It's time to watch: Women in Adventure films 2021

Posted by Emma Travers on 09/04/2021

It's time to watch all the amazing Women in Adventure films entered for the 2021 BMC TV film competition! We’ve been flooded with a wave of fantastic fresh entries and have 32 new female-led adventure films to share with you. Ready, set, watch!

It's the seventh year of the competition and the entries are looking as strong as ever. Gaining more and more engagement each year, the competition, which runs in joint partnership with Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and competition sponsor Montane, aims to have more women in front of and behind the camera.

Just as exciting is the influx of films eligible for our newly added Make A Difference Award, aimed at encouraging narratives that highlight the women and their projects that are promoting the important issues. Whether that be combatting the climate crisis, promoting sustainability, amplifying diversity, or uniting society behind a valuable cause through the outdoor community .

READ: What can you win by entering the BMC Women in Adventure Film Competition?

Spread the Word

The count for the 🏆 Most Watched Award starts today. The winner of this award will be decided by the number of views each film receives through the BMC YouTube channel. So don’t forget to get sharing your favourites to help them win. The judges will also be looking to award films the following awards:

🏆 Montane Women in Adventure Award

🏆 Make A Difference Award

🏆 Best Professional Film

🏆 Judges Special Mention Award

The winners will be announced and screened at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 2021, with the hope that a real-life award ceremony as well as a workshop for those interested in the film industry will be able to go ahead on 9 - 11 July. 

Not only will the winning film be screened at ShAFF and receive the top cash prize, but will also bag themselves free film entry into Kendal Mountain Festival and Banff Mountain Film Festival

This year is set to be the best one yet. Don't take our word for it, see for yourselves! With all the films now out on our YouTube Channel, we're excited to officially share these high doses of female-led adventure with you: 

Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect is a short documentary about food waste, community and every day heroes. We follow Gemma Powell, a language tutor, yoga instructor, and environmentalist who shows that through kindness and motivation, little changes can make a big difference. A film by Lena Drapella.

The Wanderlust Women

There was a time when Amira Patel had never hiked, and upon her first 3km hike up Rivington Pike with her mother, Aysha, she struggled. A few years on, and Amira has now inspired and created an outdoors community of over 1000 Muslim women in a social hiking group called ‘The Wanderlust Women’. This is Amira and Aysha’s story of joint turmoil resulting in a discovery of the outdoors, as well as their experiences of diversifying the space as Muslim women. A film by Frit Tam.

Jen Olson

Meet Jennifer Olson, Canada’s 7th female ACMG/IFMGA mountain guide. She has made climbing an integral part of her life and embodies the adventurous spirit of the sport. Jen is an all around badass! From UIAA ice climbing world cups, to remote expeditions, to developing and bolting, to putting up first ascents, to teaching and mentoring, she is always looking for ways to develop herself as a climber and share her passion for the sport. A film by Alexa Fay, The B.I.G Initiative and The North Face.

Project 282

Project 282 follows Emily Scott on her epic Munro challenge across Scotland. The continuous, self-propelled and (largely) solo expedition took her 120 days and involved 2,200km on foot and 2,600km on the bike, with over 195,000m of ascent. A film by Perch Film and British Adventure Collective.

Dobson's Hole

When mother and son caving team got locked down together, they started to look for nearby unexplored objectives. A film by Tim Dobson and Judith Plowman.

Shabana Ali

Meet Shabana Ali. She’s a creator. She’s a climber. She is a woman of South Asian descent. “Over the last 20+ years, I have climbed at no fewer than 56 different outdoor climbing areas across Canada, the US, and internationally, and about 18 indoor climbing gyms. In total, I have probably logged over 3000 climbing sessions, both indoors and out. In all that time, I remember seeing exactly 12 other climbers who may have been of South Asian (i.e., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) descent.” (Shabana Ali, Beside Magazine) Through this video portrait, Shabana reflects on her experience of climbing as a woman of South Asian descent, a community hugely underrepresented in climbing. A film by Alexa Fay, The B.I.G Initiative and The North Face.

The Way to the Matterhorn

It has been a long dream of Julia Lyubova as a mountaineer to climb the Matterhorn. The world famous mountain that sits at the top of Zermatt in Switzerland has attracted thousands of climbers over the years. At 4478m it is considered to be one of the most difficult climbs in the Alps. In this film Julia Lyubova and local Zermatt guide Andreas Steindl go on an epic journey to climb to the summit of the Matterhorn. It is no easy task but they make it in 3.5 hours and enjoy the views from a very windy summit. But this is only half of the story, the journey back down is even harder. A film by Julia Lyubova.

Bridging

For those who seek it: challenge and adventure is everywhere…with a little creativity. This team of multi-sport enthusiasts show what can be done with one bridge. A film by Jake Martin, Barbora Filova and Sarah Schoenberger

Walking Through It

“We are under lockdown, and big days no longer mean mountains they mean big days of changes.” 'Walking Through It' is a short film documenting the monotony and restlessness of lockdown life. Using spoken word to explore the emotions of feeling trapped within your own neighbourhood and unable to access the parts of you that make you feel alive. A film by Frankie Dewar

Ginette Charbonneau

At 65, Ginette refuses to be stereotyped for her age. She is a regular at the local gyms, but adventure is always calling her. Ginette personifies dedication. She always has a climbing trip in the works and she’s disciplined in her training. We definitely won’t be seeing her pick up knitting needles any time soon. A film by Alexa Fay, The B.I.G Initiative and The North Face

Should

Women are often told what they shouldn’t do. This film focuses on telling both sides of each story, first showing what we are told not to do, and then reversing the statement to show the freedom that comes with breaking the rules and pushing beyond the limits that society places on women. A film by Corina and Jesse Montgomery. 

Freedom

There is a certain feeling of escapism when we take to the mountains and hills. For me, this feeling of freedom is perfectly captured within this short poem by Olive Runner. Reading her poem inspired drawings of how your spirit soars when you explore new heights and incredible landscapes, which I brought to life with animation within the film. A film by Tessa Simpson 

Yours Ours

Join some of the Our Shared Outdoors team as we explore our personal experiences, barriers to the outdoors, and how we hope to change them. Featuring Camille Mateos, Mika Schroder, Roxy Barry, Frit Tam and Kirsty Pallas.

#LitterPickPaddleTrip

#LitterPickPaddleTrip follows the solo paddle boarding adventure of British Canoeing #ShePaddles Ambassador India Pearson, as she SUP's the length of the 28 mile Royal Military Canal between East Sussex and Kent in one day. The film highlights the damage litter and most importantly plastic pollution is having on our waterways as India litter picks through her journey in a bid raise money for a two minute Beach Clean Board on her local beach in Hythe. A film by India Pearson.

Mindful Climber

Mindful Climber is a short documentary about how climbing can help your mind as well as just your body. "Especially after 2020 (covid, lockdown, financial struggle, not being able to see loved ones) mental health is more important than ever. I wanted to make a film about how climbing has helped me mentally, but also show that there are people out there who can help you get into to sports like climbing too (like Black Dog Outdoors)." A film by Lauren Sawyer.

One Step Away

One step Away focuses on six different women of varied ages and their adventures and experiences through sport. the whole film is about these women telling their peers that adventure is only one step away. A film by Adam Butler.

Rise Above The Fear

Getting into turquoise blue waters would be a dream for most, but for Abbie Barnes it is one of her biggest fears. Her reasons for fearing the coast are vast, but things are different now. She is determined to show that mental illness doesn’t have to hold you back from turning places of destruction into places of construction, and that with the right support and mindset, anyone can rise above the fear. A film by Abbie Barnes

Bonnie de Brujin

Meet Bonnie de Bruijn. She’s a climber, an academic, a mother and a total badass of a woman (sorry Bonnie, we know you hate boxed definitions and labels!). Climbing has been a part of her life from a young age, both competitively and outdoors. She has been a big part of the Canadian climbing scene over the last 30 years, as a member of the Canadian climbing team for several years and a writer at Gripped magazine. Her passion and dedication to climbing has remained through motherhood and doctorate studies. A film by Alexa Fay, The B.I.G Initiative and The North Face

We Reach

‘We Reach’ portrays the riot of emotions you experience when you climb, following two friends scaling the same route, facing and overcoming it's challenges together in their attempt to reach the top. When you see people climbing it can appear seemingly quite practical and like there's not much happening but inside you are experiencing sensations that feel like the height and size of a mountain. There is flow, and fear, you get stuck and you overcome challenges, all the while supported by your partner. In 'We Reach', we witness the inner world of these two women as they climb, witnessing that play out through complex and beautiful movement and celebrate them navigating their way to success together. A film by Kapow Dance

100 Years of The Pinnacle Club

The Pinnacle Club – the UK’s only national rock-climbing club for women – was founded in 1921 to “foster the independent development of rock climbing amongst women and bring together those interested in the pursuit”. "100 years of the Pinnacle Club" as told by its members as part of an oral history collection to be housed in the British Library. Voices include those of Gwen Moffat, Angela Soper and Jill Lawrence. Stories span from the 1940s to the current day, a metaphorical handover from the past to the future for women’s climbing. A film by Adele Long, Ed Cartledge and the members of the Pinnacle Club.

Esivi

Esivi moved to London from Ghana but then moved to the countryside in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where she has been living for over 20 years. She feels the one thing that connects her to Ghana is the outdoors. A film by Shyla Lee.

A Change of Plan: Ski Touring and Climate Change

One of the few ski touring trips of winter 2019/2020 season due to the coronavirus lockdown. But as we discovered, climate change is also having a huge effect on the mountains and what we can and can’t do in them. A film by Katy Dartford.

Three Girls, One Spaniel

After a day at school and work, three ordinary girls and their spaniel spend the weekend enjoying endless adventures in the beauty of the great outdoors. "A family filmmaking project with daughters Lizzie and Katie doing the editing and splicing it. Their aunt Helen Morris composed and recorded the soundtrack and so it really became a family affair. It was a fun project to do at such a challenging time and in doing it we really felt grateful for living in such an amazing place and having good health to enjoy ourselves with this project in the great outdoors." A film by Nicola, Katie, Lizzie, Chris and Asha Medd.

Pioneer

Celebrating the early pioneering women who paved the way allowing us all to have the opportunity to go outdoors, explore and experience the world, Pioneer is about inclusivity; how anyone from a minority can make a change, how the great outdoors and nature is there for everyone to enjoy. A film by Holly Brega.

Welcome To The Jungle

When British Explorer; Lucy Shepherd, took a team of Amerindians on an Amazon jungle expedition across uncharted lands, she knew it was going to be an adventure. What Lucy didn’t know is that all that adventure would be tightly condensed into one terrifying day! This film tells the story of that 12 hours. A film by Lucy Shepherd.

On The Edge

Clipped to a rock hundreds of feet in the air, female climbers embark on a journey that is about so much more than the long and difficult climb. This documentary tells the story of friendship, loss, and support. A film by Shira D. Gordon of SheRockScience.

Defiance

A girl's first send. A film by Phoebe Mottershaw

Swim

Sea swimming; rewarding, exciting, freeing. This is a short video celebrating the beautiful and enriching feelings associated with swimming in cold water. Be warned, it might make you want to swim... A film by Anya Bryan.

Called To The Mountains

The mountains of Western Scotland can be imposing to some, but to others their remote and seemingly endless nature have a meditative appeal. An avid and capable climber, Kirsty Pallas takes to the outdoors to offer her assistance as part of Mountain Rescue, an organisation made up entirely of volunteers. This film puts a face to one of Oban’s local heroes, looking at her life, background and ambitions, and her connection to the mountains that she loves. A film by Drift Studio

Surfer XXL: Michaela Fregonese

Surfer Michaela Fregonese takes on the massive waves in Portugal and Hawaii. A film by Julian Dadgostar and Michaela Fregonese

Light in the Dark

Light in the Dark is a cinematic insight into the world of Michelle Mansell, a cold, open-water swimming coach. Through her work Michelle gives people an effective way of regaining mental and physical health and shifting their perspective on how the world around them can heal. We encounter this activity at night; when people are most amenable to experience this interplay of physical invisibility and intensity. The film is a pertinent reminder of how effective the natural world around us can be in recovering from trauma and counteracting some of the damaging effects of modern life. A film by Shyla Lee.

My Year in Swims

My Year in Swims depicts my 2020 in swims. I work frontline in the NHS and last year was tough at times. But there were also lots of moments of profound joy - particularly when restrictions allowed for adventures in the sea with both family and friends. I hope that this film shares a bit of that joy. A film by Lauren Thomas



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