytelling takes, it was the incredible characters and events of Paddle to the Amazon that incited me to pursue other real life stories in other corners of the world.

When Don and Dana Starkell left Winnipeg in a tiny three-seat canoe, they had no idea of the dangers that lay ahead. Two years and 12,180 miles later, father and son had each paddled nearly twenty million strokes, slept on beaches, in jungles and fields, dined on tapir, shark, and heaps of roasted ants.

They encountered piranhas, wild pigs, and hungry alligators. They were arrested, shot at, taken for spies and drug smugglers, and set upon by pirates. They had lived through terrifying hurricanes, food poisoning, and near starvation. And at the same time they had set a world record for a thrilling, unforgettable voyage of discovery and old-fashioned adventure.

When I read the book “Paddle to the Amazon,” it changed me. I had always dreamed of adventure and travel on less beaten paths. Don Starkell’s canoe trip from Winnipeg to Belem, Brazil with his two sons, Jeff and Dana, was not only the adventure of a of a lifetime but it was the story of a lifetime to have the privilege to tell.  As a companion piece to the full-length documentary, I am currently developing on online Intermedia site based on the Starkell’s story. The site features interactive and educational games. A teacher’s guide will also be available.

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If you have an opinion about “Paddle” please drop me a line.

Thank you.

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