Make the McKenzie Connection!

Friday film focuses on fires

Friday film focuses on fires Documentary explores recovery and avoidance

RAINBOW: For people attending the Elemental documentary event on September 30th, a cautionary warning might be needed for some. The movie includes images of homes being destroyed by flames and the radio chatter of first responders, which could be unnerving, especially to those who have lived through an evacuation. “It is real footage and it is real people’s stories,” explains Michael Sherman who is also a filmmaker.

Sherman, a McKenzie High School graduate who grew up in the area, has been instrumental in helping organize the Elemental movie event with a screening at the U.S. Basketball Academy this Friday night. He’s aware that some residents might feel rattled and has worked to ensure there will be mental and emotional resources and professionals at the event who can provide support.

“From being a filmmaker myself I know the goal is to share how the fires affected people and communities, but most importantly share what we can do about preventing so much community loss in the future,” he says. “It can be challenging to watch parts of this movie, but it also feels so important to come together and move forward through these challenging circumstances.”

Tripp Jennings, director of Elemental, will be attending the event and has worked for National Geographic for over a decade and won dozens of awards around the world. In 2020 Jennings created a series of shows for PBS called “Weathered” that is focused on extreme weather, climate, and how to prepare for climate extremes. He’s also been recording the impacts of fires on the land, communities, and the economies of the West.

Sherman encourages people to arrive at the event at 6 p.m, an hour before the screening, and mingle with representatives from various organizations - ranging from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry to the Pure Water Partners. Information about home hardening and preparing communities for wildfire will be available. Organizations will also be updating people about the process and progress of rebuilding from the Holiday Farm Fire.

Following the 74-minute film, panelists and local fire professionals will talk about the film and also answer questions from the audience.

“The goal of the event,” says Sherman “is to bring the McKenzie community together, provide resources for fire recovery and fire planning to prevent so much loss happening from wildfire in the future. This movie examines the best solutions for how we can most effectively protect our communities.”

The U.S. Basketball Academy will be hosting a free barbecue and McKenzie Mist will be providing water. Prior to attending the screening, people are requested to register at to produce a projected headcount. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. on Friday night, September 30th.


Reader Comments(0)