After starting my documentary project, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, over three years ago, I graduated from the Documentary Studies certificate program at Duke University. The film ended up becoming three separate films. Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace was finished in late spring and will be presented at the Great American Canoe Festival in Ely, Mn, June 2016. The feature length film about Andrea Knepper and Chicago Adventure Therapy will be finished by early winter 2016-2017. My film subjects, my friends and family, and the paddling community have continuously offered their support during all the high and low points of the creative process. For this, I am deeply grateful. I look forward to many future film projects on and off the water.
Hether Hoffmann presenting her film, Bonnie A. Perry: Agency and Grace, at the Full Frame Theater during the Duke Documentary Studies Graduation Ceremony
Artcanoe Productions will be at the Palatine Maker Fair at Quest Academy, Palatine, IL (Sat., May 21. 10-3). Hether Hoffmann is also an artist and art teacher. She will demonstrating screen printing. Art Canoe tshirts will be available for a donation to the Chicago Adventure Therapy’s Scotland Youth Kayaking trip. Donations can be made here:
Andrea Knepper during filming for Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, 2015.
Over three years ago, I set a goal to combine two of my passions, film and kayaking. Living in Chicago, I was fortunate to be a part of a dynamic kayaking community. I sought formal and informal kayaking training (in order to paddle efficiently and
Bonnie A. Perry coaching. Coast of Maine, 2015. Photo by Hether Hoffmann
keep myself and others safe while filming) with Nick Cunliff, Scott Fairty, Greg Anderson, Bonnie A. Perry, Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin and Andrea Knepper. My film subjects, Bonnie A. Perry, Andrea Knepper, and Sarah Hartman, graciously accepted my inquiry to follow and film them for my documentary series, Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary.
I will graduate from Duke University’s Documentary Studies Program in 2 weeks. Over the course of 2 years, I have filmed while kayaking, conducted interviews inside and outside, sought film sponsors, and presented films at Duke University and Canoecopia. I look forward to entering film festivals and presenting at other paddling festivals. Andrea Knepper and CAT’s feature length film will be finished by early fall after filming the final footage with CAT in Scotland (verite style). Interviews will also be conducted in order to fill out Sarah Hartman’s film.
As Appalachian American photographer, Roger May said, during one his lectures I attended, the greatest documentary payment is the trust and friendships that are created in the process.
After over two years of filming, Artcanoe Productions is taking the show on the road. On March 11, Hether Hoffmann will be presenting, “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary”, at Canoecopia in Madison, Wi. Film excerpts, paddling-while-filming stories, and a short Q&A session will be featured during her talk. Hether will also be presenting her film at the Great American Canoe Festival, June 10-12, 2016, in Ely, Mi.
As I edit Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary, I never expected the documentary journey to be so full and wondrous. I will be presenting the film at Canoecopia in Madison next month. I remember thinking almost seven years ago when I first attended Canoecopia for the first time how cool it would be to present something. At that time, I had no idea what I would present. The purchase of a new camera in 2011 led to creative insights. 2012/2013 came I started approached Bonnie A. Perry and Andrea Knepper who I thought both would be awesome to document on film. I couldn’t have done this without the amazing support of my family, friends, and the paddling community.
Bonnie A. Perry coaching in Maine, 2015. Photo by Hether Hoffmann
Artcanoe Productions had a busy fall working on final edits, cold weather paddling, and final photography exhibition details. Hether Hoffmann will be presenting “Paddling in Spite of the Ordinary” at Canoecopia 2016. Canoecopia is the largest paddlesports fest in North America. It is sponsored by Rutabaga. Hether’s photography will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Prairie Center for Arts, January, 2016. (See invite below) Hether has also been creating and editing video content for her final Duke University Documentary Studies graduation presentation in 2016.
Still shot from interview with Greg Anderson, December, 2015. Greg, physics professor at Northeastern University, explaining risk management during his Inside Passage kayaking expedition.
Hether Hoffmann’s photos taken while paddling with Andrea Knepper. November and December 2016.
Artcanoe Productions filmed Bonnie A. Perry during the Ladies of the Lake Symposium. She was teaching a BCU/PNA 3* training class. On Sunday, she did her blessing of the boats. The clip below reveals a powerful, universal theme: acceptance.