Filmmaker David Byars talks about ‘Public Trust’

David Garret ByarsFilmmaker David Garrett Byars’ monumental documentary “Public Trust” will be shown June 12, at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

AIFF has moved online and extended the festival to 24 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impetus for the making of “Public Trust” was President Trump’s proclamations dismantling two national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, both in southern Utah. The move stripped legal protections from nearly two million acres of federal public lands.

“Public Trust,” produced by Robert Redford and Patagonia, is cinematically breathtaking in the magnitude and beauty of the landscapes.

Byars’ first feature film, “No Man’s Land,” which depicts the 41-day occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, is now available on Prime Video and YouTube.

EH: You didn’t go to film school, you just learned on the job?

DB: Every time I make a film, I learn more and more. If I do have one skill that makes me uniquely suited to be a director, it’s that I know I don’t know everything, and I need to learn it. I really do count on the people I work with in a very collaborative way to put their fingerprints on the film and make it better than merely the sum of all our efforts.

Continue reading Filmmaker David Byars talks about ‘Public Trust’