Hunting Bigfoot

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“Hunting Bigfoot” a documentary film from director Taylor Guterson is having its Ellensburg premier Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. The Saturday premier will have the film’s star, John Green in attendance for a Q&A after the showing.

The film focuses on Green’s search for the legendary primate known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot. It shows him abandoning many aspects of his life to follow his obsession with finding the creature.

“We’re really interested in working with people like Taylor, filmmakers like him,” said executive producer Leigh Savidge. “This guy is really, really talented and it’s unique because he basically works without a crew. He goes in and does virtually everything himself.”

To film many aspects of the documentary, Guterson would hike deep into the Northwestern forest with Green, camping in tents for days in the middle of nowhere. He said it took about five years to complete the project, including filming and editing, along with some reshoots.

Guterson said he wanted to make a film showcasing the beauty of the Northwest, but didn’t have a subject for a story. This was until he got a gym membership at Mount Si Sports and Fitness, and started hearing stories about all these people who reported Bigfoot sightings.

“I was never really that interested in Bigfoot or the discussion of is Bigfoot real or not, I mean I really had no interest in that, but the number of people who claimed to have sightings and dedicate their lives in some cases to this pursuit became very interesting to me,” Guterson said. “I found the perfect mix to document that culture, those people and the natural environment at the same time.”

While Guterson said he never believed the creature to be real, the people who do believe can be very convincing.

The film shows the somber tragedy of the Bigfoot hunter who has lived his life in search of a creature that likely doesn’t exist. Living out of a tent in the forest, eating instant oatmeal and bathing in rivers.

“The people that are most dedicated to searching for Bigfoot, or let’s say they’ve dedicated their lives to it like John, I think universally have something in their past, or a collection of events in their past that have been traumatic in some way,” Guterson said. “There is something about this search that gives them a meaning in their lives, a goal, something to go after. I think that’s therapeutic to them in some way. There is no shortage of people who claim sightings, but there aren’t so many people who have just dedicated their lives entirely to doing this, giving up their career and in some cases their family.”

The film shows how Green suffered a tragedy in the mid to late 2000s, where he lost his wife to cancer and millions of dollars to the economy crash of 2008.

The premier in Ellensburg is not the first showing of the film. It is currently taking a tour around Washington, being shown in theaters across the state. Soon it will start premiering in other states around the country, and will eventually move to streaming around February 2022.

The film will be shown at the Grand Meridian Theater in Ellensburg at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20. The film is rated “R” for nudity and strong language Guterson will be unable to attend the premier to do a family tragedy, but Green will be answer questions after the Saturday showing.

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