WFF17 Announces Adventure Series Lineup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Experience Adventure on Film at Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival
Whistler Film Festival announces Adventure Film Series lineup.

Whistler, B.C. (April 18, 2017): Get ready for adventure and more! The Whistler Film Festival’s 4th annual Adventure Film Series returns May 19 to 21 as part of Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest). The action packed lineup features seven film screenings comprised of 30 films that range from extreme sport to activism through adventure, including 27 shorts and three features from four countries, with five screenings complimented by a speaker series related to the films. Mountain biking, environmentalism, surfing, climbing, running, slacklining, skiing, surfing, rowing, outdoor art, and traveling are among the series’ film themes.

“Whistler is a renowned outdoor adventure destination that attracts thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies,” says WFF’s Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw. “WFF’s Adventure Film Series offers an exciting lineup for outdoor enthusiasts to experience adventure on film, and through personal stories and photography.”

WFF’s Adventure Film Series is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures through the power of the story. Above all else, it is a gathering for like-minded people who get together to celebrate the wonder of wild places and outdoor adventure.

The series kicks off on Friday, May 19 at 4:00pm featuring seven short films themed Adventure Unknown. From the bumpy trails of India to the bitterly cold waves of Iceland, life is full of unexpected excursions. These are the stories of brave wanderers. At 7:00pm, WFF presents the Canadian premiere of Red Bull Media’s latest film BLOOD ROAD, which follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos over 40 years earlier. During this poignant voyage of self discovery, the women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about the historic ‘Blood Road’ and how the Vietnam War shaped their lives in different ways.

On Saturday, May 20, the series features a 4:00pm presentation themed ADVENTUROUS INFLUENCERS. Whether they’re setting world records at the age of ten or inspiring change in others, these are the ten stories of courageous athletes and groundbreaking artists. Experience their influential and uplifting tales. The program will be followed by a presentation from John Leslie. Cancer took John’s leg when he was 10 years old. The following winter snowboarding changed his life. The Ottawa native is a snowboard Paralympian preparing to represent Canada in the 2018 games. Experience his inspirational story on screen and in person. At 7:00pm and 9:00pm, the Adventure Film Series proudly presents the Canadian premiere of UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY directed by Chris Burkard, which follows six surfers who set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights. The film will be introduced by an inspiring presentation from Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author, who joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film adventure.

On Sunday, May 21 the series features a 4:00PM presentation themed LIVING ON THE EDGE. This series features 7 films about climbing and the mountains.Nothing can stop these athletes from climbing the biggest cracks and sending it. Whether they’re ice climbing in Michigan or setting world records at the age of nine, these climbing legends are making their way to the top. The series will be followed by a presentation from Kristin Gerhart, co director of GLACIER EXIT. Kristin is the co-director of Glacier Exit which is part of the series. An award-winning editor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, she is a passionate environmental activist. Join her as she discusses how climate change is affecting people both in Seward, Alaska and around the world.

New this year, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine introduces a photography competition to the Adventure Film Series with the winning photo to be featured in the summer issue of Mountain Life Coast Magazine which hits the stands June 1. The top three photos will also be featured online on mountainlifemedia.ca. Photos must be images taken within the Sea to Sky region (Vancouver to Pemberton). The contest is open to all ages and the top ten photos will be determined by an online, social voting system channel through WFF’s Facebook page with the winning photo and runner ups to be selected by a Mountain Life jury. The winner will be announced on the final night of the series on May 21. Submit your photos at: http://whistlerfilmfestival.com/events/adventure-film-series.

There will also be a free adventure photography exhibition to experience in the Maury Young Arts Centre Gallery during GO FEST, featuring a selection of competition photos and photos from the participating films.

All events will take place at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Film and speaker series tickets are $15 per program. WFF Adventure Film Series info and tickets are available online at: www.greatoutdoorsfest.com and www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
WFF’s Adventure Film Series is supported by GO Fest, an initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funded through the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative. GO Fest is part of the RMOW’s Festivals, Events and Animation program, and is one component of the larger May long weekend strategy. WFF’s Adventure Film Series is sponsored by Mountain Life.

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Media inquiries, please contact:
Lindsay Nahmiache | Partner | Jive Communications
e: lindsay@jivecommunications.ca | Toronto: 647.725.3018 | Vancouver: 604.889.7996

The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) is a cultural charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) will celebrate its 16th edition as Canada’s coolest film fest from November 30 to December 4 with fresh films, special guests, lively celebrations, and unique industry initiatives.

GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, will take place May 19 to 22, 2017 in Whistler, located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometers (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. GO Fest celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four-season mountain resort. GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival is part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Festivals, Events & Animation (FE&A) program and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative.

Whistler is Canada’s premier, year-round destination located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, and just two hours north of Vancouver. Consistently ranked the number one mountain resort in North America, Whistler features two majestic mountains, epic skiing and snowboarding conditions, four championship golf courses, more than 200 shops, 90 restaurants and bars, accommodations galore, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world. In short, Whistler has everything you will ever need to have the time of your life – and so much more.

WFF ADVENTURE FILM SERIES LINEUP:

Friday, May 19, 4:00PM

Short Films: ADVENTURE UNKNOWN
113 mins | Unrated
Journey into the unknown. From the bumpy trails of India to the bitterly cold waves of Iceland, life is full of unexpected excursions. Experience seven stories of brave wanderers.

India: An Uncertain Road (Canada) Dir. Vince Edmond
Changing Course (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan, Grayson Schaffer
Shift (Canada) Dir. Kelly Milner
The Foodless Odyssey Dir. Anthill Films
The Trail to Kazbegi (USA) Dir. Joey Schusler
The Accord (USA) RC Cone
Dreamride 2 (Canada) Mike Hopkins

Speaker: Scott Secco

The Adventure Unknown program will be followed by a talk from action sport filmmaker Scott Secco. You can find the Victoria, BC native chasing golden light and pristine singletrack, wherever the trails may take him. Scott joins us to talk about shooting Mike Hopkin’s epic short Dreamride 2.

Friday, May 19 7:00PM

Film: BLOOD ROAD
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 96 mins
Directed by Nicholas Schrunk/Red Bull Media House | Unrated

BLOOD ROAD follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos over 40 years earlier. During this poignant voyage of self discovery, the women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about the historic ‘Blood Road’ and the impact the Vietnam War shaped their lives in different ways.

Saturday May 20 4:00PM

Short Films: ADVENTUROUS INFLUENCERS
105 mins | Unrated

Whether they’re setting world records at the age of ten or inspiring change in others, these are the stories of courageous athletes and groundbreaking artists. Experience their influential and uplifting tales.

The Canoe (Canada) Dir. Goh Iromoto
Flow (Germany) Dir. Joachim Hellinger, Christian Schmidt
What If You Fly (USA) Dir. Renan Ozturk and Taylor Rees
Digging for Galena (Canada) Dir. Brian Goertzen
Doing It Scared (New Zealand) Dir. Matthew Newton
70 Some Years (USA) Dir. Riley Hooper
Douglas Tompkins: Wild Legacy (USA) Dir. James Q Martin & Chris Cresci
In Current (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan
Light Cycles (Canada) Dir. Mike Gamble
John Leslie Story (Canada) Dir. Crispin Cannon

Speaker: John Leslie

The Adventurous Influencers program will be followed by a presentation by John Leslie. Cancer took John’s leg when he was 10 years old. The following winter snowboarding changed his life. The Ottawa native is a snowboard Paralympian preparing to represent Canada in the 2018 games. Experience his inspirational story on screen and in person.

Saturday May 20 7:00PM

Film: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 40 mins + Presentation
Directed by Chris Burkard | Unrated

Six surfers set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights.

Speaker: Chris Burkard

UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY will be introduced by an inspiring presentation from Chris Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author. Chris joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film adventure.

Saturday May 20 9:00PM

Film: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY
Canadian Premiere
2017 | USA | 40 mins + Presentation
Directed by Chris Burkard | Unrated

Six surfers set sail along the frozen northern shores of Iceland, knowing that the largest storm to hit the country in 25 years is about to arrive. Enduring constant darkness and stormy seas, they discover perfect waves and make history by surfing under the northern lights.

Speaker: Chris Burkard

UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY will be introduced by a presentation from Chris Burkard, an accomplished explorer, photographer, filmmaker, creative director, speaker and author. Chris joins us from California via Alaska to speak about his latest film. Come early to meet the filmmaker!

Sunday, May 21 4:00pm

Short Films: LIVING ON THE EDGE
109 mins | Unrated

Climb. Sleep. Repeat. Nothing can stop these athletes from climbing the biggest cracks and sending it. Whether they’re ice climbing in Michigan or setting world records at the age of nine, these climbing legends are making their way to the top.

Haywire (USA) Dir. Cheyne Lempe
Fallen Feather (USA) Dir. Aaron Peterson
Young Guns (USA) Dir. Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell
Biggs Crack (Canada) Dir. Z Griffler
A Song for Tomorrow (Germany) Franz Walter
Brette (USA) Dir. Peter Mortimer, Josh Lowell, Nick Rosen
Glacier Exit (USA) Dir. Kristin Gerhart, Paul Rennick, Raphael Rogers

Speaker: Kristin Gerhart

The Living On The Edge program will be followed by a presentation by Kristin Gerhart, who is the co-director Glacier Exit. An award-winning editor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Kristin is a passionate environmental activist. Join her for an insightful conversation about how climate change is affecting people both in Seward, Alaska and around the world.

Sunday May 21 7:00PM

Short Films: WILD AT HEART
65 mins mins | Unrated

Some people just can’t be tamed. Meet the wildest adventure personalities in the series. Whether they’re climbing the narrowest cracks or walking the tightest lines, these lunatics have no limits.

Boys In the Bugs (USA) DIr. Peter Mortimer, Zachary Barr, Nick Rosen
John Shocklee (USA) Dir. Ryan Heffernan & Grayson Schaffer
Untethered (Canada) Dir. Levi Allen

Speaker: Spencer Seabrooke

The Wild At Heart program will be followed by a presentation by Spencer Seabrooke. A Pro Slackliner and the Co-Founder and leader of SlacklifeBC, Spencer is always going big and hard, dreaming up and making the epic missions possible. He continues to train hard and push himself, but is also a motivator to so many people around him. Join Spencer as he talks about cracking the world record for high lining set at the Squamish Chief.

Film: GIVEN

Whistler Premiere
2017 | USA | 54 mins
Directed by Jess Bianchi | Unrated

Given is the simple yet powerfully contemplative story of a unique family legacy come full circle. Told through the visceral experience of a 6 yr. old. Given follows legendary surfers Aamion and Daize Goodwin from their island home of Kauai through 15 different countries in the quest for surf and to fulfill a calling handed down through generations.