Tiffany Asher, [email protected]
WYOMING — Join in on watching Brave Girl in the digital Wyoming PBS series “Our Wyoming”. The premier was held last Wednesday, September 14, 2022. “Brave Girl is about a very strong young adventurer who is just beginning her journey of finding out what it takes to climb the tallest and smallest mountains. Even though she’s only 6, she has an unwavering ambition to climb the biggest mountains in the world, starting with the ones in her backyard in Wyoming. The film focuses on the experience of climbing a new mountain, no matter the size… of the human or the mountain”.
This compelling short film, set in Rock Springs, was created by award-winning Wyoming filmmakers, Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy of Burning Torch Productions. We’re excited to be supporting this story about an inspiring young brave girl!
The PBS series “Our Wyoming” tries to profile someone around the state and what it’s like to live here in Wyoming. Since Pedri had worked with PBS in the past, they had reached out and asked about making a one-minute video. Once they made the video and sent it in, PBS liked the concept and asked if they could make a longer one that could be added to the series. In order to do that, the team filmed a whole new climb. They normally climb White Mountain or Aspen Mountain, but for this short, they decided to climb Fire Hole, an area that people in Sweetwater County know, but isn’t always seen.
Bennett, the Brave Girl, is Mark Pedri’s niece. He loves watching her get out and explore with her grandpa. “My wife and I have been going on hikes and exploring for our films, and whenever we did that, Bennett is always wanting to join us so we take her out with us. Her ability for being so young and also being interested in what we do…it’s just fun and it’s when cool things happen.”
According to Pedri, the hike itself took a full day, and then weeks’ worth of editing the film, sending it out for feedback, and re-editing took a couple of months. He said it was worth it though, especially since this film was a lot more light-hearted than the previous film he made. The interaction and audience were different. He said that when they went to one of the film festivals that the best response he got was from a 6-year-old boy from Colorado that asked, “Is Brave Girl a real girl?”.
“The premiere last week went really well. I think between the three platforms we have over 7,000 views. None of this would have been possible without the sponsors we had or PBS being our distributor.” There is a premiere at Mountain & Adventure Film Festival, Mammoth Lakes, California today. As the film is shown, “Bennett is already looking for the next mountain to climb,” Pedri said.
You can click here to watch the film: /player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3071902029/
A little information about the Director Mark Pedri, Producer, Carrie McCarthy, PhD and Distribution Producer, Jennifer Boyle, which was released in a press release.
Director: Mark Pedri is an expedition-based documentary filmmaker and writer from Southwestern Wyoming where he tells stories from off the beaten path. Mark founded Burning Torch Productions in 2011 to focus on character-driven stories from the backcountry and backroads of the world. His films have played at international festivals, on national PBS, and in screening tours around the world. Prior to making films full-time, Mark managed the Episodic Storytelling program at Sundance Institute. Mark has an MFA in Producing from the University of Southern California and an MA in Communication and Journalism from the University of Wyoming. For his most recent film he cycled across Germany to retrace the route of his grandfather who was a Prisoner of War in WWII. He is from Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Producer: Carrie McCarthy, PhD is a scientist turned producer from Rock Springs who got her start working as a scientific film consultant on documentaries. During her time in academia, Carrie was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her research, which has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences worldwide. She now runs Burning Torch Productions with her partner Mark where she produces documentaries, feature-length, and episodic content focusing on character-driven non-fiction stories. Her films have won awards at film festivals around the world. Carrie has a PhD in Materials Chemistry from the University of Southern California. Though she has no fixed address to give, she calls Los Angeles and Wyoming home.
Distribution Producer: Jennifer Boylen is a marketer and strategist focusing on supporting independent films, documentaries, and impact-driven stories. After kicking off her career in events and arts education, she went on to join teams at Sundance Film Festival, South By Southwest (SXSW), and the Chicago International Film Festival while also providing promotional and partnership support to independent films and events. She founded Jane Media, a creative agency for storytellers, in 2021 to continue those efforts. Originally from Chicago, she is now based in Salt Lake City.
Production Company: Burning Torch Productions
Short joint bio for Mark and Carrie: Director Mark Pedri is an expedition-based documentary filmmaker and writer from Rock Springs, Wyoming. Producer Carrie McCarthy, PhD is a scientist turned producer who got her start working as a scientific film consultant while she worked as a materials chemist researcher at the University of Southern California. Together they run Burning Torch Productions which is a boutique film production company that focuses on character-driven stories from the backcountry and backroads of the world. Their films have played at international festivals, national PBS, and major streaming platforms.
“Brave Girl” is a Documentary Film made in the United States in 2022. Runtime: 7 minutes 51 seconds
Credits: Director: Mark Pedri; Producer: Carrie McCarthy; Written by: Bennett (Brave Girl); Editor: Mark Pedri; Post Production: Fancy Film
Logline: Brave Girl is a strong young adventurer who is just beginning her journey of finding out what it takes to climb mountains. Even though she’s only 6, she has an unwavering ambition to climb the biggest mountains in the world, starting with the ones in her backyard in Wyoming.
Synopsis: Told through the eyes of a 6-year-old climber who goes by the name of Brave Girl, this documentary captures the experience of climbing a new mountain for the first time, no matter the size of the human or the mountain. The film tells the story of Brave Girl who is embarking on the longest hike of her life, accompanied by her mentor and grandpa, 66-year-old Grandpa Gary. In early spring, the pair sets out into the high desert of Southwest Wyoming with the goal of summiting an isolated sandstone chimney. In order to make it to the top, the team will have to overcome the unpredictable early-season elements, a grueling approach, and technical route finding as they attempt to make the first documented ascent of this unnamed peak in Wyoming.
As Brave Girl’s mountains are getting taller and Grandpa Gary’s mountains are getting smaller, we see the two adventurers at a moment in time when they are the perfectly-matched mountain climbing duo.
Wyoming PBS Our Wyoming: www.pbs.org/video/brave-girl-bhmcqi/
Facebook Watch: https://fb.watch/fIn3U1TNvH/
Festivals and Screenings
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale, FL – November 4, 2022
Mountain & Adventure Film Festival, Mammoth Lakes, CA – September 22, 2022
Universal Kids Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey – September 15-16, 2022
Wyoming PBS Digital Series Our Wyoming Premiere – September 14, 2022
307 Film Festival in Laramie, WY – August 27, 2022
More than 20 other festivals in consideration, screening dates TBD
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