The official film trailer for the Surviving the Fundy Footpath documentary was released today. The documentary, directed by award-winning film-maker Craig Norris, follows first-time hiker, Bruce Persaud, as he attempts to tackle the most difficult wilderness trail in Atlantic Canada: the Fundy Footpath.
The Fundy Footpath is a grueling 50km seaside hike along the Bay of Fundy. Spanning from St. Martins, New Brunswick, to Fundy National Park, the hike has recently gained notoriety as one of the best hikes in the world. Hikers must carefully time their hike to coincide with low tide times, or risk getting trapped by the highest tides in the world, something that happened to a couple unfortunate hikers in 2015. Several missions are launched to rescue hikers on the trail each year, consuming significant time and resources.
It’s clear by watching the official trailer for the film that newbie Persaud is in for a rough go. He’s never slept on the ground, thinks that a bag of apples and some peanut butter is going to get him through five days of hiking, and doesn’t know how to… conduct his business like a bear in the woods.
Lucky for Persaud, he’s got some great help with him, in the form of Marc Leger, FFP Trail Master, his father Alonzo Leger, FFP Trail Founder and experienced hiker and film producer Ben Phillips.
Norris says the idea for the film originated from a deep respect for the trail. “The footpath is an awesome trail, Ben and I have been hiking it for years, and we thought more people should know about it. We also knew the trail is usually underestimated by first-timers so we wanted to make a doc that would show what it’s like to underestimate the FFP. Our goals are very simple – We want more people to hike it and we want there to be fewer FFP search and rescue missions,” says Norris.
Phillips was the one who found Persaud, but Norris wasn’t sure they had the right guy. That is, until he met him. “Ben found Bruce. He described him as a GIS technician that was from Toronto and was working in Alma. Honestly, I wasn’t sold. I thought this guy was one of Ben’s nerdy science buddies. Eventually, I went out to Alma to meet him and after talking to him for ten seconds, I was like: “Shut up Bruce, I’m going to get the camera”“.
As for whether Persaud and crew make it through the trail in one piece, you’ll have to watch the film. Surviving the Fundy Footpath will be screened as part of the province-wide Tideland Documentary Film Festival, along with several other pieces of Norris’ work.