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Renowned filmmaker shoots the region

The culmination of 20 years of backcountry filmmaking experience shows in this latest offering by Leon Lorenz. - Photo submitted
The culmination of 20 years of backcountry filmmaking experience shows in this latest offering by Leon Lorenz.
— image credit: Photo submitted

For the past 20 years, BC filmmaker Leon Lorenz has been filming the wildlife of the province. His unique solo guerilla-style technique allows viewers to see the denizens of the woods, flatlands and mountains in a way that more intrusive teams often miss.

While filming around Cranbrook, he introduced his latest movie, “Wildest of the Wild” and it doesn’t disappoint. From large animals such as grizzlies to caribou to bighorn sheep to smaller creatures such as the hoary marmot and the northern flicker, this movie takes viewers around the majority of the province showing what lives just beyond the borders of our cities and towns.

Many people may also recognize Lorenz’s name from an article that ran in the CBC Web site about him getting charged by a mother grizzly and her cub. That footage is featured in this movie.

“I never got a scratch, but it sure was exciting,” said Lorenz.

That segment of the movie shows the mother grizzly and her cub becoming aware of Lorenz. They then charge from a good distance away, alternating between directly running at Lorenz and moving laterally back and forth between trees. Just when the bear is within striking distance, the viewer hears a loud pop and sees the smoke from the .44 calibre pistol Lorenz carries with him. Thankfully, that action frightened the bear off and as Lorenz had shot into the air, both he and the grizzly came away unscathed.

“You really never know what they are going to do, so you have to be prepared,” said Lorenz.

To create this latest feature, Lorenz said that he collected more than 250 hours of film that he had to distill to 60 minutes of what he considered to be the best footage. And for anyone who has seen some of his previous work, the movie maintains a balance of professionalism and family values that embue it with a sense of realism. The reason he is able to get such stunning footage is that he spends so much time in each area that he is accepted by the animals as if he is part of an extended family.

In Cranbrook, the movie is available at Mountain Man Outdoors and Lotus Books. for more information, visit www.wildlifevideos.ca

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