DamNation Film Flows Freely

Patagonia today launched the award-winning documentary film DamNation on iTunes and through several On Demand services. DamNation explores the sea change in attitudes from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of rivers.

Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang  to go mainstream.  Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Patagonia Founder and Owner Yvon Chouinard: “I’m proud to have been involved. Time and again, I’ve witnessed how removing an unnecessary dam is the responsible and, eventually, celebrated choice. Ben, Matt and Travis show us why, and they’ve made a beautiful film.”

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A pod of wild pink salmon swim up the pristine and free flowing Susitna River just below the site of a proposed mega dam being pushed by the State of Alaska in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Matt Stoecker
A pod of wild pink salmon swim up the free-flowing Susitna River just below the site of a proposed mega dam being pushed by the State of Alaska in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Matt Stoecker

The film is now available through iTunes rental or purchase. Viewers can also watch it on demand via Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House, Verizon, Charter, Suddenlink, AT&T, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, PlayStation, and Xbox.

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Cold water trickles out of the Glen Canyon Dam into what’s left of Glen Canyon, forming an unnatural stretch of trout water on the Arizona/Utah border in a scene from DAMNATION. Photo: Ben Knight.

Through its festival tour, DamNation has grabbed the attention of audiences and several major awards, including:

–       SXSW Audience Choice Award 2014

–       Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy 2014, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

–       MountainFilm Audience Choice Award 2014

–       Best Conservation Film 2014, International Wildlife Film Festival

–       Grand Jury Prize and Audience Choice 2014, Environmental Film Festival at Yale

–       Best of Festival, 5Point Film Festival

–       Nigel Moore Award, DOXA

–       People’s Choice and Best Feature Film 2014, Green Film Festival in Seoul

–       Best Feature Award 2014, San Francisco Green Film Festival

Twenty-six thousand people have already signed Patagonia’s online petition urging US President Obama to authorize studies on removing four problematic lower dams on the Snake River – and thousands more have signed petition postcards.

DamNation has been hailed by The Los Angeles TimesThe Village VoiceNational Geographic and Time MagazinePatagonia founder Yvon Chouinard published an op-ed in The New York Times arguing for the removal of low value, high cost dams.

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