Lodestar

'One veteran dies of suicide every 65 minutes.' - VA (2013)

Despite this harrowing statistic there are effective interventions capable of reversing the pattern of self-destruction, not least of which is nature-therapy. Increasingly recognized among academic journals and scientific studies for its restorative qualities – therapies like exposure to “blue spaces” (rivers, lakes, oceans) can provide a reflective canvas for people suffering from mental health issues to heal. Yet despite having an apparent abundance of nature on our doorstep, as the world’s population becomes more and more concentrated in urban areas access to natural areas is becoming increasingly restrictive.

Lodestar explores coastal access as an under-utilized mental health treatment, highlighting the erosion of public access laws in favor of private ownership and big business. Told through the story of one Veterans experiences of PTSD and depression against the backdrop of his kayaking trip to the Oregon coast.

https://vimeo.com/345364932

  • Paul Kirby
    Director
  • Paul Kirby
    Writer
  • Paul Kirby
    Producer
  • Paul Kirby
    Key Cast
  • Evan Johnson
    Editor
  • Dustin Saigo
    Camera
  • Paul Kirby
    Camera
  • Paul Kirby
    Sound
  • Dustin Saigo
    Sound
  • Evan Johnson
    Sound
  • BenSound.com
    Music
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 6, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • St Lawrence International Film Festival - SLIFF

    Winner
  • Digital Monthly Online Film Festival - DMOFF

    Official Selection
  • Impact DOCS

    Winner
  • The Annual Mountain Shadow Film Festival
    Walnut Creek
    United States
    September 20, 2019
    Finalist
  • Oregon Documentary Film Festival - ODFF
    Portland
    United States
    August 11, 2019
    Best Oregon Film Award
Director Biography - Paul Kirby

I graduated nursing school on September 11th, 2001. I have extensive medical experience as both an RN and a medic in a variety of specialty areas​

I enlisted in the United States military in 2011 and went on to be the oldest solider in my graduating class in the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning, Georgia. I deployed to Afghanistan as a special operations combat medic with 2nd Ranger Battalion. I left the military in 2015 with an honorable discharge and a medal for "intestinal fortitude".

I enrolled in Southern Oregon Universities' Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies, majoring in Native American Studies, Documentary Film Production and Outdoor Adventure Leadership.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I am interested in symbiotic relationships between people and their environments. My focus is on marginalized groups, including Veterans, the Indigenous People of North America and Canada, and individuals or communities seeking context to reframe crisis.

My research and practice examines nature immersion as both an intervention and upstream investment in resilience, addressing what are often taken to be personal and mental health problems. My work explores challenging issues like the detrimental effects of urbanization, homelessness, and suicide.

Themes of social organizing and resistance through the use of methods like participatory action research and documentary production inform my work.