GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Award-winning filmmaker Hunter Weeks floated 550 miles of the Yellowstone River to capture on film the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States.An Alexandria Film Festival Audience winner and an official selection of the nation's capital DC Environmental Film Festival, the feature documentary "Where the Yellowstone Goes" will be shown in Grand Junction at the Mesa Theater & Lounge Wednesday, April 3."The Yellowstone River carries about 60 percent of the water that comes out of Yellowstone National Park. It flows north into Montana, and then easterly into North Dakota," Weeks said. "It's beautiful country. I want to inspire people, that anything's possible. I try and embody that in the film."Weeks and his crew travel the river for 30 days in a six-foot raft and a drift boat, supported by additional crew members who follow along in a Jeep. They shot about 150 hours of footage which they edited down into an 88-minute film."We focused on people we met as we encountered them - a farmer, retired teachers, conservationists trying to protect the river, fishers - there's plenty of fishing," Weeks said. "We try and tell the story from the eyes of people who are part of that whole river system."The journey begins in Gardiner, Mont., outside Yellowstone National Park, with "stunning, gorgeous mountains on either side," Weeks said. The trip ends at the confluence of the Missouri River at Fort Buford, N.D.The group encounters an area of the river where a clean-up crew is trying to mitigate an oil spill that had occurred a month earlier. An Exxon Mobile pipeline ruptured in July 2011, spilling an estimated 60,000 gallons of crude oil into the river."We talked to affected ranchers, the clean-up crew," Weeks said."People are becoming more aware of how important our nation's waterways are," Weeks said in a news release. "I think this film will really resonate with this audience and help inspire people to get more involved in protecting their favorite rivers."Weeks directed and produced the film, along with his wife, Sarah Hall. Both will be present at the film screening to answer questions and give away sponsor prizes afterward. "Where the Yellowstone Goes" is Weeks' fourth film. To learn more about his other works visit www.hunterweeks.com.
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