BMCTV film Operation Moffat has been shortlisted in the imagery category for the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards. Operation Moffat takes inspiration and wit from the colourful climbing life of Britain’s first female mountain guide Gwen Moffat – now 91 years old.
In the 20 minute film, writer Claire Carter and filmmaker Jen Randall scramble, swim and climb barefoot through Gwen’s most cherished British landscapes – grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security and wilderness over tick lists. With a new take on landscape photography, archive footage and action sequences this is a film rooted in a real love of wild places.
The film has picked up awards at prestigious adventure film festivals around the world including Best Climbing Film at Kendal Mountain Festival, Judges Special Mention at Banff Mountain Festival, Mountain Culture Award at Vancouver Film Festival and three awards, including Best Film Award, at last weekend’s Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Alex Messenger of BMCTV, the BMC's film platform, said:
“Good films have memorable action; the best films have memorable characters. And when it comes to characters, they don’t come any more inspirational than Gwen Moffat.
“Directors Jen Randall and Claire Carter have created something very special. We’re delighted the film is reaching so many people and gaining such wide recognition.”
Operation Moffat has become synonymous with the hashtag #WhatWouldGwenDo – a question climbers all over the country are now asking themselves when pushing through a hard climbing move or looking for extra motivation to get out in the hills.
WATCH: The trailer for Operation Moffat on BMC TV
In recognition of her contribution to climbing, Gwen Moffat, along with Angela Soper –another leading light of British climbing history – have recently become the first female honorary members of the BMC.
91-year old Gwen Moffat, who now lives in Penrith, Cumbria, started climbing at 21 when she met a rock climber whilst stationed at a suburban ATS station during the Second World War. After a mini adventure in Wales, she soon deserted the army for a life of climbing. After an existence purely dictated by the conditions and her discovery of new crags throughout the UK, Gwen decided she could make a living from climbing.
Alongside a fruitful mountain writing career, in 1953 Gwen became the first female British mountain guide. She published her renowned climbing autobiography Space Below my Feet in 1961. She was a very committed member of the RAF Mountain Rescue, writing the non-fiction book Two Star Red about her experiences in its service.
Since the success of the BMCTV film, Gwen’s book Space Below my Feet has been commissioned for a reprint. Order your copy at the BMC shop and go wild!
A day dedicated to Gwen’s adventurous spirit will take place in north Wales in June during the BMC International Women’s Meet, held in collaboration with the women-only Pinnacle Club.
WATCH: An interview with Gwen by Fiona Marley Patterson
In 1953, the Queen was crowned, Everest was climbed and Gwen Moffat became the first female British Mountain Guide. Now at 91 and living in Penrith she's been talking with me about joining the likes of Sir Chris Bonington as an honorary member of the British Mountaineering Council.
Posted by Fiona Marley Paterson on Thursday, 17 March 2016
How to vote
The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards recognise those individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport. The imagery category is described as: photograph/s, film or visual campaign that most brilliantly represents women and /or girls in sport. The image/s showcase what women are capable of and help to challenge limiting stereotypes.
In addition, the annual Women’s Climbing Symposium, sponsored by the BMC, has been shortlisted in the Inspiring Initiative (local/grassroots) category.
Finalists in each category will be chosen on 5 April by a panel of experts. Public voting for winners will open on 18 April, with winners announced on 12 May.
You can still see Operation Moffat on the big screen on the Banff World Tour (UK & Ireland) and on the small screen on Vimeo. It will continue to screen at festivals including the upcoming Telluride Mountain Film Festival in Colorado.
Operation Moffat is sponsored by Rab, Lowe Alpine, DMM and the Mountain Heritage Trust.
BUY: Operation Moffat is now available on Vimeo
As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.
From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.
If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join