Celebrate International Women's Day: Watch our Women in Adventure Films

Posted by Joanna Rowbottom on 08/03/2016

Celebrate International Women's Day by finding out a little more about the films submitted for the Women in Adventure Film Competition. BMC equity and partnerships officer Jo Rowbottom guides us through some of the films.

Anyone who has visited the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), or any other film festival, will realise that adventure films come in all shapes and sizes, however, just 20% of the films screened at ShAFF feature female protagonists, or are made by women.  Back for its second year, the Women in Adventure Film competition is an attempt to readdress this balance.

The competition is a collaboration between the BMC, ShAFF and WomenClimb and aims to boost women’s voices within the adventure film world.

There are 17 entries into the 2016 Women in Adventure Film Competition; the films cover a broad spectrum of adventure from ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, to weekend adventures from London, scaling remote mountains in Kyrgyzstan and fitting mountain running into everyday life. All are available to watch on our video platform BMCTV.

Miles Away features Alicia Hudelson running in the mountains in Avers, Switzerland and along the incredible cliff side at Serra De Montsant, Catalunya. The film shows the amazing views from Montsant and it’s easy to see why Alicia says at that moment she feels peaceful, calm and incredibly happy.

My Cathedral shows ice climber Vicky Warke leading a pitch up a frozen waterfall in the Canadian Rockies to the words of Anatoli Boukreev: ‘Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion’. This film really shows us why Vicky might feel that her cathedral is within the Canadian Rockies

For those after a little inspiration to get involved in adventuring, Get Out There is a short film where we join Alison and Emma on a climbing trip to Tenerife whilst they discuss why women should get out there and enjoy adventures.

For a more humorous take on adventure, A Ladies’ Guide to Climbing celebrates the light-hearted traditional male-orientated, daft sense of humour which surrounds climbing with a new, female, twist. Think black and white comedies, and Monty Python’s ‘Upper Class Twit of the Year’.

If you’ve ever wondered how those living in the big smoke get their adventure fix there might be a couple of answers in two of the films, Project Ellie and London to the Lost World.  Project Ellie is an inspirational film about a student in London whose passion is running in the mountains. Ellie talks about her motivations and how she ensures she gets into the British mountains at the weekend.  Another film, London to the Lost World by Hannah Price and Lucy Cook, shows them planning their weekend adventures beyond the M25.  Their adventure takes them to a lost world of slate quarries in North Wales, described in the film as a ‘bunch of rusty old ladders propped up against the slate, sometimes you get to the top of one and you’re not sure what’s holding it up in the first place’.

You might by now be asking where these adventurous women get the time, and this is mentioned in a number of the films. We get the impression that creating the time is important, but then, the love of what you are doing takes over. So having the time becomes less of an issue because one thing all these women have in common is they never want to stop doing what they love.  In her film, Kate Worthington (newly appointed chair of BMC Cymru/Wales) talks about how she balances everyday life with her love of running in the mountains.  The film shows the breathtaking views of lakes and mountains as she sets out on her run.

We believe all these films, and indeed these women, both filmmaker and protagonist, are incredible each in their own way.  Watch for yourselves and we’re sure you’ll be inspired to take on adventures of your own, and remember an adventure comes in all shapes and sizes.

Watch and vote

The top 4 films have been announced as:

  • Women in Adventure - Kate Worthington by Rob Johnson
  • Miles Away by Dave MacLeod
  • My Cathedral by Sandro Gromen-Hayes
  • Kosmos - There and Back Again by Heather Swift

The winner will be announced on Saturday 12 March at the BMC Women in Adventure Event at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF).

Watch all 60 films about women on our This Girl Can channel here


This Girl Can

Get the adrenaline buzz of reaching the top. Keep fit without feeling like you're doing exercise. Socialise and build strong friendships. Tempted to give climbing a go? Find out more about This Girl Can Climb.

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