Fri Mar 3, 2023 – 5:00 pm | Downtown Beloit Association
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Why We Walk
Directed by Eric Bishop
United States | 55 min | 2022
WHY WE WALK follows the journey of three Black men, from across the globe, united to empower and de-stigmatize urban communities of color and their participation in the great outdoors. After years of city exploration, The Urban Hikers strive to introduce the power of walking to a community that has historically been underrepresented in this space.
Inspired by the story of the revolutionary abolitionist John Brown, The Urban Hikers embark on a life-changing backpacking pilgrimage from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia- the birthplace of the Civil War- to the nation’s capital in Washington, DC.
The Appalachian wilderness serves as a stage to address underlying racial identities and cultural differences within the collective. As tensions rise and provisions dwindle, the team must learn to work as one in order to reach their destination — Mile 0.
News & Reviews
Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021
The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022
The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022
The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022
The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022
The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022
The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022
The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022
The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022
“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada
“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic
“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight
“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada
“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner
“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine
“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press
“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio
“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee
“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director
“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest
“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness
“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio
“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times
“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif
As a storyteller, I seek to discover and present the fine line between real life and the transcendent.
My aim with WHY WE WALK is to demonstrate that humanity has the ability to grow and come together through exploration and dialogue.
We are made to walk, and to move forward.
Through hardship and death, Martin has developed a keen sense of the preciousness of every moment of life. This is something I also learned to appreciate after my mother’s prolonged battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the nineties. Like Martin, my experiences living with illness and death transformed my priorities in life. Living through this, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. I’m making Dear Audrey as a tribute to Audrey, Martin and his family. As we collectively pause during this new COVID era, we reset what’s important and turn with urgency towards living. In this spirit, Dear Audrey is a timely gift, a reminder of the choices we make, the families we create, and an invitation for all of us to take better care of each other.
Eric Bishop is an American documentary filmmaker. In 2016, Bishop graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Integrative Media & Film Studies.
Upon graduating college, the aspiring filmmaker worked part-time as a Lyft driver to supplement his freelance career. In an act of serendipity, Bishop met Vanny Mwamba, the future subject of his directorial debut film, as a passenger in his vehicle. In that brief, yet fateful car ride a spark was ignited.
Soon after, Bishop was invited to join Vanny and his group, The Urban Hikers, on their weekly hikes throughout downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. After years of routine urban exploration, Bishop participated with and documented the Hikers’ on their epic backpacking odyssey through Appalachian wilderness in 2019.
Ultimately, their curious friendship has solidified into a life-long one. Their collective purpose remains focused on bringing more folks into the righteous practice of walking and exploration —something that is needed now more than ever.
Director: Eric Bishop
Country: United States
Runtime: 55 min
Co-Director: Dean Crockett
Writer: Eric Bishop
Producers: The Urban Hikers, Eric Bishop
Animator: ]oe Walsh
Sound Score: Crutch of Memory
Sound Mix: Ben Sloan