We are proud to have been media partners for the second season of the WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR.
The WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR was created to help further the mission of She Went Wild to overcome the barriers faced by women who want to spend more time out and about and in Toby’s case, as the father of a young daughter, to help create a more diverse and equal future for women through the power of film.
Last year’s tour was presented with films supplied by the amazing team at Mountainfilm in Colorado. This time around we have taken the big step of sourcing and developing our own program. We received more than 50 film submissions from all over the world and invested in producing two of the films you will see ourselves: Nemesis about Australian climber Monique Forestier, and Threads of Mongolia.
Sourcing our own films has also allowed us to introduce a lot more local content to the program which is something many people asked us to do.
Finally, thank you to all our supporters without whom this tour would not be possible. In particular, we would like to welcome Paddy Pallin who has stepped in as our new Tour Partner. We hope you enjoy the films as much as we have enjoyed creating and selecting them.
Australia is blessed with some amazing adventurers, but until recently their stories were rarely seen on the big screen with adventure film festivals dominated by overseas male content. Well that is about to change with the 2018/19 edition of the WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR.
The WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR begins as an official part of Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week 2018, a week for all women across Australia to make good health a priority.
Being adventurous doesn’t always have to mean being the fastest, going the highest or doing the most extreme things. Adventure for most of us is stepping outside our comfort zone and climbing our own personal Everest. Our selection of unique films have been carefully chosen to show awesome women achieving their adventurous goals. The films showcase real stories about women from a variety of cultures and sports around the world.
This year’s tour includes twelve short films, half of which feature local adventurers. You will witness first hand the grit and determination of Australian rock climber, Monique Forestier. Take on the mountains with the youngest Australian to summit Mt Everest, Alyssa Azar. Journey across Greenland on a bicycle with record breaking expedition cyclist, Dr Kate Leeming. Experience snowboarding in Iran through the eyes of international snowboard competitor Michaela DavisMeehan. And get a glimpse into life as a competitive adventurer with world champion trails rider Janine Jungfels, and Australian and New Zealand Olympic skiers Anna Segal and Janina Kuzma.
Plus you will enjoy international stories including official selections from the Mountainfilm festival, winner of the audience award at the Baltimore International Black Film Festival and the Winner of the Best Film award at the UK’s BMC Women In Adventure film competition.
The WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR is the original women’s adventure film tour, created by a local team in Australia in early 2017. It has since gone on to screen in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom and will commence in New Zealand, the United States and Taiwan soon.
The WOMEN’S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR is co-presented by Adventure Film Tours and She Went Wild. It is proudly supported by Tour Partner – Paddy Pallin and presented with support from Osprey Packs Australia, the Department of Health’s Girls Make Your Move campaign, Adventurous Women and Outer Edge Magazine.
Welcome to the WOMEN‘S ADVENTURE FILM TOUR. Our goal is to celebrate women who do extraordinary things. The films are to be enjoyed by men, women and children – people of all ages. We have 12 films to showcase – enjoy the ride.
90 Seconds of Fear: Hayley Ashburn Meditates at 2,800 Metres
Before walking a 52 meter highline at 2800 altitude in mid winter, Hayley was asked about fear.
She replied with her favorite quote from Frank Herbert’s “Dune”.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.” That’s the mantra of American, Hayley Ashburn, as she walks a 170-foot highline between outcroppings in the wintry Dolomites.
Hayley Ashburn currently lives inbetween Moab Utah, and Yosemite Valley. She is an established highliner, climber, rigger, and is beginning to learn the ways of skydiving and BASE jumping. She travels the world year round helping push the sports she loves, voicing her opinions on ethics and the future of our sports, and the focus of including and inspiring women in outdoor sports. The film was an official selection at Mountainfilm 2018.
Mothered By Mountains
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Nepal’s leading female mountain guide, has been on top of the tallest peaks on Earth. When she teams up to make a first ascent with an unlikely partner – local punk-rock icon, Sareena Rai – they both find that the paths to the greatest summits lie within.
“So this was supposed to be a film about, like, empowering women, about bringing two of my friends on this badass adventure. But it all kinda went horribly wrong.” That’s Ben Ayers of the dZi Foundation, who hatched a plan to bring Akita and Rai together for an ambitious objective: motorcycle from Kathmandu to mountains, then bag a first ascent.
However, the white-male-directed adventure falls flat, and the women end up doing it their own way, bonding as they go over issues like motherhood, family and the pressures of society on their gender.
The film was an official selection at Mountainfilm 2018, Kendal Mountain Festival 2018 and the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival 2018.
The film also featured at the Trento Film Festival 2018, NZ Mountain Film Festival 2018, Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017, Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2018 and more.
Endless powder fields and a magnitude of potential lines aren’t immediately what you may think of when talking about Iran.
This film tells the story of Iranian pro snowboarder Mona Seraji who invites two fellow snowboarders from Australia, Amber Arazny and Michaela Davis-Meehan, to come discover the wonderful mountains of Iran.
Mountainfilm says, “One of the unique delights of this endearing short film, in addition to glimpses of a country and culture we hear so little about (and rarely anything positive), is that fretted lutes, ancient Persian percussions and haunting Farsi vocals perfectly counterweight the very modern, very cool, hip-hop segments of the musical score.”
The film was an official selection at Mountainfilm 2018, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival 2018 and Freeride Film Festival 2018.
Trial and Error
Janine Jungfels is sometimes referred to as Australia’s “least famous world champion”. Janine started riding Bike Trials in 2005 and has been competing internationally since 2009.
In 2015, she made history by being the first Australian to win the gold medal at the UCI Trials World Championships in Andorra. Her achievements also include winning the 2014 & 2015 Female MTB of the Year award.
Janine is making a name for herself as being Australia’s only female Trials rider who competes against the men.
She has taken out the Australian Expert Championship title in 2011, 2013 & 2015 proving she’s an exciting talent to keep your eye on.
This short film gives in insight into Janine’s life in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
At just eight-years-old, Queensland adventurer Alyssa Azar became the youngest person to cross the Kokoda track. At twelve, she conquered Australia’s 10 highest peaks and then, at 14, Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was after this milestone that Alyssa would realise a life-defining dream: to summit Mount Everest. Twice this dream was impeded by disaster.
In 2014, Alyssa survived the avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa and, in 2015, the Nepal earthquake that killed 22 climbers to become the deadliest disaster in the mountain’s history.
In 2016, Alyssa returned to successfully summit Earth’s highest peak as a 19-year-old, making her the youngest Australian to do so. The Ascent documents the final weeks in the lead up to Alyssa’s departure to Nepal and her return from the successful expedition, offering a rare glimpse into the unique regime and inspiring mindset of Australia’s boldest young adventurer.
The Ascent was produced in 2016 and has featured in various international film festivals, but until now has not received wide public release. It was produced by a student team from QUT’s Fine Arts Film Degree.
Why Not Now
Blind and afraid of water, Vivian Stancil learned to swim at 48.
“I heard that blind people can’t swim,” Stancil says, followed by: “Oh, yes they can!” Two hundred and twentyone medals later, at half her former body weight, Stencil is still at it.
When Vivian Stancil was 49 years old, her doctor told her that she needed to immediately improve her health. Despite being afraid of the water— she’s legally blind and had never been in a pool before—she was determined to learn how to swim for exercise.
Now at 70 years old, she’s an award winning senior olympic swimmer who has started a foundation that provides free swim lessons to kids and adults.
From the Los Angeles Times : she learned to navigate by sound. At every meet, she gets to a pool early to scope out lane width and length. Then she does an exact stroke count.
“Being blind helps keep your brain sharp, because everything is done by memory,” she says.
“I typically do 35 freestyle strokes in a 25-meter pool, and you can bet I count every one. Because nothing will ruin your day like bumping your head on the wall.”
“I would be lying if I said I don’t get scared.” Monique Forestier has carved out a career from getting caught between a rock and a hard place. The difference between Monique and other people though, is that she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
As a highly accomplished rock climber, Monique has completed some very difficult climbs around the world.
And along the way she became the first Australian woman to climb routes graded 31, 32, 33 and 34. To put that into perspective, the top grade climbed by an Australian male is 35. Monique has allowed rock climbing
to infiltrate almost every part of her existence. When she’s not travelling the world climbing, she’s coaching others or speaking about climbing at events, she works with her husband Simon Carter on his photography business (which focuses on rock climbing of course) and is a mother to their daughter Coco.
Nemesis shows the determination and perseverance required to succeed at the top end of rock climbing on a project that pushed Monique to her limit.
The film is an original production completed with support from Adventure Film Tours & Sterling Rope.
We are never too young to adventure and this special tour edit of the film Discovering Adventure, documents 5-year old, Isabelle Green’s, greatest adventure yet: traveling with her family to Norway to SKY CAMP in the winter snow, paragliding over barren mountain ranges and driving dog sled teams.
In her parents’, Tim & Maile’s, capable hands along with a scant but seasoned crew of sailors, navigators and explorers, she is immersed in a series of breathtaking experiences in the wintry north.
The film is an insight into the joyous experience of discovering adventure as a youth and has not been featured previously in film festivals.
* This is a shortened festival edit made exclusively for the Women’s Adventure Film Tour
Along the way she’s learning the skills to be an explorer and adventurer, but most importantly she’s learning about herself. With her father Tim who’s also a professional paragliding pilot, and downto-earth mom, Maile, the family set sail into the Arctic Circle in search of a winter wonderland to sail, fly, camp, ski and explore together. Isabelle’s love of adventure has already taken her all over the world sailing in Croatia, tandem wake boarding in California, paragliding in France and winter Sky Camping above Europe’s highest ski station, Val Thorens. Who knows where she will go next.
Threads From Mongolia
Threads from Mongolia is a short creative documentary, following a group of women from France, Hong Kong, Mongolia and beyond, many of whom are entirely new to camping, mountains and adventure. The film explores some of Mongolia’s most remote landscapes, from arid desert to the frozen Altai mountains by foot, horse and car as the group raise funds and awareness for charity Women on a Mission.
Nadege is there to connect with her lost Mongolian roots, Anastasia to defy her friends telling her she should be at home ‘making babies’ and Ada to overcome her fear of the new. With encounters with the infamous Kazakh eagle hunters, ancient petroglyphs and a glimpse into the lives of nomadic families, Threads from Mongolia weaves female camaraderie and experience, poetry by acclaimed writer Claire Carter and music from local performers into a beautiful love letter to a wild, special place.
Women on a Mission (WOAM) organises challenging expeditions, dynamic marketing campaigns and events to raise awareness and funds for women survivors of war, and to support and empower women who have been subjected to violence and abuse.
Breaking The Cycle: Greenland
Australian expedition cyclist Dr. Kate Leeming travels through Northeast Greenland to test a custom made Christini all-wheel-drive fatbike in polar conditions in preparation for her record breaking Antarctic traverse.
Kate Leeming is an extraordinary Australian adventurer who has overcome a battle with depression to conquer the world on a bike. As an explorer/adventurer, she has cycled the equivalent distance of twice around the world at the Equator. Her three main achievements include a 10 month, 22,040km journey across Africa from Point des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia in a continuous line; the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (GRACE) and the 13,400km Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition.
The film has not been featured previously in film festivals.
“This Greenland training expedition has reconnected me with the reality of just how tough this Antarctic bicycle crossing will be. It had been three years since my first training run in Spitsbergen, and as time goes by, I tend to remember the pleasures rather than the toughness and difficulties of the challenge. I am pleased with how my body responded to the shock of the extreme workload and I come away from the expedition with confidence that I am still physically capable to pull the Antarctic challenge off.”
Picture a terrifyingly steep, snow-covered mountain chute land mined with cliffs, trees and hidden drop-offs. This is the sort of terrain Janina Kuzma navigates for a living.
Kuzma represents New Zealand in free skiing at the Winter Olympics and is a 7 time New Zealand Big Mountain Champion, 2 time Canadian Freeski Champion, 2 time World Heli Challenge Champion and has also achieved second overall in the world for halfpipe.
This film follows Janina, Australian Olympic skier Anna Segal and Swedish freeskier Evelina Nillson on a journey to climb and ski New Zealand’s largest volcano, Mt Taranaki.
It celebrates the spirt of adventure and comradery we enjoy in the outdoors.
The film was a finalist at the NZ Mountain Film Festival 2018.
Three Women And Three Old Men
‘Three women and the three old men’ is a story of three women’s journey to climb three of Scotland’s remote sea stacks in just three days to raise money for a local charity who provide opportunities for disadvantaged youths in climbing.
This film showcases exactly what the Women’s Adventure Film Tour is all about – real people, enjoying real adventure.
It was Winner of the Best Film award at the BMC Women In Adventure film competition 2017 and featured at the Cradle Mountain Film Festival 2018.
Situated along Scotland’s wild North West coast, the sea stacks are remote and difficult to access. The challenge of climbing all 3 in 3 consecutive days will provide an exhausting challenge unequalled in Scottish climbing history. Between the 3 stacks they will attempt to climb a total of 240 meters of rock over 12 pitches of up to grade E1 5b. They will also have to overcome the challenging approaches to the pinnacles by means of scrambling, swimming and tyrolean traverse (similar to a zip wire). Travelling between the 3 remote areas they will cover a distance of 200 miles, including 2 ferry crossings.