Reel Paddling Film Festival 2017

Join us Saturday, May 13 for a local screening of the Reel Paddling Film Festival, presented by Kalamazoo College Outdoor Programs and Lee’s Adventure Sports.  Ticket sales benefit the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council’ water trail project.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is an international adventure film tour presenting the world’s best paddling films of the year – whitewater, sea kayaking, canoeing, SUP, action and lifestyle – in more than 120 cities and towns across Canada, United States and around the world.

With 20 inspiring paddling films shortlisted for the World Tour, including the ten festival category winners, audiences will see hairy whitewater action, sea kayakers exploring remote coastlines, northern river canoe expeditions, international river travel films, motivating environmental documentaries, grueling kayak fishing battles and hilarious short films capturing the lighter side of paddling life.


Purchase your general admission tickets for May 13, 2017 at 7:00 PM


Pre-purchase your tickets at Lee’s Adventure Sports.  Ticket price $10.00.
311 West Kilgore Rd., Portage MI 49002  |  (269) 381-7700

Complimentary tickets available for students of Kalamazoo College with valid student ID.  Visit the Outdoor Programs Office at Harmon Hall.

Event Location

The film screening will take place at the recital hall in the Light Fine Arts Building located on the campus of Kalamazoo College.  Door open at 6:30 PM, film begins at 7:00 PM.

Featured Films

A student committee with the K College Outdoor Programs Office put together a screening of the best films from the 2017 Reel Paddling Film Festival:

BEAR WITNESS (11:35) — A couple paddle and live in Boundary Waters, MN for a year to raise awareness about mining activity and the need to conserve the area. Audience gets to see the scenery of Boundary Waters change over four seasons and hear some reasons why the protagonists of the film think the wilderness area should be protected.

REDISCOVER NORTH AMERICA (28:33) — A group paddles from Southern part of the US all the way up to the Arctic sea, spending 200-something days on the river, encountering exhausting portages, unexpected dams and obstacles, and various weather patterns. Audience gets to see the landscape transform from the groves in the south to tundras in the arctic.

THE CANOE (26:21) — A series of video essay that narrates and shows how different groups of people connect with canoeing, various topics are covered including familial bond, native American culture, making home in a new country, etc.

WHAT YOU TAKE AWAY (6:43) — Highlights a summer camp program for youths that is a mixture of whitewater rafting, canyon exploring, and citizen science. There are scenes of folks paddling as well as doing stream invertebrate screening. Discusses the importance of water quality and our responsibility/ connection to the the source (river).

WOMEN OUTWARD BOUND (28:14) — Shows the first all-women OB trip. Discusses the gender inclusiveness/equality of the paddling and other outdoor activities.

Total Running Time: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Check out the Reel Paddling Film Fest trailer: