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DailyTidings.com
  • A reason to walk

    Film by former Ashlander spotlights seekers on ancient trail
  • No one offers just one reason to hike the ancient Camino de Santiago in Spain. Some want a history lesson, a scenic walk and a story to tell. Others may follow the Way of Saint James seeking a spiritual, mystical or soul-searching transformation.
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    • If you go
      • "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" will be shown Friday through Thursday, May 3-9, at the Varsity Theatre, 166 E. Main St., Ashland, to help raise money to distribute the film. Prod...
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      If you go
      • "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" will be shown Friday through Thursday, May 3-9, at the Varsity Theatre, 166 E. Main St., Ashland, to help raise money to distribute the film. Producer and director Lydia B. Smith will answer questions following the 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. screenings on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $6.50 to $8.50. For more information about the film, visit www.caminodocumentary.org.

      • Ashland resident Ellen Rubenson's blog about walking the Camino is at camino-our-way.blogspot.com.

      • Nancy Powers' blogs are onthecaminowithnancy.blogspot.com and jaminwithnancy.com.

      More online

      See this story at www.dailytidings.com to watch the trailer of "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago."
  • No one offers just one reason to hike the ancient Camino de Santiago in Spain. Some want a history lesson, a scenic walk and a story to tell. Others may follow the Way of Saint James seeking a spiritual, mystical or soul-searching transformation.
    Some may want solitude; others desire connections.
    As the documentary "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" shows, there are almost as many motivations to spend days, weeks or months on the fabled trail as there are routes and styles to walk its winding roads.
    "A person could carry a small backpack, take a high-end guided tour or pre-book rooms along the way using an iPhone," says director Lydia Smith, who used some of the proceeds from selling her Ashland house to finance the film, which played to sell-out audiences during the Ashland Independent Film Festival in April and returns May 3-9 to the Varsity Theater.
    In 2008, when Smith was in between jobs, relationships and homes, she walked 500 miles of the Camino, from France to the shrine of the apostle Saint James at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.
    A year later, she returned to the Camino with a small crew and spent six weeks on the trail, capturing the progress and feelings of "pilgrims," from a young woman wanting to stop using antidepressants to an elderly man mourning the loss of his wife.
    One determined mother pushed her toddler in a baby stroller over dirt paths and rocky hills.
    Just like the pilgrims walking the Camino, Smith has been finding helpers along her journey to produce the documentary, which has received acclaim and awards at film festivals in the U.S. but still needs distribution funding.
    After four years of work, Smith has yet to repay herself from the money she has poured into shooting, editing and producing the film.
    "This week in Ashland is important," she says. "If we do well, it would show distributors that the film should be picked up."
    A portion of ticket sales from the screenings will be donated to the nonprofit film.
    Although Smith's film is almost out of money, she says the words of the people she interviewed on the trail encourage her to keep trying.
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