Outdoor adventure films do more than just awe us. They inspire, educate, challenge, and inform, featuring stunning visuals, and memorable casts of athletes that keep us talking and watching throughout the year. Fall is the time when, after the trails are too cold, and the snow is thin, film festivals from Banff to Boulder showcase the best of talented artists, filmmakers, and studios. These are six adventure films that are a must-sees this fall.
Jeremy Collins is a filmmaker, artist, and climber from Kansas City, Missouri. He set off on a journey to climb in the four directions from his home, not only to bag first ascents, but also document the people he meets, perform extraordinary favors to communities, and honor a lost friend from each summit. Drawn transcends the typical climbing journey film, using Collins’ trademark illustration and animation to tell a story through art, music, and stunning photography. The project was funded through Kickstarter, and will be followed with companion book to be released in April 2015.
Pretty Faces: The Story Of A Skier Girl
Men dominate action and adventure sport films, while girls don’t get to have as many heroes to aspire to. Lynsey Dyer was dismayed by the underrepresentation of women in the mountains, and through her production house, SheJumps, Lynsey crowdfunded the first all-woman ski film. Pretty Faces is the story of a girl’s skier journey. The film serves as a source of inspiration for girls who build their confidence and dreams in the mountains. While the top female skiers anchor the film, Lynsey invited girls from around the world to share their stories, so that one girl’s experience may inspire another.
Bjornoya (Bear Island)
Inge, Markus, and Hakon Wegge
In 2013, Inge Wegge released the critically acclaimed “North of the Sun,” the only surf film set in the Arctic Circle. This year, the Norwegian filmmaker and his two brothers set out to explore the frigid waters and mountains of the uninhabited Bear Island. They descend new lines by snowboard, surf the island’s winter waves for the first time, and film the island from a paragliding vantage point. Fighting frozen waves, extreme cold temperatures, and looking over the shoulder for polar bears, the brothers share their vision of conservation and the exploration of remote environments. Bear Island is the most imaginative surf film you’re going to see.
Mending the Line
Uncage the Soul
Frank Moore is a Normandy veteran and fly-fishing legend. During the war, while crossing through the devastated battlefields of France, he only wished to return home and have his fishing pole again. Mending the Line documents Frank’s dream of returning to Normandy to fish the pristine rivers in more tranquil times. Joined by his wife, Jeanne, and son, Frankie, Frank poetically reflects on his passion, and mending his memory of a turbulent landscape by looking back on his incredible life.
Teton Gravity Research
Every year, Teton Gravity Research pushes the limit of ski filmmaking. Almost Ablaze takes it one step further, immersing the audience in the thoughts of the athletes as they shred through Italy, Eastern Europe, and British Columbia. The film reveals the hesitations and tribulations of the skiers as they descend monster lines. In one segment, a group of skiers ride the concrete war torn remains of the Olympic Park of Sarajevo, and the film concludes with a heart-pounding finale in Revelstoke, BC. Almost Ablaze has already captured critical acclaim and is one of TGR’s finest works.
Known for their Reel Rock film series, Sender Films has created what is arguably their masterpiece: A feature-length film, documenting the rich and colorful history of Yosemite climbing. Narrated by Peter Sarsgaard, and featuring interviews with a bevy of contemporary climbers and living legends, Valley Uprising brings to life the legends, stories, and dizzying climbs from the first ascent of El Capitan to Alex Honnold’s famous free solos and Dean Potter’s highline walks. Told through Monty-Python-esque animations and music ranging from Bob Dylan to El Goodo, Valley Uprising is a film that pleases climbers and non-climbers alike.