TPZ204: Walking India & Adventure Filmmaking with Olie Hunter Smart

Walking India

At the end of 2016 he left his job to begin 2 months of planning for a walk across India from Turtuk in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. The walk would begin in 2017. The year marking 70 years of Indian independence. The goal of the expedition was to learn about how Independence and Partition affected the people that lived through it as well as to demonstrate that with careful planning and determination it is possible to walk over 7 months and 4,500 km through high altitude, extreme heat and monsoon rains with a 50-year-old rucksack. He also made a film about the journey titled The Road to Independence. You can learn more about the film and his adventures at oliehuntersmart.com. Olie Hunter Smart, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ148: Amazon Dugout Canoe Adventure with Ben Sadd and James Trundle

DugOut An Amazon Adventure
Ben (left) and James


In 2015 Benjamin Sadd and James Trundle decided to have an adventure and make a film.  They wanted to build on their previous journeys and do something on a grander scale so they came up with the idea of building a dugout canoe.  They traveled to the Ecuadorian Amazon, lived in an indigenous community that helped them build the canoe, then launched it into a river and continued their adventure through Ecuador’s Yasuni region – one of the most biodiverse areas of the world.  These 2 months are captured in their award-winning film DugOut – An Amazon Adventure which you can find online at vimeo.com  You can learn more about Benjamin at trailtoanywhere.com and more about James at jamestrundle.com.  Ben and James, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ146: Bikepacking and Adventure Filmmaking with Ben Page

Bikepacking Yukon The Frozen Road


After university in 2014 and with £9,000 in the bank, 22 year old Ben Page flew to the bottom of South America to begin an around the world cycling adventure. As Ben reached Canada he began planning a winter ride on a fat tire bike through the Yukon Territory from Whitehorse to the village of Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean. This 2,000 km winter journey is documented in an award-winning film titled The Frozen Road and you can learn more about it at Ben’s website anotherhorizon.org. After Ben thawed out he continued cycling for another year and a half across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Ben Page, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ120: Why Not Start an Adventure Film Festival with Graham Clarke

Why Not Adventure Film Festival


Graham Clarke started the Why Not? Adventure Film Festival in 2012. Now in its 5th year based in Galway Ireland, the festival aims to bring the vision of filmmakers and athletes to a wider audience and to inspire people to take up an adventure no matter how small. Graham himself was inspired after seeing the films McConkey and Janapar: Love on a Bike. So inspired, in fact, that he and his wife quit their day jobs and spent a year cycling 2,200 km in Southeast Asia, tramping the south island of New Zealand, and living in Argentina. You can learn more about Graham and the festival at whynotadventurefilmfestival.com. Graham Clarke, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ107: The Making of Janapar & the Art of Storytelling with James Newton

Janapar Cycling Adventure


James Newton is a freelance director and independent filmmaker. He got his start in adventure storytelling in 2003 when he borrowed a camera and traveled to the Amazon to tell the story of Dorothy Stang, an American nun who put her life at great risk to campaign for the rights of peasant farmers. Several years later James released his first feature film that tells the story of a young man in search of a life-changing experience on an around the world bicycle trip and finding it in a woman he fell in love with along the way. James spent 2 years piecing together the story which became the award winning film Janapar: Love on a Bike. You can learn more about it at janapar.com and more about James at jamesnewtonfilms.com. James Newton, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ104: Adventure Filmmaking on the Karun River in Iran with Leon McCarron

Leon McCarron Karun


Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish adventurer and cameraman specializing in long distance, human-powered expeditions. With fellow British adventurer Tom Allen, the two set out to follow Iran’s longest River, the Karun, by whatever means necessary. Their goal was to experience the culture and geography of a misunderstood nation and to make an adventure film. But when their cameras caught the attention of the Iranian police, they wondered if they had bitten off more than they could chew. The result of their journey is the film Karun – Misadventures on Iran’s Longest River. You can learn more about it at karunfilm.com and more about Leon at leonmccarron.com. Leon McCarron, welcome back to the show.

TPZ093: Kayaking the Aleutians and Adventure Filmmaking with Justine Curgenven

Justine Curgenven
Photo credit : Kirk Mastin


Justine Curgenven is an expedition sea kayaker and adventure filmmaker. In her most recent expedition with teammate Sarah Outen, the two became the first to kayak the Aleutian Island chain from Adak to Homer Alaska. It was 4 months and 1500 miles of kayaking in a remote landscape with strong winds, fast currents, and rugged coastlines. Justine created an award-winning film of the adventure called Kayaking the Aleutians and you can learn more about it at her website cackletv.com. Justine Curgenven, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ088: Adventure Filmmaking in Mongolia & China with Rob Lilwall

Walking Home from Mongolia Rob Lilwall
Rob Lilwall


In the book, Walking Home from Mongolia, Rob Lilwall tells the story of his 6-month trek from the frozen Gobi Desert in Mongolia back to his home in Hong Kong. Along with teammate Leon McCarron, the two alternated pulling a 2-wheeled cart containing their supplies. At the China border, they ditched their conspicuous cart in favor of heavy rucksacks and continued south as they struggled with the landscape, the language, the police, and each other all the while filming the adventure which became a 4-part National Geographic television series. You can learn more abut the book and the film at roblilwall.com. Rob Lilwall, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ078: Desert Ultrarunning & Adventure Filmmaking with Jennifer Steinman

Jennifer Steinman and Sevan Matossian
Jennifer Steinman & Sevan Matossian


Jennifer Steinman’s documentary film Desert Runners has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. It tells the story of four amateur athletes competing for the 4 Deserts Grand Slam which is accomplished by finishing four 250 km ultramarathons in a calendar year. The movie shows how challenging and dangerous it can be to race in the most inhospitable places on earth – the Atacama, the Gobi, the Sahara, and Antarctica. You can learn more about the film at desertrunnersmovie.com and more about Jennifer at jennifersteinman.com. Jennifer Steinman, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ072: The Arrowhead 135 and Adventure Filmmaking with Brenda Piekarski

Adventure MN Films


Brenda Piekarski is the founder of Adventure Minnesota Films. It is a group of professional freelance filmmakers producing films focused on outdoor adventure sports in the beautiful state of Minnesota. Their first project is titled Among the Wild – The Arrowhead 135. It tells the story of 3 athletes competing in the one of the toughest winter ultra races on the planet and you can learn more at amongthewild.com. Brenda Piekarski, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

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