Two Covington Companies Produce Award-Winning Documentary Playing Film Festivals
Like Harvey, Like Son is a documentary film chronicling a father-son adventure along the 2,198-mile Appalachian Trail.
The feature-length film was produced by Covington-based ROAD iD and Harris Media.
In August, the film won "Mind Body Spirit Director's Award" at the Aspen Film Festival in Colorado. It is scheduled to play the Over-the-Rhine Film Festival on October 5.
In May of last year, Cincinnati teacher and ultrarunner Harvey Lewis set out to break the record for the fastest assisted completion of the entire trail, which meant running upwards of 50 miles a day over steep, rocky terrain and enduring unpredictable weather.
Harvey's 78-year-old father (also named Harvey) played the role of crew chief through the entire six-week affair, trundling up and down the mountains in old, converted work van.
After ROAD iD employed Harris Media to shoot a commercial with Lewis in the fall of 2017, it was decided a larger project was in order. A few months later, the two companies would reconnect to document the upcoming record-breaking journey.
When Lewis's father entered the picture, the focus changed from record attempt to something much deeper; a family story about growing apart, reconnecting, and discovering who we really are.
Set in the lush, wild, Appalachian mountains, Lewis's determination and positive attitude is inspiring and infectious.
The Aspen Mountain Film Festival garnered steep competition, including Ernie & Joe, an HBO-bound film about two Texas police officers, and Qualified, an ESPN-backed documentary about the first female Indianapolis 500 qualifier.
The announcement in Aspen came as a surprise to the Like Harvey, Like Son team.
"My head is still spinning," said director Rudy Harris after the win. "No shame, I started to cry. It's amazing what our little but mighty crew can accomplish."
The film is Harris's directorial debut.
"On day one, we sloshed through a torrential downpour as we hiked up the mountain in the dark," said producer Mike Trimpe. "The camera gear was soaked, and you couldn't see a thing. I realized that morning how tough this was really going to be. Before it was all over, we'd be wading into rivers, hanging onto the side of mountains, and working fifteen plus hour days. But Rudy and his crew were total pros and their passion for making this thing was obvious.
“Our hope was to create something that everyone could relate to. After all, the parent-child relationship is universal. But we never thought we'd see this kind of response. It just feels good to see the audience connecting with it.”
“Watching an audience fall in love with the Harveys and their story was the highest honor," said producer and drone operator T.J. Bitter. "The award at that point became a footnote to an already awesome experience.”
Like Harvey, Like Son screens again at the Over-the-Rhine Film Festival in a showing at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on October 5. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.