American Documentary Film Festival to Present
World Premiere of WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO.
Lydia B. Smith’s “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” will receive a double world premiere — first at the Ashland International Film Festival on April 5, followed by the American Documentary Film Festival in Palm Springs the next day. Four years in the making, the film has already attracted so much attention that all four Ashland screenings have sold out, with the opening of that festival still three weeks away.
Called a “brilliant documentary” by actor Martin Sheen, “Walking the Camino” captures the personal and spiritual reawakening of six hikers as they embark on a 500-mile journey over an ancient path in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago. Though largely unheard of in the United States, the Camino has served as a major passageway for literally millions of people for at least 12 centuries. Steeped in legend, it is known, for instance, that during the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar patrolled the route to ensure pilgrims’ safety. Also, that Charlemagne and Francis of Assisi were among history’s most important personages to have made the pilgrimage themselves.
Through this new documentary, we gain new insights into why the Camino has become a Mecca to hundreds of thousands of new visitors each year. By following the film’s featured pilgrims on their own journeys, we can grasp what it is about the Camino that possesses everyday people to gladly spend weeks, even months, overcoming blisters, physical exhaustion, and loneliness for a chance to experience the transforming effect of the Camino’s extraordinary beauty and mystique.
Lydia B. Smith makes her feature film directorial debut with “Walking the Camino.” This American filmmaker had previously lived in Barcelona for six years, where she worked as a production coordinator for Spanish, Dutch, English and American television shows and commercials. Over the last two decades, she has traveled the world producing hard-hitting specials for CNN and PBS, as well as directed her own educational shorts on such inspiring subjects as the positive impact that children with disabilities can have on those around them.
Producer/director Lydia B. Smith and Annie O’Neil, one of the six hikers featured in the film, will be present for a Q&A after the AmDocs screenings, as follows:
World Premiere — Saturday, April 6, 2013 — 4:30 pm — Cinemark Century Theatres at The River in Rancho Mirage
Sunday, April 7, 201 3— 11:30 am — Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs