The Wintering Grounds

Columbus has created a really cool, renewed community, built right next to this epic whitewater feature, for recreation… and this [film] represents an awesome opportunity to tell the story in a way that doesn’t seem like a commercial. Ultimately, people are gonna see this and think, Whoa! There’s world-class whitewater an hour and a half from Atlanta? There’s world-class whitewater that is so great that people are coming here from Europe, people are coming here from Canada? People are so stoked to come and join us that they’re willing to live in their vehicles for a couple of weeks, or months, at a time!”

Stephen Wright, professional whitewater kayaker

The Wintering Grounds is a short documentary film about a nomadic kayaking community that has sprung up since urban whitewater rapids were restored on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia.

The eponymous title comes from what a group of globe-traveling, world-class, professional competitive freestyle kayakers have named their beloved wintertime campsite. This cast of true characters gathers downtown each winter to sharpen their skills in the mild weather and warmer waters, and to share camaraderie and companionship with fellow competitors and their families.

This story is specifically unique to and will be filmed on location in Columbus, Georgia, with fresh perspective and the vision of award-winning documentary filmmaker and industry veteran Jeff Springer (Rodents of Unusual Size). Jeff’s forte is covering counter-culture, with a talent for telling human stories (see Jeff’s previous work here and at his IMDb page).

Capturing the power of the river and these apex athletes, some native to Columbus, the film will also reveal the community’s welcoming enthusiasm and support for this close-knit crew that seasonally convenes in Columbus … the only place in the world where they can do so in winter.

They call it The Wintering Grounds.

Local film production, telling local stories, hiring & training local crew

Azilia Films sifts culture’s gray areas and searches the globe for compelling, distinguished stories that illustrate humanity’s vast complexity and diversity. We produce thought-provoking, educational films and documentaries that examine the reality of the unique and the unusual. We have our sights set on growing documentary production in our community, from local sub-culture in our own backyard, with the capability of producing outstanding, timeless documentary films around the world.

Working with CSU & the Film Certificate Program

CSU’s Film Production Certificate program was created to develop a local, sustainable workforce for film crews, to include post-production. Building documentary film production on a local level gives students the opportunity to learn directly from seasoned film industry professionals. Documentaries shot on location in Columbus offer the opportunity for mentorships and workshops and having students ‘shadow’ certain crew positions for hands-on, on-site training. This experience can translate directly into real jobs.