A new documentary takes people from one end of Lake Champlain to the other. Two local filmmakers paddled the length of the lake to show people why it faces an uncertain future.
UVM student Jordan Rowell and local filmmaker Duane Peterson teamed up to canoe the length of Lake Champlain examining the environmental challenges it faces. The result is a forty minute documentary titled ‘No Other Lake‘. Both Rowell and Peterson are Vermont natives and shared that their experience was a learning process.
“I realized pretty quickly that despite growing up here, I didn’t really know anything about the lake,” said Rowell, who is the director and the producer. “And so as soon as I started to learn about the lake, very quickly you realize a lot of the environmental challenges that exist here, and I thought there was an opportunity to share the story of this place.”
The duo describes ‘No Other Lake‘ as an adventure-conservation documentary. They’re worried for the future of Lake Champlain.
“The people who live in the Lake Champlain basin will kind of grow apart from the lake, and continue living without a deep connection to it, or without thinking much about it,” said Duane Peterson, who is the cinematographer and editor.
Rowell says the problems facing Lake Champlain can be overwhelming, especially for young people, and together, they aim to educate viewers on the big issues. “So our film has three goals,” said Rowell. “We want to inspire people to spend more time on the lake, encourage them to see issues from someone else’s perspective and to challenge people to become more active stewards of this place. More than anything, we hope that this film inspires people just to reconsider their own relationship with the lake and I think that starts with just getting out there more, getting to know it, and really understanding what it’s challenges are, and really what it’s capable of.”
The documentary is nearly eighteen months in the making, following the filmmaker’s two-week, 120-mile paddle in August 2021. The name ‘No Other Lake’ has an important meaning. “There is not another place that we can go, there is no planet B, there is no other lake. If we can’t keep this place healthy, there’s not going to be anywhere else for us to go.”
‘No Other Lake’ premiers on April 21 at 7 pm at Main Street Landing in Burlington. Tickets can be reserved on their website. The screening is free, with a suggested donation of $10 to support the Lake Champlain Committee to manage the future of the Lake Champlain paddler’s trail.