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Returning Home Winner best cinematography and experimental film laurel
Returning Home Winner best cinematography laurel
Official selection Wasatch Mountain Film 2021 Laurel
Official Selection Coast Film Festival Laurel
Riverrun Film Festival official selection laurel
Winner European Cinematography Awards Laurel
Desertscape Film Festival Laurel
Winner Award of Merit Accolade Global Film Competition Laurel
Production still from Returning Home
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During this unprecedented moment in history perhaps it’s a good time to reflect on what “home” truly means.

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"Returning Home" is available on these great platforms:

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Watch Returning Home

[Title: “Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” - Carl Sagen] [Dimly lit Blue 50s style radio, a man's hand reaches to turn up the knob] (STATIC FROM RADIO) [Titles: 20EVO Presents A Bhushan Thakkar Film] RADIO ANNOUNCER - We interrupt our programming for this important message. [As the camera slowly zooms out from the radio we see a figure of a man walk across screen] As the global pandemic worsens. [A tool with the engraving Richie Schley on it goes into a duffle bag. The man closes the bag revealing a Vaude Logo] We advise everyone to social distance. The government has issued a stay at home order effective immediately. [Same 50’s style blue radio on a table dimly lit] Advice is to isolate when possible and spend time in nature which has been proven and helping the mind cope in these unprecedented times. [Title: Richie Schley] [The figure of the man walks back across screen in the other direction ] (RADIO STATIC) [Closeup of Richie Schley’s face as he drives a car on the PCH as the sun sets] RICHIE - Define home. To me, home is in the outdoors. In a sense, it always has been. Just in a different way. I used to love being in the outdoors because of the thrills it provided me. It's kind of interesting what happens as you age. [Old footage of Richie competing] You begin to gain a new appreciation for what's truly important on this little pale blue dot floating through space and time [series of nature shots: Timelapse of landscapes in Utah rainbow forms as clouds race across the sky] ♪ ("DRAWN HOME" by Low Light) ♪ Richie- It's in the fresh air, [A flower's petals open revealing its center core] (HAWK SCREECHES) It's in the sounds, [Bee on lavender flour] (BEE BUZZING) [Hummingbird lands] It's being with the flora and fauna you've become acquainted with throughout the years. [Deer lays her head down. Large mountain of reddish colored rock] Richie - It's in the relationships you've developed with the different creatures you've encountered, as well as the senses invoked. [Spider on a making a web] It's in all the little details that Mother Nature has woven into this spectacular environment. [Crane by a body of water. Dragonfly takes flight] Being out in nature is my home. [Inside the words Returning Home a rocky landscape] ♪ ("GHOST," by Mogli the Iceburg) ♪ [The words disappear revealing the rest of the mountain and sun setting behind the Ridgeline] (WIND BLOWING) [Flying over the rocky terrain looking straight down. Richie is on his bike riding he is tiny compared to the rest of the landscape below] (BICYCLE TIRES SKIPPING OVER THE SURFACE OF THE ROCKS) [From ground level Richie rides past the camera] (MUSIC CONTINUES) [Richie on a natural bridge formed by the rock. Shadow of Richie and his bike make cast on the shadow jumps out of frame] (BICYCLE WHEEL SPINS) [Above the rock formation we zoom out revealing the texture of the rock Richie glides down it with his bike] RICHIE - The surface of these rocks is unlike anything I've ever seen. To me, it kind of resembles the skin of the giant creatures that once roamed these lands. A gentle reminder of the fragile nature of our existence. (MUSIC CONTINUES) [He pauses on top of a rock, all around the rock looks like scales of a dinosaur] (BIKE SKIPPING ALONG THE ROCKS) [He heads down it climbing the giant walls and descending like a skateboarder at a skatepark. (BICYCLE WHEELS SPIN) [Up and down he goes as the camera flys over head towards the vast canyon beyond] (WIND PICKS UP, DISTANT BIRDS) [The mountains are lit in highlights of gold from the setting sun] (BICYCLE SOUNDS) [Richie rides up a rock to take in the view] (WIND) RICHIE - There's a perspective you get from the top that you just can't imagine from below [A valley in between two mountains. The foreground appears to move towards us as the background feels like its moving away. Shadow grows across the mountain side] [Richie uses a rock to tap in a tents spike] (GENTLE TAPPING) [Richie’s hand grabs an old diary wrapped in leather from a tree stump. He’s writing in his book] RICHIE - The feeling I get when I'm out here is irreplaceable. Calming the sensory overload we normally face. Unplugging connects me back to a simpler existence. [Overhead looking straight down at a forest of aspen trees dressed in white bark and yellow leaves.] ♪ ("WHEN I GET THERE" by Maya Isacowitz) ♪ ♪ Winterland, tell me all your secrets ♪ ♪ Fill me in on your wildest moments ♪ ♪ Colored trees your yellow leaves move me ♪ [Richie dressed in blue rides up a trail carved into the brown dirt] ♪ Dancing roofs your painted red shakes the room ♪ ♪ When I get there I'll know the answer ♪ ♪ Let me know, let me know. ♪ [White aspen trees lit by the setting sun Richie enters Frame and speeds down the path kicking up a cloud of dust that is backlit by the sun] ♪ When I get closer ♪ ♪ When I get there ♪ ♪ I'll know the answer ♪ ♪ Let me know, ♪ ♪ When I get closer... When I get closer... ♪ [Richie heads towards us traversing the trail skidding and popping wheelies] ♪ When I get closer... When I get closer... ♪ [He continues to head down the trail, beyond him are more aspens and pine trees bathed in gold light from the setting sun] (SONG ENDS) [Closeup of Richie wearing an Abus bike helmet, he sips from his camel pack] (BIKE SOUNDS) [Setting his bike down next to his tent Richie opens his tent and enters it. A light turns on revealing Richie inside of his tent writing in his journal] RICHIE - The changes of the landscape and color are truly extraordinary. From reds to oranges, browns to yellow, blues, greens and whites in the aspen trees surrounding me. [The next morning - The sun is coming up behind a mountain creating a flare, the sky is filled with orange] ♪ ("LOVE OF MINE" by The Hunts) RICHIE - Every time I'm out here, I feel grounded with the understanding we need the earth much more than the Earth needs us. [Richie heads down a trail towards an endless landscape of mountains. Red colored rock followed by green, white and brown.] [He’s now on a ridge riding his bike down it with the sun behind him. The line he is on is very thin, one misstep and he could fall hundreds of feet down the rocky surface.] (BIKE TIRES SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF THE ROCKS) [From his perspective it looks like he’s riding on a razor’s edge] (HAWK SCREECHES) [Green Tent setup Richie enters frame and rides his bike slowly towards it. Setting down his backpack grabs his jacket and a water bottle, walking over to a stream he fills his bottle. The stream is flowing fast, weaving an S curve around the rocky landscape.] ♪ Mountains towering again in your mind ♪ ♪ Aren't they the hardest ones to climb ♪ ♪ Darlin' look how far we've come ♪ ♪ Simply by taking it one step at a time ♪ RICHIE - There's nothing like the feeling of freedom in the outdoors. Many assume it takes a lot of effort, but I have found, especially in the states and towns like Cedar City, it's crazy how quickly you can be remote, finding isolation and experiencing the richness of the soil. [Riding on a trail surrounded by pine trees and mountains Richie expertly carves up the trail perfectly jumping every rock he encounters] [Dirt sprays like water as Richie rides by. Following Richie down the rocky trail he does a no handed jump the camera flies towards the distant mountains as Richie exits the frame below.] ♪ ("EVERYTHING" by The Days) ♪ (BIKE RIDING ON THE DIRT) ♪ ("DOWN TO EARTH" by Oliver Michael) ♪ RICHIE - Out here in the middle of nowhere, you can escape the city lights and get in touch with something so much bigger than all of us. [The moon is rising through clouds. Stars in the sky purple gasses around a nebula.] Thinking about the vastness that's above and all the possibilities that can lie within the cosmos makes our problems seem so small, so insignificant. (BIKE JUMPING) [Richie jumps his bike wearing a helmet light The stars are artificial placed behind him. The trail only reveals itself as Richies light source hits it. He tables a jump. The milky way is superimposed behind him and gets revealed as he passes by. Glimpses of Richie as he speeds past. Richie performs a jump as a large moon rises behind him. The bike zooms past the screen is completely dark except for where Richies light hits the trail in front of him.] (ROCKS SLIDING DOWN) ♪ ("HOWLING AT THE MOON" by D Fine Us) ♪ [Closeup of dark gravel Rocks roll down the hill] ♪ I came from the mud. There's dirt on my hands ♪ ♪ strong like a tree. ♪ ♪ There's roots where I stand ♪ [Closeup of Richies shoes digging into the unique surface. His shadow cast reveals a bike he is carrying on his shoulders up the hill. He makes small steps as he climbs up. The ground is very loose and untouched except for the footsteps Richie leaves in his wake. One of his socks says Sunday with a thumbs up hand the other has Monday with a hand flipping the bird. Revealed, Richie with bike on his shoulders climbs a steep hill of the dark loose ground.] ♪ Oh I've been running from the law ♪ ♪ Hope they won't shoot me down soon ♪ ♪ Pacing on a sleepless night ♪ [On a ridge behind him is a Rocky Mountain in the background dressed in warm light from the sun. Looking up at Richie he slips a bit illustrating the danger a fall would pose. An endless flat landscape beyond is contrasted by a steep black sand hill] ♪ Try to catch me howling at the moon ♪ ♪ Try to catch me howling at the moon ♪ ♪ Try to catch me howling at the moon ♪ ♪ Try to catch me howling at the moon ♪ [Richie enters the frame and is moving quickly carving his way down like a skier on a slope , dust illustrates his dissenting path. Top down the surface looks like the moon. Richie forms a series of lines carving an S into the surface. Richie makes a jump and carves down the sandy, rocky surface cutting sharply spraying black gravel as he makes his way down. The sun is setting and we see more of the landscape and the dust which is now backlit appearing orange against the dark landscape.] [Richie looks at the moon] RICHIE - We work our whole lives for creature comforts. But when the fragility of our lives gets exposed, maybe it's time to think simpler. Find home in nature. After all, that's where we all came from, isn't it? [Cut to black] ♪ ("DRAWN HOME" by Low Light)♪ ♪ I’m always drawn home ♪ ♪ Always ♪

Film Festival Screenings


November 13, 2020 November 29, 2020

November 30, 2020

December 5, 2020 

December 7, 2020

January 28, 2021

April 5, 2021  

May 6 – 16, 2021

March 29, 2021

June 23 - 26, 2021

Coast Film Festival 

Top Shorts

Accolade Global Film Competition

Indie Short Fest

International Shorts

Environmental Film & Screenplay Festival

Wasatch Mountain Film Festival

River Run International Film Festival

Indie Shorts Awards New York

Desertscape Film Festival

Laguna Beach, CA

Online Event (No Longer Available)

Online Event (No Longer Available)

Online Event (No Longer Available)

Online Event (No Longer Available)

Online Event (No Longer Available)



New York

Electric Theater - St. George, UT

Richie Schley on his mountain bike climbing uphil at night as a headlamp lights his way. Photo by Bhushan Thakkar

Richie Schley has built a career using the nature the earth provides us.


In “Returning Home”, with stay at home orders in place, Richie takes time to reflect on his experiences in nature while connecting to a deeper understanding of the planet we call home.


Directed by Bhushan Thakkar

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