Headwaters is a documentary following Ian Santarossa’s search for an understanding of his inner traits and temperaments that surface when fly fishing, and how those meditations relate to a broader sense of self.

When I think about the films I want to create, they’re often these intimate looks into nature, and a deeper look at personal exploration that results in inward reflection onto what one truly relates to and resonates with. A sense of home. I try to show a glimpse into something I love and have people reciprocate and respond to it in a personally subjective, but similar way by documenting the natural world or people interacting with it. 

Through documentary filmmaking, capturing environmental subjects or niches such as fly fishing, I try to encompass and express the extraordinary simplicities of nature. I strive for the feelings it organically evokes by filming those moments with intention in unveiling what the natural world provides us with, rather than attempting to shape a moment into what I want it to be.

In particular, when filming fly fishing, the fact that I must depend upon a wild species is absolutely the biggest challenge. Fish are wild, and thus capturing the sometimes sparse moments that supervene the ordinary become more than just a shot––they become an experience. 

This project received an Honourable Mention for the John C. Kerr Chancellor Emeritus Award for Excellence in Media

Behind The Scenes

Above are a few behind the scenes photos taken throughout the production of Headwaters. Filming of Headwaters was compiled throughout summer and fall of 2019, as well as took place in various locations. Headwaters was filmed partly in the Pine Pass of Northern BC, the Cheakamus River in the Lower Mainland of BC, and multiple locations through Kananaskis Country in Southern Alberta.


Sam was born and raised throughout Northern BC and Alberta. She spent countless hours outdoors from an early age with her parents and older sister, taking an interest in fishing, hiking and camping. As she gained experience capturing the beautiful sights through documentary filmmaking and photography, she became more interested in conservation and natural environmental science. She is continuing with researching environmental science and resource development under Ruth Beer, a professor at Emily Carr and a practicing artist whose research-creation practice engages with issues of cultural and ecological impacts of resource industry expansion within culturally diverse communities in the Canadian North. Sam will be attending the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology for Forestry Technology in the fall of 2020 to further her education and usher the combination of her interest in environmental sciences and film media.


Prairie to Peak Media | @PrairietoPeakMedia

Director | Writer | Cinematographer | Editor | Sound Designer

Sam Breault


Sound Mixer

Doug Patterson


Ian Santarossa


Phenix Warren

Thanks to

Carlito Ghioni & Lindsay McIntyre

ECU | FMSA Class of 2020

Danna & Dan Breault

Catherine LaFlamme

Michael & Young Fly Shop

Out Fly Fishing Outfitters