Hank Leukart is passionate about using technology to share compelling, immersive stories, and especially well-versed in launching film projects combining travel to unusual locales with socially-conscious issues like environmental conservation, human rights, and education. He’s worked as a producer on many iconic documentary television shows, including World’s Toughest Race (Amazon Prime); The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and The American Baking Competition (CBS); and Expedition Impossible (ABC). He recently directed his first feature documentary, “The Mars Academy,” about NASA scientists helping under-served kids explore Mars with a real spacecraft. He’s also won film festival awards for his short adventure movies, “Bears Ears” and “Rattlesnake to Westwater.”
Hank Leukart and Jake Jenkins, who star in the film, have been friends since high school. The two starred in another packrafting film called Bears Ears, which appeared in festivals a few years ago, including MOFF. Their Westwater Canyon trip wasn’t planned; they discovered they were both in Utah at the same time coincidentally (Hank for work and Jake on vacation with his family), so Hank convinced Jake with only a few days notice to head into the wilderness with the packrafts.