DamNation wins Audience Award at SXSW

Festival prize is proof that dam-removal resonates with the public

By Jeff Moag

A new film that celebrates dam removal has won the SXSW Audience Award. DamNation took top honors in the Documentary Spotlight category at the trend-setting music and technology festival March 15 in Austin, Texas.

Filmmakers Travis Rummel and Ben Knight say the award is a sign that the dam-removal movement resonates with the American people. The feature-length documentary explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.

“After pouring ourselves into DamNation, it is incredible to see the film resonate so deeply with our audiences,” says Rummel, who co-directed the film with Knight.

“The health of our rivers impacts all of us, and we have too many degraded rivers with unnecessary and obsolete dams,” said ecologist and producer Matt Stoecker. “I’m thrilled to see audiences connect with our film and help us build momentum to free our rivers.”
The film will premier in a [LINK]nine-city tour in April and May. The theatrical release is scheduled for May 9 in New York, and May 16 in Los Angeles.

The film will be available for pre-buy on the DamNation website through Vimeo On Demand in March, and will be released on Vimeo, along with iTunes and a number of other digital platforms in June, after the theatrical release. DamNation is also on Facebook

The breaching of the Sunbeam Dam on Idaho’s Salmon River in 1934 has a foggy history, but whatever happened, it’s one of our nation’s first examples of a critical river restoration. Photo by Ben Knight

The breaching of the Sunbeam Dam on Idaho’s Salmon River in 1934 has a foggy history, but whatever happened, it’s one of our nation’s first examples of a critical river restoration. Photo by Ben Knight

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