The Prospector

Michelle Aguilar | 2022 | 18 min.

2023 Official Selection

The Prospector is a quietly captivating lyrical journey following National Gold-panning Champion, Ernie Lazlo. We follow Ernie as he shares this wealth of geological, historical and prospecting wisdom with a new friend, all while unearthing an off-the-grid lifestyle deeply connected to nature, and a pet donkey named Nugget. Ernie’s reflections are quickly set aside as we witness his poignant run at the National Gold Panning Championship where he is determined to find the victory nuggets. As the competition swiftly rushes on, we not only start to speculate whether or not Ernie can win, but also if finding peace in the natural world ultimately outweighs the possession of another trophy. Through this film, Ernie highlights contemporary themes of sustainability, capitalism, and the preservation of the by-gone era. The Prospector will broaden the horizons of historians, educators, naturalists, and laypersons alike.

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