American Bear Screenings


By Clare Callahan, CNY Arts, Fall Intern 2014

The Urban Video Project and its parent organization Light Work are hosting a free outdoor screening of the documentary American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers on September 24th. This film covers the adventure of travel and the exploration of trust. The filmmakers are hosting a talk, presentation and dialogue on September 19th.

In the film Sarah Sellman and Greg Gano travel to 30 states in 60 days. They spend each night in a new town, determined to stay with strangers throughout their journey. They begin their journey thinking it would be a story of ‘what might happen to us’ and in the process they learn much about their identities, the identities of those around them and the overall American identity. The connections that Sarah and Greg develop with strangers through acts of kindness or acts of storytelling are funny, heartbreaking and inspirational. The individual stories of many of those who the two met on their journey are documented and represent the daily choices everyone must make to trust, confide, care for, and sympathize.

The film poses many questions about how we define American identities and encourages the viewer to take their own journey of reflection and discovery. It has been gaining popularity and become a community driven project with people across the country working to bridge the gap between differences and develop trust with those around them. The talk and dialogue on on September 19th will engage the audience with discussion directly about the connection between the Syracuse community residency and American Bear. It will also promote their new webseries: ‘BEAR Bones’ which features insights from professors across the country about gender, neuroscience, race relations sociology and more.

For more information visit:
Screening at the Everson Museum:

Dialogue at ArtRage Gallery:

Screening and Q&A at Auburn Public Theater:

Follow the project on Social Media:
Twitter: @relyonstrangers


Posted On: September 17, 2014
Listed As: Events in CNY