Learn More
Apr 2, 2024 by Megan Michelson

Meet a Creative: Laura Yale

Documentary Film Producer

Home Base / Missoula, Montana

Activities / Backcountry skiing, hiking, adventure travel

Why Laura:

With a background in grassroots political organizing and public lands protection, Laura Yale switched gears in 2015 to work on a Patagonia-funded documentary called “Jumbo Wild,” about a controversial ski resort development in sacred Canadian wilderness. Since then, she’s worked as an associate producer and producer on some of the most stunning and important documentary films in the outdoor world, including “Treeline,” “Torn,” “Rural Runners,” and “A Skier’s Journey,” a series she worked on with filmmaker Jordan Manley. “Producing isn’t that different from organizing,” Laura says. “Both require persistence and patience and meeting people where they’re at.”

Campfire at night with the black outline of trees against a stunning green and red night sky
Deep in the Purcells for "Jumbo Wild." Photo Steve Ogle Courtesy Laura Yale.

Laura is tenacious—a humble team player, and a creative, thoughtful critic and problem solver. She is deeply empathetic for the natural world and committed to her community. I have had the good fortune of making many films with Laura and I would no doubt be lost without her passion for bringing a vision to life on screen. 

Jordan Manley Filmmaker and photographer

Specialized Skills:

Laura is a skilled producer, so you won’t often find her behind a camera or creating timelines in Premiere Pro. She’s particularly good at doing the deep-dive research that’s often required in documentary storytelling and having a bird’s eye view of every aspect of a film’s production. “I’m good at going down rabbit holes, looking for a story and characters, building relationships,” she says. “If I believe in a project, I’ll give it everything I have.” She’s also a talented freelance writer. 

On location for "Keep Red Lady Free." Photo Forest Woodward Courtesy Laura Yale.
Filming for forthcoming documentary on Polynesian wayfinding. Photo Brendan George Courtesy Laura Yale.

What's Next:

Laura and Manley are currently at work on a Patagonia-supported film about Polynesian wayfinding culture that’s due out in 2024.