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Filmmakers trek Kansas on foot for documentary

October 29, 2018 GMT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Two filmmakers traveled hundreds of miles on foot in Kansas to create a documentary on the beauty of their home state and the people who live there.

Filmmakers Patrick Ross and Joshua Nathan will show a portion of their film, “Kansas: An Eclogue,” at Lawrence’s Watkins Museum of History on Friday, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The screening will be followed by a discussion with a panel of writers and filmmakers who also have found inspiration in the state.


Ross and Nathan trekked across Kansas for seven weeks in 2015, documenting monuments, land and people.

“The walk was very important to us to stay on the back roads, stay on the dirt roads, see who we met and let that guide the trip in the moment,” Nathan said.

The filmmakers decided to begin in Garden City and walk to each of the “Eight Wonders of Kansas” selected by Marci Penner, executive director of cultural preservation group the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The wonders include the Monument Rocks and Castle Rock in Grove County, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Chase County and the Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Barton and Stafford counties.

Nathan and Ross finished their journey in Lawrence.

The filmmakers didn’t plan where they would stay during their hike, instead relying on Kansas hospitality to find safe places to sleep.

“We would approach farmhouses with our bags, we’d knock on the door and explain who we were and what we were doing and we’d ask if we could camp,” Nathan said. “More often than not, we would actually be allowed inside into a spare bedroom.”

Ross said the approach led them to meet many people along the way who supported their project.

“The beauty of our journey was that we discovered this ripple effect of coming in contact with someone in isolated, rural communities and for them to pass along to their close friends or people along our route that we might come in contact with,” Ross said. “In the modern age, if you are a kind and trustworthy individual, people in Kansas seem to open their doors.”


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,