JJ Kelley & Ben Gottfried - "Go Ganges!"
JJ Kelley & Ben Gottfried - "Go Ganges!"
Premiere date: Jun 28, 2013
Two friends are in a foreign land on a quest to travel the ultimate river. Television producers and adventure travelers Josh Thomas and J.J. Kelley test their skills on an epic adventure down India's sacred river, the Ganges. Together they journey from the source glacier of the river in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, where it empties into the Indian Ocean. And they do it rather unconventionally – traveling on foot, cycle-rickshaw, rowboat and anything else that moves. Battling hardships unimaginable to most, the friends test their limits on the planet's most populated, polluted and holy river. The adventurers provide a colorful testimony to the distress the river endures, and why it merits reprieve as an irreplaceable emblem.
Kelley is the co-creator of the adventure production company, Dudes on Media. He also works as a staff member at National Geographic Television (NGT) as an associate producer working on programming for the National Geographic Channel and PBS.
Kelley has had the opportunity to produce two of his own feature documentaries. The first film "Pedal to the Midnight Sun," won best documentary at the All American Film Festival and an extract from the film aired on PBS' Wild Chronicles.
Paddler Magazine described the second film, “Paddle to Seattle: Journey Through the Inside Passage” as the best feature film about paddling produced in the past decade. It has gone on to win a number of awards including the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sedona and Anchorage Film Festivals; and Best Documentary at the Minneapolis Underground and Wisconsin Film Festival.
At National Geographic, Kelley recently wrote his first feature article for their April 2010, Extreme Explorer Magazine. He is on staff in the Society’s Television Department. He most recently finished a contract as the Associate Producer for a National Geographic Special, “Extreme Cave Diving” that aired on PBS’ NOVA.
As a young man, Kelley embraced wild places. At the age of 19, he loaded a modest amount of personal items into his small pick-up to journey north. His venturing brought him to the fishing community of Seward, Alaska where he developed his admiration for the natural world. Since his first summer living in an Alaskan tent community, he received a degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Minnesota. His film training is ongoing and Kelley continues to aim for industry leading films that inspire audiences to seek out their own adventures. He currently resides in Washington, DC.
Ben Gottfried is an independent filmmaker who has been working in media production in some capacity over the past ten years. Gottfried started out by producing his first feature documentary Only the Good while a film student at the University of Texas at Austin, which he later finished while earning a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From Wisconsin, Gottfried returned to his native Minnesota where he worked in corporate media production before moving on to teach filmmaking at the college level. For the last four years, Gottfried has divided his time between this and producing/editing award-winning feature documentaries for the adventure filmmaking company Dudes on Media, including Pedal to the Midnight Sun and Paddle to Seattle.
Ben is an independent filmmaker who started out by producing his first feature documentary Only the Good while a film student in Texas, which he later finished while earning a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From Wisconsin, Gottfried returned to his native Minnesota where he met J.J. and began work on the group’s first film, Pedal to the Midnight Sun. Since then, Ben has divided his time between teaching filmmaking and producing/editing J.J. and Josh’s two feature documentaries. A documentarian at heart, Ben enjoys taking these trips vicariously through J.J. and Josh and then being able to help shape the story as it’s edited. He currently lives in Minneapolis, MN.