Heartland Film Festival to Host World Premiere of 'Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story,' Doc About 'Offbeat' Shoeless Climate Change Activist
The New Yorker compared Baumer, who set about walking across America barefoot, to eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman
The Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis is preparing to host the world premiere this week of Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story, a documentary about an idiosyncratic poet and environmentalist who set out to walk shoeless across the country.
Baumer embarked on his Forrest Gump-like trek in October 2016 to bring attention to climate change and water shortages, narrating "his walk in self-recorded videos, sharing his offbeat take on life and how we all can make a difference," according to the film's website.
On his walk across country, he posted photos, videos, poems, and blog posts daily, swinging the camera from his face to the road while talking about what he saw.
Julie Sokolow directed and Olivia Vaughn and Danny Yourd produced the film, which premieres Friday evening (October 11) at the festival, with a second screening on Saturday (details here). Sokolow and Vaughn, along with subjects Mary and Jim Baumer are expected to be on hand for the premiere.
In 2017 The New Yorker magazine wrote about Baumer after his quixotic journey took a tragic turn.
"On his walk across country, he posted photos, videos, poems, and blog posts daily, swinging the camera from his face to the road while talking about what he saw," Anna Heyward noted in her piece. "His videos were intercut by rants about the political causes he was obsessed by—access to clean water, the degradation of the environment, social discrimination. His style was to yell into the camera, in a voice reminiscent of Andy Kaufman, or of a sardonic game-show host."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.