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A feature-length documentary about the first African American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak – #ExpDenali
742 backers pledged $111,125 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


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An American Ascent Screens on PBS/AfroPop Tonight - MLK Day

Posted by Distill Productions (Creator)

An American Ascent is screening tonight on a television near you! 

We're proud that people are celebrating #MLK day and #BlackHistoryMonth with screenings of our film. No better time to get inspired and tackle the issues of diversity in the outdoors. 

Please join our Facebook group for all the latest news:

Ways you can watch An American Ascent include: 


PBS/AfroPop Broadcast on Jan. 16th 

Book a screening 

Attend a screening (upcoming)

Thanks again to all our amazing Kickstarter backers. You made this possible. 

Your Online Copy of An American Ascent!

Posted by Distill Productions (Creator)

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

An American Ascent

Posted by Distill Productions (Creator)

 Hello backers,

It's been a long road from climbing Denali with the team to editing the film, but we finally got there. Thank you for your patience! We know you've been waiting for 18 months now and we're excited to get the film to you. You'll receive an online link to An American Ascent soon. We hope you love it and can't wait to hear your comments. 

In the meantime, we've got some exciting news. We've been accepted to The San Diego Black Film Festival. The film will be up for Best Documentary on January 31st. 

One of our producers, James Mills, has authored a book about the climb called "The Adventure Gap". Check out upcoming dates where you can hear him talk and pick up a copy

Please check out the website with news and updates at You can also see our Facebook page at

Official Film Promo

Posted by Distill Productions (Creator)

Hello backers,

The last time we sent out an update, we had just returned from Denali and were excited to get started turning the expedition into a film. Well, six months has flown by, we've been busy, and we have quite a lot of news to share.

First, hold on to your seats, because we've just released the official promo for the film. We're pretty excited about how's it's turned out, and we would love to hear what you think as well.

The other big news is that one of our photos is on the cover of Sierra Magazine this month. This is just one of many examples of your support directly promoting diversity in the outdoors.

NOLS events around the country have also been using our footage and photographs to help generate excitement about the outdoors in communities of color - many more are scheduled. Check out where you can be a part of future NOLS events here.

Director Andy Adkins was interviewed for a Huffington Post blog piece about the filmmaking challenges specific to the project. Andy and photographer Hudson Henry have been doing slideshows on the climb, and more are scheduled in the next few months.

And in case you missed it, we wrote up an account of the shooting challenges on our own blog here.

All this means that the project is getting a lot of attention - and we couldn't be happier about that.

We will update you soon on the status of the film itself, which is now deep in postproduction. We have been working with James Mills on story detail. He has been invaluable at providing broader context for this issue, and will be releasing a book on the topic later this year. Stay tuned for more updates via the Distill Facebook page.

Thank you for making all of this a reality,

George and the Expedition Denali Team

In The Can

Posted by Distill Productions (Creator)
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