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and the



Adrian filming - Photo by Seth Iverson (




Adventure Minnesota Films and the Among the Wild film project were born in June 2011. They began as a vision and quickly became a reality. To launch the project, nominations were accepted for athletes to profile and $15,000 was raised through a Kickstarter campaign. Athletes were chosen for inclusion into the project based on their location, story, and passion for their pursuit. In September 2012, we announced the four athletes to be profiled: Bonnie Moebeck for endurance sports, Jeff Engel for rock climbing, the Red Danglers for whitewater kayaking and Justin Bakken for adventure racing.

Over the course of the last several years, we have worked toward our original goal of completing four short films, and as with all great journeys, there have been many twists and turns in the road. Things changed over the years. Some projects were lost to time and new ones found their way to us. 

At this time, we have completed four films: The Arrowhead 135, Jeff's World, Waterway Jay and Ode to Minnesota. All of our films are available to view on YouTube or Vimeo and are brought to you by our sponsor John Reamer and Associates.



27 Minutes  |  2019

Ode to Minnesota was filmed in August and September 2018 and premiered in November 2019. The film follows two adventurers as they trek 1,000 miles around the arrowhead region of Minnesota by bike, canoe and foot on a self-made expedition using primarily Minnesota-made gear and with their two dogs in tow.

Jay by river.jpg


7 Minutes  |  2018

Waterway Jay was filmed in June 2018 and released in November 2018. This seven-minute film features Jay Gustafson as he paddles for progress on his 4,300-mile expedition in response to Governor Dayton's call for water action. Watch this one man's journey to save water.



62 Minutes  |  2017

Jeff's World was filmed in fall 2016 and released in September 2017. The film features Jeff Engel, Tyler Hoffart and Sean Foster as they seek, develop and climb a remote climbing destination just beyond the Minnesota border in Canada.



28 Minutes  |  2014

The Arrowhead 135 was filmed in January 2013 and released in October 2014. The film features Bonnie Moebeck, John Storkamp and Mark Scotch as they race the notorious Arrowhead 135 winter-ultra race that takes place in northern Minnesota each January.


Among the Wild is an independent short film series designed to showcase wilderness, outdoor adventure in Minnesota and to inspire athletes everywhere. The series will profile local athletes in fierce pursuit of uniquely Minnesotan outdoor adventure.

Among the Wild is a passion project, created and produced by a group of individuals that have a deep appreciation for adventure and wilderness sports. Film crews include creative professionals that are passionate about the outdoors. Also, in an effort to support other local artists, all music used in the films is produced by Minnesota musicians.

This project initially began with the goal of creating four short films. Over time, the project and films themselves have developed a life of their own as we have grown and connected with the adventure community across Minnesota and around the world. Those four short films changed in subject matter and ended up being not that short after all. Who knows where this journey may take us, but we look forward to finding out and sharing these stories with you.



Our mission is to ignite passions and advocate for outdoor adventure lifestyles through inspiring tales of athletes in fierce pursuit of their sport among the wild landscapes of Minnesota. The Among the Wild film project was created to inspire athletes, unite the adventure community and make a positive impact on our world at-large.


Born in Minnesota, Brenda Piekarski has worked over 20 years in the video and film industry, and the Among the Wild film project is the culmination of her passion for adventure and her skills as a filmmaker.

Her day job is video and film production at Twelve Plus Media, but her passion is to create inspiring tales of athletes among the wilderness landscapes of Minnesota.

Piekarski's mission is to tell the tale of everyday adventurers pursuing extraordinary goals in hopes that it will inspire viewers to push their own limits and try something outside of their comfort zone – right in their own backyard.

Brenda P_2015_MG_6223.jpg


  • March 27, 2020: Released Ode to Minnesota online

  • February 20, 2020: Fourth film night for the #AdventureMN Film Fest – sold out show

  • November 7, 2019: Third film night for the #AdventureMN Film Fest – sold out show

  • May 18, 2019: Second film night for the #AdventureMN Film Fest

  • March 21, 2019: Launched the #AdventureMN Film Fest at Lakes and Legends Brewing – sold out show

  • November 2018: Released Waterway Jay online

  • August-September 2018: Filmed Ode to Minnesota

  • June 2018: Filmed Waterway Jay

  • February 14, 2018: Jeff's World available at Vimeo on Demand

  • November, 2017: Jeff's World wins First Place Documentary at the Highway 61 Film Festival

  • September, 2017: Public release of Jeff's World and Regional Film Tour

  • May 18, 2017: SOLD OUT pre-release screening of Jeff's World

  • September-October 2016: Filmed Jeff's World

  • March 15, 2015: The Arrowhead 135 screens at the SHAFF Adventure Film Festival in England

  • March 5, 2015: SOLD OUT screening at the Lagoon Theater in Minneapolis hosted in partnership with the Arc'teryx Minneapolis Store

  • Winter 2014-2015: Statewide film tour for The Arrowhead 135 with 5 SOLD OUT screenings

  • Winter 2014-2015: The Arrowhead 135 is the official selection of 7 film festivals

  • October 25, 2014: SOLD OUT World Premiere for The Arrowhead 135 film at Cowles Auditorium in Minneapolis, MN

  • January 2013: Filmed the Arrowhead 135 winter ultra race

  • September 2012: Announced athletes to be profiled in the film series: Bonnie Moebeck, Jeff Engel, The Red Danglers and Justin Baaken

  • August-September 2012: Raised $15,000 in personal donations through Kickstarter and the Among the Wild Fundraiser

  • Spring 2012: Accepted and received 21 nominations for athletes to profile

  • December 2011: The Among the Wild website went live

  • August 2011: Filmed the original teaser to promote the project

  • June 4, 2011: Adventure Minnesota Films was born!


The Among the Wild film project began as an idea. To bring the project to life, we created this original teaser to help seek nominations for athletes, connect with our audience, and build partnerships across the adventure community. Filmed in one long and exhaustingly amazing weekend, the idea became reality and the project sprang into life. Like a first love, this original teaser will always be one of our most cherished darlings.

Thank you to everyone that contributed to lifting Adventure Minnesota Films off the ground.

Original Among the Wild Video Teaser
Play Video
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