MINE – A Documentary, SUP Adventure & Social Impact Initiative
Evan Sutter – author, social entrepreneur, speaker, activist, and avid Stand Up Paddler – is on a mission to help spread curiosity, well-being, and aliveness. A life-changing adventure living in a hut in the forests of a Buddhist Monastery in 2013 opened Evan to a new way of thinking and looking at life. This inspired the creation of an array of social and environmental impact projects: The Ban the Bag Environmental Campaign, Soft-Sand Walking Meditations on the famous Bondi Beach, The Kids of Bogota Engaged Education Initiative, founding The Happiness Compass to run programs and events, and later Hapzly to better identify, and support, the businesses doing good things for our planet and people. Evan has delivered keynote talks about the Business of Happiness and Individual Flourishing on stages around the world, he talks about philosophy and psychology on his podcast Sutterfaction, and recently released a new book meets journal to develop well-being skills titled Awake. He is stoked to be working on his new documentary, Mine, to be an extension of this mission and to continue planting seeds for thought, discussion, and change.
Mine is an adventure documentary meets environmental call to arms, that skilfully connects the dots between the emergence of “mine” culture and the impact of mining and money on the Hunter Region (and far beyond). Follow two men, author Evan Sutter and his builder brother Jarrod, stand up paddle board down the majestic but at risk Hunter River 350km to the Pacific Ocean (source to sea). As the brothers embark on the challenging paddle from the mountains to the ocean, see never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with concerned locals, expert water scientists, children, environmentalists, politicians, and indigenous elders impacted by the rapidly changing landscapes and ideologies.
Physically challenging, intellectually eye opening, and visually stunning, the brother’s river paddle is thought-provoking, inspiring, entertaining, and outrageously important. How can we balance our pursuit of wealth with looking after the beauty of our wild places? Can choosing experiences over things help bring everything back into balance? Can showing our young ones the immense beauty of nature be the best defence in the fight against climate change? Can rethinking our relationship with work, health, family, love, consumerism, money and power help us to lead more meaningful and enjoyable lives?
The plan is to embark on a wide ranging and deeply interconnected campaign to inform and inspire. In partnership with environmental and community organisations we’re inviting artists to join us on the adventure. Their experiences and perspectives will help form thought-provoking and highly interactive events across Australia. For example, a painter might create a piece from a beautiful landscape along the river, a photographer capture a local family, or a poet find a way to share a unique viewpoint. Alongside live music, talks, and the feature screening, this will help to drive further discussion, inspire ongoing action and raise more funds for grassroots initiatives. The Mine documentary will be the centrepiece of a campaign that aims to plant seeds for thought and change, undertaken in collaboration with a whole range of stakeholders to illustrate the importance of connection, community, commitment, and play.
Evan, and his brother Jarrod, are lovers of nature, of the ocean, rainforests, rivers, trees and everything in between. They love looking after their bodies and minds, and when they are not in the ocean catching waves or in the river paddling, they can be found rolling and stretching, rehabbing, and preparing for another adventure. They worked together on the Ban the Bag Campaign, which some 6 years later (in 2022) was written into state law. They worked on launching screenings and talks about protecting the Tarkine, Australia’s largest temperate rainforest. As avid stand up paddle boarders they are excited to use it as a vehicle to tell an important story in their film project, Mine. To showcase the beauty of our rivers – which we too often just rush over on the way to somewhere else – our people, and our ecosystems in order to engage, inspire and drive important change. And, if, after some 350km paddling from source to sea (and maybe even a trail run to get to the right water depth), their legs still have it in them, they will switch to their surf sups and play in the ocean (to further illustrate how everything connects to everything else).