Video: The Sticking Place: An Interactive Documentary (Portrait of An Athlete: Leah Callahan)

Canadian wrestler’s journey from small town BC to London Olympics focus of interactive documentary, The Sticking Place follows young athlete as she tackles her Olympic dreams.

With each wrestling match showdown, 24 year-old Leah Callahan’s journey from a driven athlete growing up in Mackenzie, British Columbia to becoming the youngest member on the Canadian Olympic wrestling team has taken guts, perseverance and a lot of hard work.

Her story is the focus of the new interactive documentary, The Sticking Place, directed by filmmakers Josephine Anderson and Brittany Baxter of Vancouver based Moosestash Films.Both were so inspired after watching the young athlete compete in 2011, they decided to follow the freestyle wrestler on her way to achieving her lifelong dream of competing in the Olympic Games.

This August, Leah will be closer than ever to fulfilling her dream as she and her teammates on the Canadian Olympic wrestling team compete at the London Summer Games.

In addition to a compelling storyline, it’s the interactive nature of the documentary that makes The Sticking Place a fascinating experience. In this choose-your-own-adventure format, the user can navigate their own way through Leah’s most intimate moments, interacting with each screen’s contents according to their interests and impulses while learning about Leah’s journey at their own pace. This format encourages each viewer to experience the film in a unique way, ultimately allowing them to relate to the story on a personal level. There are three main hubs that show Leah’s journey and allow the user to explore her childhood, her recent experiences and struggles, and finally her climactic Olympic qualifier.

“The Sticking Place uses the strengths of the online medium to turn what could be just a typical sports documentary into an innovative exploration of the thoughtful life,” says Anderson. ” The user can wander through Leah’s development not just as an athlete, but also as a human being. Her story matters because in one way or another, we’re all wrestling with ourselves and the world.”

As a young girl in Mackenzie, British Columbia, Leah excelled as an athlete and discovered a passion for wrestling at an early age. In her first year, she landed a spot on the varsity roster at the University of Calgary and has had a successful career since, winning her first international gold medal in May 2011, at the Pan AmericanChampionships in Chile. But her latest achievement, defeating the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Wang Jiao at the 2012 World Cup in Japan, really proved she is a force to be reckoned with.

“Her story is pretty amazing and we believe the audience will leave feeling just as inspired as we were the first time we watched her compete,” says Anderson. “We are excited to join her in London this summer, to watch all these years of hard work finally pay off.”

The Sticking Place was produced with assistance from the National Film Board of Canada’s FilmmakerAssistance Program. The online platform will go live Wednesday, June 27th following a media launch to be held at 1:00 pm at One Thousand Rivers, Academy of Arts and Learning in Vancouver.

Filmmakers Josephine Anderson and Brittany Baxter as well as Leah Callahan herself will be in attendance at the media launch. There will also be an opportunity for invited guests to explore The Sticking Place interactive documentary website, ask questions and watch a short demo of the live web project.

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James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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