Brookeville Brothers Produce Award-Winning Film on the Chesapeake Bay

Courtesy: Wesley Rhoades

What began as two brothers in a quarantine project evolved into an award-winning film addressing the number one challenge currently facing the Chesapeake Bay — water quality.

Andrew and Eric Braker’s film “A Journey Upstream” takes an adventure through the Chesapeake Bay and tells the story of two fish species which assist in understanding the connectivity within our environment and the importance of the health of the Bay’s watershed.

Andrew, 26, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, and Eric, 21, a senior undergrad at Susquehanna University, decided to take advantage of the extra time they had during the pandemic. They dedicated it to a project that combines their two passions — fishing and filmmaking.

“Andrew and I, honestly, we’ve been in love with fly fishing together for just so many years now, and along with that I’ve been in love with filmmaking and we always kind of toyed with the idea of creating a film like this,” said Eric.

Growing up in Brookeville played a huge part in the brothers’ passion for nature. “Growing up and being part of the school system in this area, you know, in science classes you almost always seem to have that unit where you learn about the Chesapeake Bay… So, there’s always that connection from such a young age that we really develop through school, and on top of that we had a very unique family connection,” said Eric.

Andrew said, “Brookeville is one of those areas that has more green space than many other areas in the DC metro area and so when we grew up, Eric and I definitely took advantage of that and every day after school we were outside making forts in the woods, playing in creeks, and exploring our local area and I guess that was really what triggered our love for the natural world and got us to the point now where we’re making a film about it.”

The brothers want the take away from this film to be that it encourages people to get outside and connect with nature as that will power the urge to protect our environment.

In January, “A Journey Upstream” was accepted in the 2021 Fly Fishing Film Tour and was named the official “Lefty Kreh F3T Youth Film of the Year.”

On March 19, the brothers announced that their movie was chosen as an official selection of the 2021 Annapolis Film Festival, to be held virtually from April 8 to April 18. In their Facebook announcement they stated, “Given that our film is about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it would only be right to showcase the film at the heart of Chesapeake country.”

For more information and updates on “A Journey Upstream” you can follow the film’s Facebook.

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