Pure Land First in a Roster of Book-to-Screen Projects from AUXmedia

DETROIT, MI, [November 9, 2018] – The bestselling story behind Pure Land is now in development with a film studio.

Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures, and the Search for Heaven on Earth (2017) has received critical acclaim and is based on the true story of journalist Annette McGivney’s 10-year odyssey reporting on the murder of Japanese hiker Tomomi Hanamure in the Grand Canyon. The book addresses powerful themes around the cycle of family violence as well as the healing power of nature. The story spans from the Grand Canyon to the southern tip of Japan.

"I'm touched that this story has touched the hearts of so many people and now has the chance to make it to the screen," said McGivney.

Pure Land was published by AUXmedia, which develops book-to-screen projects and specializes in diverse stories. The film studio, Silver Heart Productions, is run by producer Michael D. Jones, whose work includes Kill the Irishman (2011), which featured Vincent D’Onofrio and Val Kilmer.

About Pure Land

Tomomi Hanamure, a Japanese citizen who loved exploring the rugged wilderness of the American West, was killed on her birthday in 2006, stabbed 29 times as she hiked to Havasu Falls on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Her killer was an 18-year old Havasupai youth named Randy Redtail Wescogame who had a history of robbing tourists and was addicted to meth. As the indigenous people of the Grand Canyon, the Havasupai once called the entire natural wonder their home before being forced onto a 500-acre reservation. Annette McGivney covered the murder and the plight of the tribe for Backpacker magazine and wrote an award-winning article that received more reader mail than any story in the last decade.

A woman who also enjoys wilderness hiking, McGivney felt a bond with Hanamure and embarked on a years-long pursuit to learn more about her, traveling to Japan and across the American West through Native American lands and national parks that Hanamure left in her journals. McGivney also felt a connection to Wescogame, Hanamure's killer, and her reporting unexpectedly triggered long-buried memories about violent abuse McGivney experienced as a child.

Pure Land is a story of this inner and outer journey, how two women in search of their true nature found transcendence in the West's most spectacular landscapes. It is also a tale of how child abuse leads to violence and destroys lives. And it is, ultimately, a story of healing.

About AUXmedia
AUXmedia develops book-to-screen projects and specializes in diverse stories.


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Annette McGivney’s Pure Land wins the 2018 national prize for her bestselling memoir.

“Havasu Creek. Its aqua colored waters, quiet pools and breathtaking falls, deep in the Grand Canyon, is one of the most beautiful places in all of the American Southwest. It’s truly a backpacker’s paradise, and many thousands have made the eight-mile hike into Supai, a small, remote Indian village, to spend time there. But in 2006, the serenity of Havasu was shattered when a young Japanese woman was murdered by a Native American. Author Annette McGivney, Backpacker Magazine’sSouthwest Editor, investigates the circumstances behind the incident. What emerges from her investigations is a captivating and an extraordinarily well crafted story, and one which takes a surprise twist as she finds her own life inexorably drawn into the narrative.” —NOBA review

National Outdoor Book Awards,

Press Room


Woman of Color from Detroit Makes Historic Partnership to Develop Diverse Projects 

DETROIT, MI [November 9, 2018] – Heather Buchanan, Detroit-based publisher and producer, has made a groundbreaking partnership with a California-based film studio. Akin to Reese Witherspoon’s efforts to bring books to the big screen, Buchanan is building a film and television lineup that specializes in diverse characters, storylines and creators.

A 2018 article by W Magazine reports that women and people of color remain “massively underrepresented” in film and television.

“Heather’s wealth of experience in developing underrepresented stories is much needed in the film industry,” said Michael D. Jones, owner of Silver Heart Productions. Jones has worked on films such as Kill the Irishman (2011), which featured Vincent D’Onofrio and Val Kilmer, which coincidentally was filmed in Detroit.

“Michael’s time spent here in Detroit was a definite selling point,” Buchanan said. “He ‘gets’ the Detroit ethos and strongly believes in inclusion in the film business.”

Buchanan’s first project with Silver Heart is the bestselling Pure Land (2017), a critically-acclaimed memoir by journalist Annette McGivney. Published by Buchanan’s AUXmedia, Pure Land is the true story of an international tragedy that spans from the Havasupai ancestral lands in the Grand Canyon to the southern tip of Japan. Buchanan is also a producer on several projects, including Assistant Producer for Valiant Films’ Solomon (2019). She is currently in post-production on When the Swan Sings on Hastings (2019) a short feature based on a novel by actor Thomas Galasso, and a series, Hastings. She has also written a screenplay about the Harlem Hellfighters of WWI based on her own novel series. Co-founder of the award-winning Willow Books, Buchanan publishes many of the nation’s top poets and writers of color.

AUXmedia Founder Heather Buchanan


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Jazz & Blues in Detroit's Paradise Valley October 6

Southfield Public Library

Trailer screening, community discussion and live music from When the Swan Sings on Hastings: A Short Film (2019). Produced by Detroit's own AUXmedia and featuring an all-Detroit cast and crew. Meet and Greet with the cast and crew. Saturday, October 6, 2018, 3pm. Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road.

Book to Screen Workshop Series Featuring Zelmer Bothic, III, special assistant to Spike Lee

book to screen workshop series

The Book to Screen workshop series provides training and networking for screenwriters and filmmakers. Features leading experts. The 2018 Feature was Zelmer Bothic III, special assistant to Spike Lee. Workshops take place at the AUXmedia studio in TechTown Detroit.

PURE LAND book and screenplay featured at MountainFilm 2018, in Telluride Colorado

PURE LAND book and screenplay featured at MountainFilm 2018, in Telluride Colorado


The award-winning Pure Land was featured at MountainFilm in Telluride Colorado this past summer. Pure Land's screenplay is written by AUXmedia’s own Heather Buchanan and author Annette McGivney.