A profound, beautiful, enduring, mysterious and unexpectedly moving film.
— Robinson Devor
 

WORLD-WIDE, DRM-FREE RELEASE. FREE TO SHARE, FREE TO DOWNLOAD, FREE TO REMIX. FREE.


You can purchase the film’s bonus content, unlocking an exclusive 10 min conversation about the film’s most difficult / dangerous shot, and an audio commentary with director Mike Ambs and producer Erica Hampton.

Part of him had been expecting something profound to be waiting at the ocean, but, in many ways, it never came. 


Straddling the line between documentary and fiction, FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES is a unique road movie covering one man's bicycle journey across America in search of something meaningful. First-time director Mike Ambs delivers a visually stunning reflection on coming-of-age while exploring the vast promise of the American landscape. 


FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES shares the story of a young man’s forty-two hundred mile bicycle ride across the Northern United States; Larry McKurtis, at the age of 26, left for the Atlantic ocean, leaving behind the small town he had always known, in search of new things; new people; new places! 

In his mind he had always imagined the road to be full of adventure and happenstance, which it was, but in ways that were often unnoticeable to the passing traffic; the summer sunsets would burn colors in the horizon Larry would later be unable to describe; the fireflies would weave in and out of the tall midwest fields, with no one there to share in every detail of the world around him. The loneliness of the open road left him feeling alive, awake - himself in ways he was never able to be before. 

After 64 days, he reached the Atlantic, an ocean he had never before seen - and just as quickly and quietly as his trip had begun, it was over.

His bed was just the way he had left it, the small town he had spent all his life in hadn’t changed an inch, but everything and everyone around him felt foreign for the first time. What the young man never anticipated, was just how long his trip would go on after the road had come to an end.

As a truly independent film, we are personally going about organizing as many events as possible. If you’d like to bring the film to your town, it’s actually pretty easy to do. 


First, we talk. Send us an email at info@ftomfilm.com and let us know what you’d like to do - it doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed; Would you like to have a  handful of friends over for a private showing in your home? Are you hoping to see FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES screen at your local theater? Do you want to work together to have a screening of FToM to raise funds for your project or organization? 

Whatever it is, send an email and we’ll go from there! 

Next, we’ll have some questions. Depending on how simple or complex your idea is, but please don’t shy away from any idea, big or small, we’re excited for the film to bring people together - period - whether it’s 3 or 30 or 300 people at a time.

Of course, there is a sliding scale in difficulty depending on your idea. If we’re planning out a small get-together with you and a few friends, it won’t be too much work to get everything in order. If we’re working to put together a sold-out showing at your local AMC, there will be a lot of outreach and effort to pull that off, and we can of course help with that. 

We’ll make every effort to be upfront about how much work might be required, and we’ll do everything we can in terms of support. We want to make sure each of these events is a success - and we want to make sure people have fun with them. 

Most (not all) of the events fall into 1 of these 3 groups: 

1. A small self-hosted event. We’re planning a lot of these! These events are great because they are simple and they are flexible. If you and a few friends want to project the film onto the side of our your garage, you can, we’ll even send you a screener of the film for free. Do you have a venue at your disposal and want to sell tickets for a small screening (say, 10-40 people), that would be amazing! You could go all out and put on an event at your local park, encouraging people to ride their bicycles to the screening. Again, these smaller events are great because they are very flexible. 

2. A large co-hosted event. We are currently organizing larger screening events in select cities (starting in L.A., Reno and Detroit). If you or an organization you know is interested in partnering to host one of these screenings, let us know!  These kinds of screenings are more involved - obviously, there is no cut and paste template for larger events, we’ll be approaching each on a case-by-case basis. If you’re planning an event around 100 people or more, or an event that is offset by sponsorship, we’d love to hear from you.  

3. Help spread-the-word. You don’t have to want to take on the responsibilities of self-hosting an event to reach out to us and say hi. If you have an idea on how to help tell people about the film in your town, we’d love to hear it. We could send you a care-package of film posters to pin up at your local bike shop, or a stack of postcards to leave at your favorite coffee house. We have buttons, we have t-shirts… we have all kinds of things. 

Again, if your idea doesn’t fit into one of these 3 groups, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be excited to hear from you. The stranger your idea, the more if fits with the vibe and happenings of where you live, the better! 

My first feature-film. This hybrid-documentary has been an overwhelming force in my life, a labor-of-love 7 years in the making. FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES was inspired by my own 4,200 mile bicycle trip, which I took when I was just 21 years old... after I returned home to my small town, I couldn’t shake this strange feeling... whatever it was, it lingered for years and years after the road had ended. 

Many years after my own trip, I happened across this quote, 

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.
— Pat Conroy

It was this slow, disconnected, post-voyage experience that I wanted to visually and tonally articulate. The film is less a road-trip film, and more a reflection on what the road represents. 

THE ROLE THAT MUSIC PLAYS

Not many documentaries are known for their beautiful original scores – at least when compared to the long list of narrative film scores – a few personal favorites that come to mind are ‘Fog of War’, and ‘Thin Blue Line’ (both of which were done by Philip Glass), there’s also the 2004 documentary ‘Tarnation’, which has an amazing theme written by Max Avery Lichtenstein. 

I knew long before production ever began, that this film would rely heavily on music, if not for any other reason than the main idea behind the film boiled down to two simple but opposing things: 1) the wide, birds eye view of a biker alone on the open road, and 2) the “sound” of missing that experience long after it’s over. 

Whatever that sound was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you at the time, but I knew the way I felt about missing my own cross country bicycle experience, that feeling of nostalgia was musical in a way that I could never place. 

Polaroids taken during principle photography. Images span Anacortes, WA to Bar Harbor, ME. 

To view more production stills, follow the film on Instagram, or view the blog archives