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Monday, November 9, 2020

Northern Kentucky Film Company Presents Film About Running the Appalachian Trail

 "Like Harvey Like Son" is as much about family relationships as it is about one man's quest to run the entire Appalachian Trail. Catch it at Mariemont Theatre this month.

by Robin Gee

On Tuesday, November 10, and Wednesday, November 12, Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati audiences will have a rare opportunity to attend the first local general release of "Like Harvey Like Son," a film about challenge, endurance and family. The showing will be held at 7 p.m. both nights at the Mariemont Theatre, 6906 Wooster Pike in Cincinnati.

The film initially sets out to be a story about Cincinnati-based ultra runner Harvey Lewis III and his project to run the entire 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail, but it is as much about the relationship between father and son as it is about athletic endurance and challenge, says Rudy Harris, owner of Harris Media in Newport and director of the film.

He operates the company with his wife Tammi Harris, and the pair provide creative content, including photography, video and strategic direction for mostly corporate and commercial clients.

Harris had not done a full-length documentary before, but after meeting Lewis he decided the runner’s story would be perfect as a feature film.

Lewis ran the entirety of the Appalachian Trail in 2018, from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. He made the grueling 40-day trek accompanied by his 78-year-old father, Harvey Lewis Jr., who served as his road crew, keeping the schedule, making meals and planning the route along the way.

"On the first day, I met the two Harveys and spent a few days with them," said Harris. "By the end of Day One, I knew it was special, the relationship between the two of them."

Once he realized that this was more than a story about running the trail, a feat in itself, Harris wanted to do the documentary. He discussed it with a friend, Mike Trimpe, director of eCommerce at Road iD, whose company decided to partner with Harris Media on the project.

Road iD is a Covington-based company that manufactures wristband identification bracelets popular with hikers, runners, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. The bracelets contain information on the person, address, medical conditions and pertinent phone numbers. The company makes bands but also styles made to attach to fitbits, Garmin, Apple watch and other products.

Harris accompanied and filmed the father and son at the beginning, middle and end of their trek. 

Harvey Lewis III on the Appalachian Trail. He ran 62 miles his first day.

"It was the most logistically challenging thing I’ve ever done," Harris said. Despite the challenges, he said he is eager to do more feature-length work. In fact, he has several projects in various stages of development, although some are paused due to the COVID virus.

The pandemic interfered with some of the plans for release and distribution of the film. In 2018, Harris hosted a special preview of the film locally and then it traveled the festival circuit throughout 2019. The film made it into 13 festivals across the country, including the Over the Rhine Film Festival.

Picked up for distribution by Adventure Entertainment, plans were in the works for a general release of the film in theaters just as the COVID-19 threat hit. Put on hold for a time, the plan now is to go straight to streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon, the path for most films released in 2020.

Due to the virus, of course, seating at the Mariemont Theatre will be limited and all safety precautions will be in effect. Harvey Lewis III and Harris will be on hand for questions at the showings.

If you are unable to catch it, keep an eye out for the film’s release soon on streaming services. For more, check out the "Like Harvey Like Son" trailer.

RELATED: Harris Media Co. to Relocate from Covington to Newport in March

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