“You might, at first, think that Blackwaters is a film about fishing: the poster image of five serious-looking men, standing midstream with waders and fly rods, evokes The Right Stuff, transported to the Alaskan Outback. Although a fly fishing trip provides the scaffolding for this tale, what it really is about is an encounter with what it means to be a black man in America. Blackwaters is at times, funny, emotional, and, always straight from the heart. The scenery has the immensity of a starlit sky. A scene of an angler playing solo sax in a trackless wilderness resonates like the prayerful echo of a church chorus. And, yes, some fish get caught along the way.”
“As the film itself points out, there is a societal profile, perception, or expectations of black men, and this film sinks those stereotypes with an eye-opening account of adventurers who are both comfortable in the outdoors and comfortable in their own skin. Through their experience in the Brooks Range, we learn about their lives, their hopes for the future, and how being outdoors has helped them heal, succeed, and inspire others toward positive masculinity, and be role models for BIPOC young men.”
“Blackwaters is a meticulously woven narrative that blends adventure, camaraderie, and introspection, with a powerful emphasis on dismantling the barriers faced by BIPOC individuals in the outdoors.”
READ REVIEW HERE
Blackwaters centers around a discussion among five outdoorsmen while sitting in their camp along the Kobuk River in Alaska, discussing their earliest memories of being connected to nature, struggles they’ve encountered in their outdoorsy careers, and how those experiences permeate their lives and relationships.
Blackwater encompasses the power of five Black men whose paths have been challenged with loss, defeat, fear, and pain by life’s ups and downs and social injustice challenges black men and black boys face every day. They have fallen into an “endangered species”, only surviving day to day. Through surviving life’s trials, each man has found grace and success in the outdoors, healed and mended by nature’s medicine to the soul, embracing the art of fly fishing and building brotherhood. Blackwater is an expedition of a journey in the Gates Of The Arctic Circle National Park, adventure, a vision quest, and a fly fishing adventure that surpasses the color of their own skin connecting to the fundamentals of nature’s, the poetry of life, and prosperous joy. Like indigenous communities, they find self-fulfillment in being outdoors. They find their own representation, and hold space for everyone, especially inspiring young Black boys. It is a dual survival between black boys who can not make the connection to a black man in the outdoors due to lack of representation and black men finding representation in wild spaces to call their own. Hopefully, these youths can see themselves, and be inspired to embark on their own journeys into the outdoors. The concept is a tactically crafted story in dialogue and adventure, with emphasis on dismantling the fear for BIPOC and inspiring BIPOC to pursue their journey in the outdoors and uplift black boys’ lives in green spaces.
This story is told in 5 directions; 5 lives and 5 perspectives wrap into a heavy dialogue discussion in nature tackling the heavy topics of masculinity attempting to answer questions such as “ Where do I as a black man fit in nature?” and “ How do we hold space in nature as anglers paving the road for our next generation of young men so they could see us and know this space is for them just as much as for everyone?”
This story is to in 5 directions, 5 lives and 5 perspectives wrap into a heavy dialogue discussion in nature tackling the heavy topics of masculinity, where do I fit as an black man in nature and how do we hold space in nature as anglers paving the road for our next generation of young men to see us and to know this space is for you as well that is shared with everyone.
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Director/Creative DirectorAdventure PhotographerCinematographer Founder: Love is KingSoul River Inc.
ProducerThe Joy Trip Project
“Slim Pickins” Owner/CEO of Slim Pickins Outfitters
Founder/CEO of Outdoor Gear and Beer, LLC
Founder/Executive Director Black Outside, Inc
Portland, OregonAugust 26-28
Madison, WisconsinSeptember 16, 17, 18
Atlanta, GeorgiaSeptember 29 – October 1
Stephensville, TexasOctober 13-15
San Antonio TexasMLK WeekendJanuary 12-14, 2024
The film will be released on Aug 26, 2023 in Portland, Oregon.
We have planned several screening events through the end of 2023 with one in January of 2024. The events are listed on our website. Please continue to visit our site as this is where we will be adding more venues. Right now, we have screening events in Atlanta Ga, San Antonio TX., Stephenville Tx., and Madison, Wisconsin.
There is the possibility of online viewing late in 2024. That has yet to be determined. We will let folks know if this happens through our social media outlets. Right now, we are focusing on our currently scheduled venues of the film tour.
Yes, there will be more! Stay tuned to the website and follow each of our team members. We will announce new venues in the future as they are arranged.
Yes you can! It is best to reach out to one of the team members and will get back to you. The key factor is our availability. We would like for each member of our team be at screening events to assures strongest impact. If only two of us are able to show up or one that is fine, but our first goal is to try to align your dates with Team Blackwaters and then work from there. Secondly, we would like to know the size of your venue. How big is your audience? Third, are you working with a budget and within your budget is there a potential line item to support travel costs for airfare and hotel as well as presenter/panel stipend? Provide this information and will get back to you.
All screening event costs are negotiable. Your budget must include the travel costs of airfare and lodging for each of the Black Waters team members in attendance.
You can go here to start! https://alaskawild.org/blackwaters