Directing, shooting, & producing films around the world since 2009.
Jake has created films on four continents, including two award-winning, feature documentaries. View the films online and contact Jake for your next film project.
Holy (un)Holy River
In 2013, Jake Norton, Pete McBride, and David Morton followed the Ganges River of India from it’s high, Himalayan source some 1600 miles to the sea at the Bay of Bengal. Holy (un)Holy River tells the story of this epic expedition, and of a river revered and reviled: worshipped by a billion Hindus, depended upon by 500 million, and is at once a source of life and inspiration, and death, pollution, and tragedy.
In 2012, Jake Norton led an expedition to attempt the foreboding West Ridge of Mt. Everest, pioneered in 1963 by Americans Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld. High and Hallowed: Everest 1963 is the deeper story of the greatest Himalayan climb in American mountaineering history.
Profiling the bold and visionary efforts of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition, the film examines the sheer commitment, step-by-step struggle and lasting impact of the first American ascent of Mt. Everest and the pioneering first ascent of the West Ridge.
Five decades later, High and Hallowed: Everest 1963 journeys back to Everest to discover if the essence of risk, adventure and the unknown that drew the first Americans to the summit still exists on Everest today.
In 2011, Jake Norton and Pete McBride teamed up to tell the story of one of the world’s greatest – and most threatened – water towers: Mt. Kenya, the continent’s second highest peak. The film documents the team’s climb of the mountain, and follows the water as it reaches – or doesn’t – the far corners of Kenya.
In 1970, Holderness School began taking high school juniors into the White Mountains of New Hampshire for ten days…in the middle of winter. The transformational program – Out Back – celebrated it’s 50th year in 2020, and Jake Norton was brought back to film it 29 years after he went through the program. He and filmmaker Josh Povec traveled with the students through the backcountry, documenting their experience in the wild as COVID-19 began to take hold of the outside world.
The incredible story of how effective, sustainable development is, in fact, possible. A beautiful and compelling short film from rural, western Kenya highlighting the revolutionary ideas of Sasa Harambee, an international non-profit making big impacts with a small footprint.
In April and May, 2015, Nepal was rocked by two massive earthquakes – the biggest to hit the region in nearly a century. They left thousands dead, and millions displaced. Months after, Jake Norton went with a team from NOVA to document the aftermath, help provide solutions for rebuilding, and to see if experts can help predict the next great earthquake.
In the isolated, semi-autonomous region of Mustang, Nepal, the landscape is dotted with manmade caves. Many are Buddhist meditation and ritual caves dating back centuries, and many others are ancient sky tombs, holding human remains up to 3,000 years old which may, in turn, hold answers to the earliest humans to settle at extreme altitude. Jake Norton worked with NOVA teams and scientists on two expeditions to document and tell the story of the Sky Tombs of Mustang.