EXCLUSIVE: 1091 Media is teaming with the outdoor co-op REI to release Return to Mount Kennedy, a documentary helmed by Eric Becker that combines elements of history, politics, mountaineering and even some grunge, with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder providing original music.
A plan is underway for a fall theatrical release followed by an on-demand bow November 5. REI will also host in-store screenings nationwide.
The film’s plot sets its base-camp on March 20, 1965, when Bobby Kennedy became the first human to stand atop a peak in the Canadian Yukon that had just been named to honor his brother John F. Kennedy, assassinated two years earlier. His guide was Jim Whittaker, who at 28 had became the first American to summit Mt. Everest and later became CEO of REI. Whittaker and Kennedy became fast friends, with the former becoming RFK’s Washington state campaign chairman before Bobby Kennedy himself was assassinated.
The film features never-before-seen archival footage of Kennedy and Whittaker, and Becker picks up the story 50 years later, when Whittaker’s sons Bobby (a grunge compatriot of Vedder as manager of Mudhoney) and Leif, and RFK’s son Christopher, return to climb the mountain.
Check out the trailer below.
“Through our films partnerships, we produce stories that help audiences better understand why a life outdoors is a life well lived,” said Paolo Mottola, director of content and media at REI Co-op. “Return to Mt. Kennedy is a film that neatly ties together generations of American mountaineering, music and politics in a way that audiences are sure to enjoy.”
1091 Media acquired the film and TV division of The Orchard in January and has been streamlining its strategy, distributing 4-6 curated films a year. In July, it teamed with Greenwich Entertainment to acquire rights to Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice which has grossed $2.3 million since its September release.
Here’s the Kennedy trailer:
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