Return to Roots Documentary Fundraiser


Expedition to Altai Mountains in Xinjiang, China
Last January, we set off on an adventure to the remote mountain village of Kohm in far Western China - inhabited by an indigenous community who practice an ancient form of skiing - to explore what might be gleaned from a simpler and more connected way of life practiced there and what parts of that experience may be applicable to our modern snow sports community. 


Outbreak of COVID-19 in China
Faced with the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we were forced to abandon the trip and evacuate from China [watch video of evacuation]. Upon our return to the West, we then witnessed the massive chaos the virus unleashed on the global population as it spread throughout the world and impacted all of us in previously unimaginable ways. 


Global Quarantine and Slowdown
While the world shut down into a forced quarantine, we noticed that much of the behavioral changes forced upon us - a major reduction in consumption, a reconnection with those closest to us, and a general slowing-down of our lives - bore a striking resemblance to the themes we were exploring in Kohm months earlier.


Lessons and Opportunities
Return To Roots is a short documentary film [est. run-time 35min] which seeks to bridge our experiences in China with life during the quarantine. Through interviews with a collection of  thought-leaders and personalities, both from the snow sports community and beyond, the film discusses this unique phenomenon and how applying these changes to our post-COVID life, we may be able to slow climate change and live together in a more equal and harmonious global community.





+ Once in a lifetime opportunity to change our behavior on a global scale

+ The behavior changes are easy and inexpensive to implement

+ They promote the improved health of individuals, families, and communities

+ They show how radical action can make a swift and noticeable difference

+ If sustained post-Covid, changes will aid the climate struggle and social inequality

+ They have contributed to a reduction of greenhouse emissions with tangible effects shown in the environment.



With the ultimate goal of this film project being to highlight the opportunities for change as presented by the pandemic, time is of the essence to get it out the door as soon and as wide as possible. As such, our marketing strategy will take several parallel paths.

Film Festivals
Since all the film festivals have gone to an online format for the foreseeable future, this presents an opportunity to get the film out to a much larger and engaging audience than before. We have targeted several festivals throughout North America and internationally where our film will align well with the themes and values of the festival.

Community Screening Event
Working within the current parameters of public events - small crowd sizes, outdoors preferred etc - we will organize screening events in key locations across Canada and the US where we will screen the film and foster community conversations around the issues we will be exploring by bringing in relevant speakers to talk and lead discussions. All of these events will be recorded and published as well, building upon each other to create another important resource to use the film as an instrument of change.

Online Premiere Event and Free Streaming
We will be organizing a well-publicized digital event to premiere the film on YouTube along with a live roundtable discussion with some of the incredible subjects from the film. Partnering with several key organizations and media outlets, this will attract a large audience who will not only be able to watch the film itself but also be inspired to spread its message and create radical change. Both the film and the roundtable will be available for free streaming in perpetuity.



As a sister project of the Snow Hunters project (, Return To Roots has so far been a self-funded project. After personally investing over $30,000, all available funds from the main production team have been exhausted and the need for additional budget to complete the project in a timely manner has been made abundantly clear. All donations made through this crowdfunding campaign will go towards the film’s post-production and distribution. This includes editing, sound and music, graphics, and visual effects. 

On top of our own contributions to date, we are needing to raise an additional $10,000. Please see the budget below for a breakdown of how the funds will be used.

With the time-sensitive nature of the subject matter, as well as rapidly approaching film festival submission deadlines, the need to raise these funds immediately is imperative.



By helping to fund the final stages of this film, you are helping to accomplish these important, once-in-a-lifetime goals and affect real, concrete change for a better global society for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.

Thank you for your support.

  • Nancy Miner 
    • $100 
    • 12 mos
  • daniel robson 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
  • Carol Magown 
    • $200 
    • 15 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $310 
    • 15 mos
  • Grant Baldwin 
    • $80 
    • 16 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Snow Hunters (2)

Chris Winters 
Raised $3,150 from 12 donations
Seattle, WA
Brian Hockenstein 
Team member
Raised $945 from 17 donations
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