Adventure, romance and conflict! The new documentary Beauty Beneath the Dirt is a far cry from your typical outdoor adventure travelogue. Unlike other Appalachian Trail documentaries that focus on camp life and the natural environment, Director Katherine Imp takes a raw and uninhibited look at what happens to the mind, body, and soul over the course of a 2178.3-mile journey.
“I’ve always had a fascination with nature’s ability to transform, ever since my days of working for Outward Bound,” says Kate. “And though none of us were looking to be ‘transformed,’ I knew that five months on the trail would change each of us in some way. And I wanted to capture that change on film.”
Jordan Faye Contemporary will screen Beauty Beneath the Dirt on Friday, June 22nd, at 7 p.m. A Q&A with Director Katherine Imp and Cast Member Brandon Imp will follow the screening.
Kate was joined on the trail by her brother Brandon, a 21-yr-old Ivy grad fresh out of college, and her best friend Emily, a 23-yr-old “city chick” born and raised on Chicago’s South Side.
“When Kate says she’s going to do something, she does it,” says co-producer Jason Furrer. “So when she told me she was making a film and wanted me to co-produce I was like, where do I sign-up?”
“I knew from the beginning that I couldn’t compete with one of those National Geographic films with the helicopter views and the close-ups of wild animals. I mean, let’s be real here, my initial budget was less than $15K,” Kate laughs. “Helicopter views weren’t happening.”
Kate, Brandon, and Emily obtained a number of sponsorships prior to hiking the trail to help with the cost of the trip. Sponsors include some of the nation’s leading outdoor food and clothing companies such as Superfeet, PrAna, Minute Rice, and Backpacker’s Pantry. They have also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover costs associated with bringing the film on tour.
“We don’t hold anything back in this film,” laughs Brandon. “It was one of the craziest experiences of my life and I can’t wait to share it with the Baltimore community.”
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