Documentary, 4K, stereo, color, 99'

The Strait Guys (2022)

A 76-year old engineer is on a mission: to connect the United States and Russia with a 100-kilometer long train tunnel beneath the Bering Strait.

THE STRAIT GUYS follows Czech-born mining engineer, George, and his fast-talking protégé, Scott, along the proposed route of the InterContinental Railway through Alaska, to the Bering Strait and onward to Russia. The “Strait Guys” endeavor to convince international governments, corporations, and indigenous tribes to green-light their $100 billion railway project—with the promise to become the Panama Canal of the 21st century.

As they struggle to keep their “peace, progress, and prosperity” project alive in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the Strait Guys leave us wondering: What is really preventing the US and Russia from being connected?

Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the tunnel plan certainly seems absurd. Yet the Strait Guys are more convinced than ever that their mega-project is exactly what the world needs to finally leave wars behind and create “peace, progress and prosperity” for all.

World Premiere: É tudo Verdade (It’s All True), Brazil, April 2022

N. American Premiere: North x North Festival & Summit, USA, April 2022

Oceania Premiere: Doc Edge, New Zealand, June 2022

West Coast Premiere: Green Film Festival of San Francisco, USA, September 2022

Dutch Premiere: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA, The Netherlands, November 2022

Theatrical Release Germany, June 2, 2022

European Premiere: Berlin, June 2nd, 19:30, Babylon Berlin (with film team)

Additional screenings with the film team:

Berlin
June 3rd, 19:00 Moviemento
June 8th, 20:30 Krokodil

Karlsruhe
June 5th, 13:00 Schauburg

Tübingen
June 5th, 19:00 Arsenal

Joachimsthal
September 16th, 19:30 Kulturhaus Heidekrug 2.0

Potsdam-Babelsberg
September 18th, 10:30 Thalia

Other cities.

Endorsements:

  • “What distinguishes a visionary from a dreamer?  The Strait Guys poses that question in a surprising documentary about a 76-year-old Czech mining engineer, and his fast-talking protege as they pursue their mission to connect Russia and the United States by building a 100 kilometer train tunnel beneath the Bering Strait.  At a time when Russia and the U.S. are more hostile to each other since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and climate change threatens the entire globe, and particularly the Artic, this film could not be more timely.” – Mark Jonathan Harris, three-time Oscar-winning director (“Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories from the Kindertransport”, “The Long Way Home”) 
  • “An extradionary film. Visionary, inspirational and filled with hope for a more connected world.” – Lynne Cox, world record-holding endurance swimmer who swam across the Bering Strait from the US to the USSR in 1987
  • Villa Aurora presented “The Strait Guys” at a sold-out event. The film engaged the audience from the start, leading to a lively discussion with the filmmaker about the protagonists’ pursuit of “peace, progress, and prosperity”, the cost to the individuals, and the necessity of attempting the impossible to further an exchange between nations. – Dr. Claudia Gordon, Director Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House, Pacific Palisades, California
  • “I highly recommend reaching out to Rick if you have any interest to bring the real documentary filmmaking world to your classroom students.” – Brian Sisselman, Adjunct Professor School of Film and Television

Interviews with Rick:

 

Film reviews:

English

  • Film Threat (8 of 10) – “The Strait Guys is full of thrills and surprises, even though you know the ending without ever having heard this story before.”

German

Portuguese

Would your organization like to host a virtual or in-person event with “The Strait Guys”? Then please complete this screening request form. Our team will get back to you with a quote within a few days.

Please note: Sneak preview screenings will be available beginning in February 2022.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to our completion fund, you can do so here. A receipt will be issued immediately per email.

If you do not need a tax-deduction, then please support the filmmakers directly. 100% of your donation will go directly to the filmmakers to help us complete and distribute “The Strait Guys”.

Thank you for your support!

Writer & Director Rick Minnich
Co-Writer Matt Sweetwood
Cinematography Lutz Reitemeier (USA), Sergey Amirdzhanov (Russia)
Additional Cinematography Rick Minnich
Drone Operators Sergey Amirdzhanov (Russia), Rick Minnich (USA/Russia), Jonathan Skorupa (USA) 
Sound Sorin Apostel (Russia), Jonathan Skorupa (USA)
Editor Matt Sweetwood
Composer Lukas Sweetwood
Producers Hanfgarn + Ufer (Gunter Hanfgarn), CineImpuls Leipzig (Holm Taddiken), Torero Film (Rouven Rech, Teresa Renn)
Production Manager Bettina Morlock
Location Manager (Russia) Vlad Ketkovich (Ethnofund)
Commissioning Editors Thomas Beyer (MDR), Jenny Westergard (YLE), Rudy Buttignol (Knowledge Network)
Development Developed as part of the Documentary Campus Masterschool
Pitched at IDFA Forum, North Pitch – Below Zero, The Edinburgh Pitch, GZDOC, Doc Preview Germany (DOK Leipzig)
With the support of MDM, MFG, DFFF, BKM