Ben Stookesberry is a 33-years-old gonzo kayaker, who makes his home in Chico, CA. Ben was baptized into Mountainfilm in Telluride’s extended family of adventurers when the film he directed, “Kadoma,” premiered at the festival in May. Festival director David Holbrooke chose to feature “Kadoma” when Mountainfilm on Tour headlines at the Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Center, this weekend, Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23.
“Kadoma” was a nickname for Hendri Coetzee, a legendary South African kayaker, who had explored some of Africa’s wildest rivers. In December 2010, American pro kayakers Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesbury followed Coetzee into the Democratic Republic of Congo for a first descent of the dangerous Lukuga River. Tragedy struck seven weeks into the expedition. Coetzee was paddling tip to tail in between the other two men when a fifteen-foot crocodile surfaced silently and swiftly pulled him underwater. He was never seen again. The story made the cover of Outside magazine in February.
Ben Stookesberry has 10 years of kayaking expeditions and films under his skirt, traveling through 23 countries with over a hundred sections of river he was first to descend. Along the way he was named Adventure Hero of the Year by National Geographic in 2007, and in 2011, was included in Outside Magazine’s Expeditions of the Year.
For an overview of Mountainfilm’s weekend in New York, listen to David Holbrooke’s interview.
To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Ben.