500 Days in the Wild AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT


AUGUST 25, 2020 | Gemini-nominated filmmaker Dianne Whelan celebrates $25,000 USD Audience Choice Award, DocPitch 2020,  DOCLANDS Documentary Film Festival. More here.

500 Days in the Wild is a feature documentary about an artist’s journey to look for lost wisdom on the world’s longest trail. A story that calls us back to a place of reverence for the earth.

Whelan, now in the final months of her ecological and reconciliation pilgrimage along The Great Trail (the Trans Canada Trail), recently hit her five-year anniversary filming her next documentary. She’ll be stepping off the Trail later this year, and into film production in 2021.

View film trailer here. View one-sheet here.


"Since I began this journey five years ago, the currency to make this film has been human kindness.

Winning the audience award is another manifestation of that kindness. When they announced we had won, a tsunami wave of tears swept over me. As I lay in bed sleepless after the awards show, I realized I didn’t win that award, we did.

The collective support of every one of you who voted. Deep gratitude." ~ Dianne Whelan

Mothers of the Film - PowHERhouse is pleased to be working closely with Dianne as an Impact Producer, building relationships, support, momentum, and awareness throughout the film's production and launch. Mothers of the Film invites Canadian women to proactively participate in backing independent film.

This campaign provides an opportunity to showcase the power of collective support and all that is possible when we come together for the purpose of creating impact.

"Concrete crumbles, wood rots, while meaningful stories live on. Today, the stories we see are decided by algorithms. Determined by what is in fashion. This film comes from heart, comes from truth, and is made by women. All those who join us as Mothers of the Film will have their names listed in the film's credits. Be a part of this film. Be part of HERstory. We invite you to be part of this collective collaboration in creation and homage to a land and its story that has come before us, will be here long after us, and holds all that we have forgotten which needs to be remembered at this time.”

~ Dianne Whelan

In partnership with CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, your one-time $1,000 tax-deductible contribution as an impact-backer of 500 Days in the Wild would play a significant support role in helping us to fundraise for this project, providing complete creative control to remain in the hands of Dianne as a truly independent filmmaker and her amazing team of producers, editors, interns, and of course, impact champions.

Learn more about the Mothers of the Film campaign - download our Info Sheet or book a conversation with Charlene now.

The Project - Dianne’s journey began five years ago, Canada Day, July 1, 2015, when she set out on an ecological pilgrimage to honour the land, the water, our ancestors, and to search for the wisdom needed to protect the earth for future generations, while simultaneously filming a documentary about the experience. The feature documentary culled from hundreds of hours of filming will be a weave of adventure film, personal reflections, and stunning captures of wildlife and landscapes. The people she encounters are indigenous elders she pays her respects to along the way, friends who occasionally join her on the trail, and locals in the communities she passes through.

“At 50, I found myself at a crossroads with the world no longer making sense. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial unrest and a recession, a new story has emerged on the Trail, the realization that we will not survive traveling solo. Partnerships with CPAWS and with Charlene SanJenko of PowHERhouse, our Indigenous Impact Producer, are the way we move forward together. 

DIANNE WHELAN is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist. She is no stranger to shooting indie films in extreme locations. She’s filmed on Mt. Everest for her award-winning documentary film 40 Days at Base Camp and on the most northern coastline of Canada for This Land. www.diannewhelan.com

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Dianne Whelan, please contact Charlene SanJenko, Indigenous Impact Producer at

(604) 741.7985  •  charlene@powherhouse.com  •  powherhouse.com  

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