This year is an extra special event following the announcement in 2015 of Sheffield as ‘The Outdoor City’. It will be celebrated over the ShAFF weekend with a range of events from running to climbing, cycling to orienteering taking place across the city and in the Peak District. At the centre of it all is one of Sheffield’s longest running and only adventure film festivals, bringing the wild outdoors into the heart of the city for three days. The films will be shown at the Showroom Cinema from 11 – 13 March.
To celebrate Sheffield, ShAFF also has a dedicated programme of films featuring athletes from or produced by filmmakers based in and around the city. The Made in Sheffield programme includes Red Run, a short film produced by Sheffield filmmaker Ed Birch about skiers and boarders exploring a disused local ski park that became a viral hit last year. A Morning Over The Clouds captures Sheffield highliner Sarah Rixham and Quirin Hertrich as they enjoy the sunrise on a slackline at the top of the Moleson mountain in Switzerland. Bob Graham Round tells the story of a tenacious Glossop beef farmer, fell runner and cancer survivor Nicky Spinks, who attempts to beat her own record at running one of the Lake District’s most gruelling tests of endurance.
In addition to this year’s extensive film programme, the ShAFF Fringe includes two photography exhibitions, the annual Lowepro exhibition and special Rab tribute to climber and photographer Ben Winston, the BMC Climate panel, a specially brewed ShAFF beer from Thornbridge Brewery and, on Sunday 13 March from 6pm, a live stream of the Climbing Works International Festival final.
ShED Talks Sidetracked will also be there with the TED-style ShED Talks (see what we did?) in conjunction with Beautiful Everything. The aim is to provide a platform for people within the outdoor and adventure industry to speak to a captive and interested audience. The talks will be recorded and then published on ShAFF’s YouTube channel, providing the talker with a tool to gain a bigger audience online for their cause.
Women in Adventure
Once again ShAFF will present the Women in Adventure programme. Women’s sport makes up seven per cent of all sports media coverage in the UK. Together with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and Women Climb, ShAFF is actively addressing this imbalance with the Women in Adventure film competition. Open to amateur and professional filmmakers, the winning film will be selected and screened at this year’s festival, as well as streamed on BMC TV. Alongside this, the BMC will host a panel debate featuring leading female voices from the outdoor industry to explore ways to tackle low participation rates and representation. Supporting this further are 24 films within the main ShAFF programme showing women at the cutting edge of their sport and pushing boundaries in adventure and exploration.
Youth In Adventure Sport
In partnership with the Hope Valley Adventure Film Festival (HVAFF), GoPro, Showroom Cinema and Into Film, ShAFF are giving young filmmakers the opportunity to have their films shown on the big screen. The winner of the Youth In Adventure Sport film competition will be shown in the main film programme, for more details visit http://www.hvaff.co.uk/competition. With all films in ShAFF being certified for the first time this year and dedicated young adventurer screenings, there genuinely is something for all the family.
A selection of the 100 films being featured on the 2016 ShAFF include:
Highlights include Meru, described by Variety Magazine as ‘one of the best sports documentaries of its type in recent years’. In the high-stakes game of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting at the headwaters of the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the Shark’s Fin has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other ascent in the Himalayas.
The story of four young cowboys who set out to travel 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada riding wild mustangs. Flying Daggers – tells the story of Wingsuiter Jeb Corliss who seeks redemption following near terminal injuries and 3022ft, documents how several very different athletes from all walks of life prepare for one of America’s oldest, and most brutal trail races.
Ahead of its TV broadcast on the Discovery Channel, ShAFF will be the last opportunity to see the groundbreaking documentary Sherpa on the big screen. The film looks at how Mount Everest’s Sherpa community united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain following the deadly avalanche that struck on April 18, 2014, killing 16 of their members.
When pro kayaker Rafa Ortiz makes the decision to paddle over Niagara Falls, he sets in motion an incredible series of events that eventually takes on a life of its own. To prepare for this mission, Rafa enlists the help of world-renowned paddler Rush Sturges and a tight team of their friends. Together they go on a remarkable three-year journey from the rainforest rivers of Mexico to the towering waterfalls of the U.S. Northwest. Their journey concludes in Canada where the team plays a cat-and-mouse game with local police before Rafa’s mission comes to a heart-stopping climax at the iconic Falls.
13 year old Paul, from the township of Dunoon in Kaapstad, South Africa, has a dream – one day he’ll become a surfer. But it’s not that easy with no transport to get to the beach and no money for equipment. Luckily for Paul a non-profit helps him achieve his dreams. Voiced over by surf legend Robby Naish.
Written by Daniel Neilson // Images: Justine Curgenven, Kayaking the Aleutians; 2nd: JaJa Film Productions, Paul; 3rd: Ben Masters, Unbranded.