Decoding the Driftless | Get DVD & BluRay

A Film of Science Exploration and Adventure

Check out the trailer for Sustainable Driftless’ feature-length documentary film, Decoding the Driftless, above. The film is a wild ride of adventure through the air, across rugged landscapes, on and under the water, through a secret underworld, and across time itself to explore and decipher ancient clues of archaeology, paleontology, geology, and biology of the Driftless Region, with its captivating scenic beauty. Learn why this one region, in the heart of America, is the only “island driftless region” in the world.

Get your own copy of our award-winning film and other merchandise from our online store.

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We also offer free Environmental Education Lesson Plans to Driftless Region Schools!

Regional Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Tim Jacobson and George Howe of Sustainable Driftless, Inc. and Rob Nelson of Untamed Science teamed up again to produce a feature-length film on the amazing origins, diversity, and resources of the Driftless Region. This time the creative team included regional Emmy-winning Swedish filmmaker Jonas Stenstrom of Untamed Science, and six-time Emmy-winning wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig. The team delivers extremely rare footage of natural phenomena and scenic beauty in the Driftless in a way never seen before!

Explore this fascinating region with fun-loving hosts from Untamed Science who will open your eyes, mind, and heart to the Driftless like never before. Your journey will take you to parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois to uncover ancient hidden mysteries, endangered Ice-Age throwbacks, and globally rare ecosystems as you experience Decoding the Driftless.

In 2018, a film festival version of Decoding the Driftless premiered, and was shown nationally and internationally. That film was honored as either “Best Picture” or “Best Documentary” by Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards in Hollywood, Gold Movie Awards in London, UK, Festigious International Film Festival in Los Angeles, Filmmakers Connect Awards, Los Angeles Cinematography AWARDS, Beloit International Film Festival, Iowa Independent Film Festival, and Red Cedar Film Festival. Both the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and the New York Film Awards selected it for “Best Cinematography.” IndieFEST Film Awards in La Jolla, California, conferred a “Humanitarian Award of Distinction,” and WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival issued a Silver Remi Award to Decoding the Driftless. Also, the film was honored for “Outstanding Excellence” by the Docs Without Borders Film Festival, received the Titletown Jury Award and Audience Choice in the Green Bay Film Festival, was named a Finalist by the Florence (Italy) Film Awards, reached the Final List of Semi-Finalists at the jellyFEST Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA), was an official selection in the Accolade Global Film Competition (La Jolla, CA), and was recognized at the 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Wisconsin Dells.

Sustainable Driftless spent the next couple of years creating a new film for television broadcast. The new film premiered on TV in 2020. In 2021, the made-for-TV film, Decoding the Driftless, was honored with a regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!

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Sustainable Driftless, Inc. is dedicated to inspiring resource conservation, vibrant communities, and sustainable growth in the Driftless Region.

That’s what we do, but what can this result in? Inspiration. Connection. Growth. Well-being.

Sustainable Driftless will reach the hearts and minds of the people of the Driftless Region through production of a feature-length documentary film, video shorts, and interactive website, and publication of a weekly e-newsletter, a quarterly e-magazine, and a semiannual printed compilation of the best articles, photography and ideas.

What is Special About the Driftless Region?

The Driftless Area is an enchanted land that a mysterious force shielded for more than a million years from powerful, massive continental glaciers of the last Ice Age. The landscape is filled with rugged, stunning scenery, bizarre microclimates, and deep caves. The worlds oldest river meanders its way through the center, having carved beautiful cliffs lush with rare wildflowers. Native American effigy mounds and petroglyphs remain from a thousand years ago. The region also is known for eclectic and fun river communities, the birthplace of soil conservation and leadership in organic agriculture, world-class rugged terrain for silent sports, and appreciation for the arts. It is where waterskiing was invented and where Aldo Leopold conceived his idea for a land ethic.

Invest in Our Cherished Region Today!

Touching the hearts and minds of public officials, business owners, landowners, educators, and students is the most effective way to enhance and promote the beautiful Driftless Region. Help us make an inspiring feature-length Driftless film and a range of other publications. Partner with our award-winning production team today in fostering greater appreciation for, and sustainability of, our precious natural landscape!

Below are some of the topics Sustainable Driftless explores through a variety of communication channels:

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