NatureTrack Film Fest to hold special spotlight screening of documentary 'By Hand'

NatureTrack Film Fest to hold special spotlight screening of documentary 'By Hand'

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020720 Kellen Keene

Co-director Kellen Keene, the documentary's subjects twin brothers Casey and Ryan Higginbotham and the film's composer, Todd Hannigan, will be debuting the film "By Hand."

NatureTrack Film Festival will feature the documentary "By Hand" at its third annual Film Festival spotlight event Saturday, March 21, at St. Mark's In-the-Valley, 2901 Nojoqui Ave. in Los Olivos.

Co-director Kellen Keene, the documentary's subjects twin brothers Casey and Ryan Higginbotham and the film's composer, Todd Hannigan, will debut the film.

The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, wine from Grimms Bluff Winery, and beer from M. Special Brewing Company. A screening of "By Hand" is set for 5:45 p.m. in Stacy Hall, followed by a question-and-answer session with the film's creators.

"By Hand" tells the story of Casey and Ryan, Pismo Beach natives, as they embark on a 2,200-mile adventure from Alaska to Mexico on 18- foot paddleboards. In the story, the twins attempt to escape comfort, reconnect to the natural world and set a new bar for ocean adventure, carrying nothing more than two dry bags of gear each and a camera — no support boats, no paddles. 

"I approach every project with an attitude that the story comes first," Keene said. "All it took to spark my interest was hearing the words come out of their mouths, 'We’re going to paddle self-contained and unassisted from Alaska to Mexico, all by hand.' This was an unheard of commitment."

"By Hand" is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the mentorship found in the natural world, a testament to human potential and an unspoken promise to never quit on your brother.

The film premiered at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

A second screening of "By Hand" will be held on Sunday, March 22, at 2:45 p.m. at the Los Olivos Community Organization Hall (The Grange, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos).

Tickets for the "By Hand" Spotlight evening are $30. Spotlight events are included with the festival's All-Access Pass. For more film and ticket options, visit www.naturetrackfilmfestival.org.

Photos: Public gathers to celebrate the opening of Pismo Preserve

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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