Staff pick film, Ascend, directed by Simon Perkins is a film following the life of Jon Wilson, who as a young adult lost his leg to cancer. Mountain biking has played a critical role in helping him sink his teeth back into life.
Simon Perkins is dedicated to capturing the emotions and rush one feels while fly fishing or hunting on camera. His media company, Sharptail Media, stands by a similar goal of documenting the thrills and adventures of the outdoors.
I have been friends with Jon since I was in kindergarten, so I knew him before and after he lost his leg to cancer shortly after college. He has always been the same person, with the same personality, values, humor, and kindness, but his amputation (and the ways in which it affected his life) definitely gave me some perspective that took a little while to process. I didn’t look at him any differently, but I had new emotions that made me look at life a little differently.
Obviously, the coolest part was being humbled trying to keep up with him on a mountain bike during filming. He is a beast. And even though it was exhausting chasing him around with a camera (it was just me by myself), the whole thing put a huge smile on my face. I am thankful for the opportunity to put this film together. It gave me yet another chance to slow down and reflect on the amazing person [Jon] is.
Ascend has screened at outdoor and adventure film festivals all over the country including Banff Mountain Film Festival, Crested Butte Film Festival, Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival and Mountainfilm.
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