“Facing The Wall” is a documentary from photographer and filmmaker Rich LaVere that challenges perceptions of the Chemung River as they relate to the development of Elmira, New York.

The Chemung River is a 45-mile stretch of water that runs through the heart of Elmira, NY and defines the city in a way that no other single object or person ever could. It was  a major trade route for Native Americans and early European Settlers. The engine of economic growth in Chemung County for over 100 years. The inspiration for Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. A source of commerce, recreation and beauty for centuries.

“Facing The Wall” is the story of Elmira, New York, and the river that runs through it. A river that helped give birth to the city, fueled its economic growth, inspired its artists and writers, and defines the city in a way no other single object or person ever could. It is a story about the city’s struggle to recover from the lingering devastation caused by a devastating flood in 1972—an event that continues to influence its development to this day. And ultimately, it is a story about the positive steps being taken to view the river as an asset, rather than a liability. Now, 40 years after unspeakable devastation, Elmira is finally…facing the wall.

For a limited time, view “Facing The Wall” for free on this website. Click on the “clips” menu to check it out now!

“Facing The Wall” is a project by photographer and videographer Rich LaVere. Rich previously worked as a producer, videographer and editor for the documentary: “Famiglia Italiana in Corning NY”, an exploration of Italian Immigration in Corning, NY that ran in conjunction with the exhibition, “Lace: The Spaces Between” at the Benjamin Patterson Inn in Corning. Rich owns LaVere Media in Elmira, a photography and video studio in the heart of the downtown business district.

Copies of “Facing The Wall” are available at the following locations: The Chemung Valley History MuseumThe Christmas House (both locations; Elmira and the Arnot Mall in Horseheads), B&C Photo in Elmira, Cappy’s in Elmira, and at the ARTS of the Southern Tier in Corning, NY. Copies are also available at the LaVere Media Studios in Elmira, or can be purchased through this website at the “Purchase” link.

Click Here to order a copy of “Facing The Wall”