Portland non-profit NW Documentary has introduced many locals to documentary filmmaking in the Northwest, including myself, with its cheap do-it-yourself (DIY) filmmaking courses. And during the course of the years, they have built a large body of working professionals and enthusiasts. Executive Director Ian McCluskey has reached out to these supporters; friends, colleagues and volunteers to bring us his newest film, “Les Voyageurs Sans Trace,” or “The French Kayak Film,” as described in its website address.
Known for his top honors, including four Emmys and films that have screened at Tribeca, London, Clermont-Ferrand and others, McCluskey enlisted the cinematographer and owner of Uncage the Soul, John Waller, known for his breathtaking video that swept the web of “Finding Portland.” Straight off, we can expect Waller and partner Ben Canales to bring nothing but earth shattering scenery and time-lapse perfection.
The film was shot on location from a Wyoming riverbank as they traced the trip embarked on by three young Parisians back in 1938. The story is about America’s first adventure film shot in 16mm color. McCluskey found the lost footage, unseen for over 75 years. He weaves the original 16mm film with modern day footage—merging what McClucksey says, “the past and present, offering a rare glimpse of both the American West when it was still wild, and the frontier today.”
McCluskey ventures deep into the canyons and smalls towns that the French Trio experienced. McClucksey added, “Their journey is brought to life by their film, hundreds of previously unseen photos, readings from unpublished letters and journals, and interviews with their children.”
They are currently seeking $18k to finish their film; including $6k for an editor, $5k for a musician and $2500 for professional audio work. As of the morning of this article, they had over 27 backers totaling $2.6k.
For more information, or to support their Kickstarter Project: Voyagers Without Trace – the French Kayak Film
Here’s a copy of their latest trailer: