Bidder 70

Bidder 70

Tim DeChristopher and other members of Peaceful Uprising -- the grassroots, non-violent environmental action group he founded -- protest in Washington DC, as seen in BIDDER 70, a film by Beth and George Gage. A First Run Features release.

Bidder 70

  • Paul Pilot
Production Manager:
Sound Editor and Mixer:
  • John Reese

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Bidder 70 (2013)

Opened: 05/17/2013 Limited

Quad Cinema/NY05/17/2013 - 05/23/20137 days
Auburn, NY05/17/2013 - 05/18/20132 days
Oakland, CA05/21/2013 - 05/21/20131 day
Los Angeles, CA06/28/2013 - 07/04/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Biographical Documentary

Rated: Unrated

Theatrical Release Celebrates Activist Tim DeChristopher On His Release From Prison


In 2008, as George W. Bush tried to gift the energy and mining industries thousands of acres of pristine Utah wilderness via a widely disputed federal auction, college student Tim DeChristopher decided to monkey-wrench the process. Bidding $1.7 million, he won 22,000 acres with no intention to drill. For this astonishing (and successful) act of civil disobedience he was sent to federal prison. Beth and George Gage's new documentary BIDDER 70 tells the story of this peaceful warrior whose patriotism and willingness to sacrifice have ignited the climate justice movement.

At a time when the debate over climate change is finally gaining post-election "steam," when hot-button topics such as fracking and the Keystone XL Pipeline have captured the country's attention, BIDDER 70 is poised to showcase the face and voice of a movement that has been steadily gathering force, particularly among millenials, who have grave concerns over the future of a livable world - as well as its present.

In 2008, DeChristopher, a University of Utah economics student, disrupted a Bureau of Land Management auction of pristine Utah land surrounding national parks by outbidding other attendees, effectively preserving thousands of acres slated for lease to oil and gas industry giants. Although incoming Interior Secretary Ken Salazar subsequently invalidated the auction (thereby saving over 100,000 acres of land), DeChristopher was indicted on two felony counts and sentenced to two years in federal prison.

While awaiting trial, the 27-year-old environmentalist stepped up his activism, co-founding the organization Peaceful Uprising and leading an occupation of the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. His nearly five-year odyssey from a single act of civil disobedience to soon-to-be freed environmental hero, documented in the Gages' film, has garnered not only national press attention but also the support of such well-known figures as Nobel prize-winning scientist Terry Root, PhD; author, conservationist and activist Terry Tempest Williams, and filmmaker Robert Redford; all of whom appear in the film, alongside a number of other high-profile community leaders and activists.

Beth and George Gage, through their production company Gage & Gage Productions, make compelling personal films that enlighten and empower viewers, initiate dialogue and prompt action on provocative issues. Some of the highlights are FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN: The Story of the Men of the 10th Mountain Division, AMERICAN OUTRAGE, TROUBLED WATERS: The Effects of Dams on Rivers, and now BIDDER 70.

Selected Quotes

"He just did what he thought was his constitutional right..." -- Robert Redford

"A shocking look at how far the energy industry and the government will go to crush just one voice." -- Michael Moore

Filmmaker Statement

Once in a while someone comes along that totally wows you. That's how we felt when we read about Tim DeChristopher. As bidder number 70, DeChristopher bid 1.8 million dollars and saved 22,000 acres of pristine wilderness with no intention to pay or drill. No property was destroyed, no one was hurt, and valid concerns were raised over the entire federal oil and gas leasing process. Patrick A. Shea, former Director of the BLM under President Clinton, offered to represent Tim "pro bono" should the need arise. BIDDER 70 was a story we had to tell.

Since 1993, Gage & Gage Productions has produced feature documentaries that inspire, educate and entertain; with BIDDER 70, we also motivate. Tim DeChristopher is a young man with a message that needs to be heard: climate change is upon us and there is nothing more important to work for than a livable future. Tim is not alone in this message, but his commitment to future generations, his evolution as a leader and his willingness to courageously accept the consequences of his action, make his a story we hope will inspire and motivate a new generation of activists.

-- Beth Gage & George Gage, Directors/Producers, Gage & Gage Productions