With Spirit

After experiencing loss, a new mother races through grief at the edge of the world.

Accomplished endurance athlete Chelsey Magness has experienced some of the toughest adventure events in the world... but perhaps none as challenging as becoming a mother. After losing one twin during birth and beginning to raise the other, she decides to return to where it all began. Alongside her adventure racing team, she enters the Patagonia Expedition Race, touted as the world's 'last wild race', one of the most rugged and grueling expedition races on the planet. Pushing her mind, body, and spirit to the limits, she races across the Patagonian wilderness for seven days in an attempt to beat the environment, her competition, and her grief.

  • Scott Almendinger McGrath
  • Chelsey Magness
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Adventure, Women, Sports
  • Runtime:
    51 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 21, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Chile, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Scott Almendinger McGrath

A visual storyteller with his head in the sky but his feet on the ground, Scott has enjoyed a career as a cinematographer, camera operator, and (now) documentary filmmaker working on both scripted and unscripted projects, often following athletes in remote field assignments. Perhaps it’s just a rebellion against specialization, but he believes that stories and clients deserve to be listened to, not pigeonholed. While controlled shoots have their perks, it's not long before Scott always finds himself returning to the outdoors and following the endless possibilities of drama and natural beauty.

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Director Statement

With Spirit explores the triangular relationship between pain, joy, and adventure. By being intimately close to Chelsey through the highs and lows, the film erases the audience's barrier to the material. As the story unfolded in front of my lens, I knew it was a challenge worth taking on for my directorial debut. More than anything, I wish that it brings hope to others.