Most people who see Lava Falls on the Grand Canyon get the willies. Try kayaking it blind. Judges at this year’s Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival apparently liked what they saw also, with director and producer Michael Brown of Serac Adventure Films winning Grand Prize at the 2018 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival for The Weight of Water, an 80-min. account of blind adventurers Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedroll’s descent of the Grand Canyon. Included in the film is a heartstopping clip of them kayaking Lava Falls, the toughest rapid in the Grand Canyon.
“We selected the film that touched us most deeply – the one that caused us all to shed some tears…,” judge Rebecca Martin told Expedition News. “The human achievement that was the focal point of this work gripped us and the emotional journey of the main protagonist as the narrative unfolded was palpable, while also being exquisitely subtle. We were moved. We were immensely inspired. And we were drawn into the story so intensely, we felt a part of the exhilaration of an unimaginably hard-won accomplishment.”
After receiving the award, which elicited a prolonged standing ovation, Brown said, “The best part for me was bringing my sweet six-year-old on stage. It meant the world to be able to share my biggest professional moment ever with so many people I love.”
Read about the other festival winners here: