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Alumni
Class Notes and Alumni News

Movie Makers: Graland Alums Team Up on Indie Film

Several Graland alumni are putting collaborative skills to work on a film scripted by Adam Chanzit ’96 and directed by his classmate Alex Harvey ‘96. Walden: Life in the Woods is an independent film shot in Colorado that brings together five talented individuals connected through Graland.
Several Graland alumni are putting collaborative skills to work on a film scripted by Adam Chanzit ’96 and directed by his classmate Alex Harvey ‘96. Walden: Life in the Woods is an independent film shot in Colorado that brings together five talented individuals connected through Graland.
 
“Adam and I met exactly two weeks before he started kindergarten which was the same year I repeated kindergarten,” Alex explains. “I can honestly say that nothing creative would have happened in my life if I hadn’t met the people in that class.”
 
The two boys were instant friends and practically inseparable. “There were a lot of collaborations leading up to this one,” Adam says. “We had a detective agency in first grade and through the years there were several bizarre Halloween costumes like the time we were two of the three Musketeers.”
 
Graland was a “creative wilderness” for the Class of 1996, Alex says, adding that many of his classmates grew up to be exceptional artists.
 
“We were always in trouble,” he laughs, “but that was because Graland set the tone for a curiosity that we’ve lived with our whole lives.”
 
Adam adds, “We were encouraged to find our passions and to become the strangest and most interesting people we could be.”
 
All this lead the men to connect with Laura Goldhamer ‘99, a classmate’s younger sister who’s made a name for herself as a folk songwriter, guitarist and stop-motion animator.
 
“I was so impressed with Laura’s work on many levels - musically, visually, as an activist and community organizer,” Alex says. “I knew there was a dynamic story that could be told using her aesthetics.”
 
Walden: Life in the Woods is a feature length narrative film that showcases actors T.J. Miller ’96 and Erik Hellman ‘96. According to the film’s website, the story is based on Henry David Thoreau’s classic book, Walden, and confronts man’s addiction to comfort and panic: “The movie spreads Thoreau’s prismatic curiosity about nature and human nature over every corner of our lives today.”
 
The project has been six years in the making. Filming is complete and the footage is now in the post-production stage. The goal is to screen the movie at festivals in the spring and release it in theaters by the end of 2017, 200 years after Thoreau was born. Funded in part by arts philanthropists and investors, Walden: Life in the Woods is sponsored by The Denver Film Society and was awarded an incentive package of $210,000 from the Colorado Economic Development Commission.
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.