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U.S. premiere of U.K. flyfishing film to benefit Colorado Housing Inc.

Once upon a time, two brothers from a tiny town in the far north of England, set out to capture the hearts and minds of fishing maharajahs, film stars and royalty the world over.

Colorado Housing Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing organization, will host the United States premiere screening of the documentary film “The Lost World of Mr. Hardy” at the Liberty Theater in Pagosa Springs ay 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.

The film was released in the United Kingdom in May 2009 and follows the Hardy family’s business through changing times, and their struggle to survive as a sustainable business in a modern world. Hardy made everything from intricate salmon flies to beautiful cane fishing rods. Their well-made equipment has stood the test of time and become known as the “Rolls Royce of fishing gear.” The filmmakers had access to an astonishing film library initiated by Hardy in the 1920s and, in addition to amazing interviews, the film boasts clips of the first-ever color fishing films.

The filmmaker, Andy Heathcote, lives in Scotland not far from the town where the Hardy factory was located. He was reintroduced to flyfishing as an adult and noticed that Hardy fishing gear was much sought after on the Internet and was fetching high prices because even though vintage and over 70 years old, the equipment functioned beautifully.

Heathcote made the film to find answers to several questions. What is it about Hardy’s that so managed to get into the psyche of fishermen everywhere? What is it about angling they managed to bottle so perfectly: An idealized past? A notion of what perfect fishing is all about? Or simply the ultimate in quality?

The 90-minute film is the astonishing story of how a passion for angling and a love of craftsmanship created one of the most interesting, quirky and best loved British companies ever.

Heathcote explains, “I hope and believe this is a film about more than fishing. A fishing tackle company is the metaphor the film uses to take us on a journey through more than a century as experienced by this one very much loved and cherished family business. I think this film is really about people and inevitably and finally about our need to have and own things which give some kind of meaning.”

The film is presented by Colorado Housing Inc. (CHI), an affordable housing nonprofit whose mission is to provide essential homeownership opportunities in southwest Colorado by building communities, building homes and building skills. Since 1995, CHI has helped over 100 families and individuals become homeowners in Archuleta County. Through its mutual self-help homebuilding program, CHI assists homeowners who earn thousands of dollars in sweat equity by performing many of the homebuilding tasks themselves during the process.

The money raised at the event will pay for the tools, equipment and direct assistance CHI provides to homeowners in preparing them for healthy home ownership, including credit counseling, budgeting, homebuyer education and construction skills.

Local sponsors are assisting CHI by donating gift certificates and merchandise for door prizes and a live auction at the event, as well as free samples to attendees. Tickets are $12 each or two for $20 and are available downtown at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Wolf Creek Anglers and Ski and Bow Rack, and uptown at Eagle Mountain Mercantile, Switchback Mountain Gear and Radio Shack. Tickets can also be purchased at the CHI office at 311 San Juan St.

For more information, call CHI at 264-6950.