FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Whistler Film Festival Announces 2019 Adventure Film Series Lineup
Experience Great Outdoor Stories at Whistler’s GO Fest during the May Long Weekend.
Whistler, B.C. (April 30, 2019) – Get ready for adventure and more! The Whistler Film Festival’s 6th annual Adventure Film Series returns May 17 to 19 as part of Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest), featuring a solid lineup of great outdoor stories. The action packed program features seven screenings comprised of nine films that range from extreme sports to activism through adventure, complemented by a photography competition and a new adventure filmmaking workshop. Rock climbing, bikepacking, cycling, travelling and exploring the mountains are highlighted in this year’s adrenaline fueled lineup.
“Whistler is a renowned outdoor adventure destination that attracts thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies,” says WFF’s Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw. “WFF’s Adventure Film Series offers an exciting lineup for outdoor enthusiasts to experience outdoor adventure through films, personal stories, photography and education.”
WFF’s Adventure Film Series is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures through the power of story. Above all else, it is a gathering for like-minded people who join together to celebrate the wonder of wild places and outdoor adventure.
The WFF Adventure Series kicks off on Friday, May 17 at 7:00pm with the announcement of the winners of WFF’s Adventure Photo Competition presented by Mountain Life. The announcement will be followed by the Whistler edition of REEL ROCK TOUR 13, which delivers jaw-dropping action, soulful journeys and rollicking humor in a brand new collection of the year’s best climbing films. From Olympic training centers to the frozen landscape of Antarctica, explore the cutting edge of climbing with four new films. The first feature, AGE OF ONDRA, gives viewers an inside look at Adam Ondra, the 25-year-old Czech crusher, who is exploring a new realm of human potential in climbing. Late last year, he established a benchmark for the sport; a 5.15d in Norway he dubbed “Silence” (as in, drop the mic). AGE OF ONDRA is a rare, intimate journey with one of the greatest athletes at the peak of his powers. The second half of the evening features three short films. The first short, VALLEY OF THE MOON, explores the importance of climbing as a way to cross cultural barriers, build friendship and chase adventure in one of the most breathtaking regions on earth. The second film, UP TO SPEED, looks into the little-known and seldom practiced subsport of speed climbing, which will be part of the 2020 Olympics. Wrapping up the evening is QUEEN MAUD LAND which follows a dream team of six elite climbers who mount an expedition to one of the world’s last great climbing frontiers: the remote frozen towers of Antarctica. Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker tackle a new route on the 3,600-foot Ulvetanna; Savannah Cummins and Anna Pfaff summit the towering Holtanna; and Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright make a harrowing and hilarious blitz of 13 different spires spread across the ice field.
On Saturday May 18 at 4:30pm, WFF brings back the award-winning documentary THIS MOUNTAIN LIFE, a look into what drives these adventurous people to sacrifice everything – comfort, family, and even their personal safety – for a life in the mountains. Director Grant Baldwin will be in attendance to speak about his filmmaking journey. At 6:30pm, the Whistler Premiere of SAFETY TO NOME, directed by Vancouver team Jonathan Hunwick and Kenton Gilchrist, chronicles twenty-six ultra endurance athletes who embarked on a 1,000-mile human powered race across Alaska on the Iditarod Trail, where being prepared – for anything – is the only way to guarantee your survival. At 8:30pm, the series transitions to THE BIKES OF WRATH in which five friends from Australia set out to bike from Oklahoma to California the same route the families traveled in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
On Sunday, May 19, the WFF Adventure Film Series concludes at 6:30pm with THE MEANING OF VANLIFE, a feature documentary that takes a look into the the vanlife community through the eyes of the nomads who have chosen to live a life of freedom on the road. The screening will be followed by an 8:30pm screening of THE DAWN WALL, an unbelievable story of perseverance with free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson attempting to scale the impossible 3000ft Dawn Wall in Yosemite.
Returning this year, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine presents the Adventure Photography Competition as part of the series. Open to all ages, the top ten photos and the People’s Choice Photo will be determined by an online, social voting system channel through WFF’s Facebook page. The winning photo will be selected by a Mountain Life jury to be featured in the summer issue of Mountain Life Coast Magazine which hits the stands June 1, and receive $200 cash and prize package. The top three photos will also be featured online on mountainlifemedia.ca. The deadline to submit is May 14 at 5pm PST. The winner will be announced on the opening night of the series on May 17, and the top shots will be presented before every screening during the series. Competition details are available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/events/adventure-film-series/.
A new edition to WFF’s Adventure Film Series is the Adventure Filmmaking Workshop on Saturday May 18 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, which will offer participants key intel and insights from two of BC’s leading adventure filmmakers, Grant Baldwin and Brian Hockenstein, on what it takes to create a great mountain film from conception to execution. Vancouver based Grant Baldwin is a Leo award-winning director, cinematographer, editor and music composer and the director of the award winning documentary THIS MOUNTAIN LIFE, a riveting portrait of human passion set high in the snowy peaks of Canada. Baldwin has a varied background working with documentaries, sports films and narratives. His work can be seen and heard on Knowledge Network, F/X, TNT, CBC, National Film Board and ESPN. His first documentary THE CLEAN BIN PROJECT won 10 festival awards and has screened around the world, and his film JUST EAT IT: A FOOD WASTE STORY premiered at Hot Docs, garnered him the award for emerging Canadian filmmaker of the year, and went on to hit #2 on the US iTunes documentary charts. Most recently, he has been filming with BBC’s Planet Earth team. Brian Hockenstein is a Whistler-based cinematographer who specializes in natural history, photography and action sports filmmaking. Hockenstein is the Producer and the Director along with Tamo Campos of THE RADICALS, which follows a group of snowboarders and surfers who drift from their respective sports to the work of activism and premiered at WFF18. Adventure filmmakers can register for the workshop at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
All events will take place at the Maury Young Arts Centre. WFF Adventure Film Series info and tickets are available online at: www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.
WFF’s Adventure Film Series is supported by GO Fest, an initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funded by the Province of British Columbia. 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 Photography Competition is sponsored by Mountain Life.
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About Whistler Film Festival Society: The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) is a cultural charitable organization dedicated to advancing the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. WFFS produces one of Canada’s leading film festivals and industry Summits, and plays a leadership role in offering project development programs for Canadian artists. The 19th Whistler Film Festival returns December 4 to 8. whistlerfilmfestival.com.
About Mountain Life — Coast Mountains: Founded in 2006 and published three times a year, Mountain Life Coast Mountains is dedicated to showcasing the natural beauty of British Columbia’s Coast Mountain range, with a focus on the Sea to Sky region between Vancouver and Pemberton. Through world-class photography and thought-provoking yet humorous editorial, our goal is to shed some light on the rich and varied history, culture, people and environmental issues of the Sea to Sky corridor. Die-hard locals, wide-eyed tourists and mountain-culture enthusiasts from all walks of life turn the pages of Mountain Life to stay informed, get inspired and keep their passion for the mountains stoked. mountainlifemedia.ca