Local filmmaker seeks funding for Missoula urban avalanche documentary


Local filmmaker seeks funding for Missoula urban avalanche documentary

MISSOULA, Mont. - Prayer flags are all that stand out now in an empty lot in the lower Rattlesnake, but just 5 months ago, the neighborhood was rocked by a freak act of nature.

An avalanche, set loose down the slope of Mount Jumbo, demolished a house that once stood in the empty lot and buried three people.

Before even first responders could arrive, family members, neighbors and strangers rushed to the aid of the victims, eventually unearthing all three.

Only two survived. Michel Colville eventually succumbed to her injuries, but the effort to save her, her husband, Fred Allendorf, and 8-year-old Phoenix Coburn shone through in the midst of tragedy.

We met filmmaker Katrina Shull at the avalanche site. She lives in the same neighborhood, and tells us she watched in the weeks after the avalanche as volunteers returned to help salvage Colville and Allendorf's belongings.

"After that, I just took home this feeling of, oh my gosh, look at all these people who don't even know each other, coming together, and that's just to help," said Shull.

It was then that she realized she was witnessing a story of kindness that needed to be told.

She's been working since then on a film about the rescuers and volunteers. She even interviewed Colville's son.

Shull says the working title if the film is "Amplify Kindness." The movie's focus is on how kindness has a ripple effect in communities.

Production on the film is still underway. Shull says she needs more funding to finish. She started an online fundraising campaign with With only 4 days left, the campaign has raised about half of the $2,500 goal. To learn more, click here

More Stories