Best adventure and outdoor film festivals across the UK
- Rowena McIntosh
- 23 September 2016
Including Reel Rock 11, Glasgow Trailfest, Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour and Keswick Mountain Festival
Get your adrenaline rushing with festivals celebrating extreme sports, the great outdoors and the best of adventure filmmaking. Touring festivals bring their programmes of the latest adventure documentaries, shorts and features to locations across the country, while local festivals bolster their line-ups with talks from athletes at the top of their sports, the chance to learn from the pros in workshops and sporting events to indulge your competitive side.
Reel Rock 11
The eleventh edition of Reel Rock promises an all-new collection of climbing and adventure films. The programme includes Boys in the Bugs; following elite crack climbers Will Stanhope and Matt Segal on an epic four-year battle to climb a forbidding 5.14 finger crack high in the Canadian alpine wilderness; Rad Dad; where solo climber Mike Libecki must reconcile his passion for establishing first ascents in remote corners of the globe with his new role as a parent; and Young Guns, which focuses on two teenage stars already taking the sport to the next level. The tour visits Bristol, Ilkley, Birmingham, London, Sheffield, Oxford, Lancaster, Penrith, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Matlock Bath and Caernarfon.
Various locations, Sep–Oct 2016
A one-day festival encouraging you to 'run dirty' as it celebrates running on trails in favour of tarmac. The day includes sessions with experts where you can speed up with 2016 West Highland Way Race winner James Stewart and master navagination with Gary Tompsett, 'Architect of Adventure' of Skyline Scotland and The Cape Wrath Ultra. You can sit down for some trail inspiration from speakers including Lucja Leonard of #500kin5days and Scotland's 100km champion Susie Mullins, watch films by Dave MacLeod and get those trail shoes on and run with your fellow festival goers on the 5k course or Mugdock mile. There's also a Trail-fest afterparty, where trainers are acceptable attire.
Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie, 15 Oct 2016
Kendal Mountain Festival
At the centre of a programme celebrating everything outdoors is the International Film Competition, which attracts premières from across the globe. Over 70 films are screened (from over 200 entries) with 11 coveted awards up for the taking in what has been termed the 'Oscars of outdoor filmmaking'. The festival also includes photography exhibitions, active sports events, a film academy, a filmmaking summit (supported by Channel 4 TV) and specialist sessions for pursuits including climbing, biking, snowsports, endurance sports, caving and adventure & exploration.
Kendal, 17–20 Nov 2016
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
The Banff Tour includes not one but two film programmes. The films aren't announced until December but last year's programmes included Curiosity, which follows ultra runners Rory Bosio, Timothy Olson and Hal Koerner as they prepare for the prestigious Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc; Pretty Faces, an all female ski film celebrating women who thrive in snow; and Showdown at Horseshoe Hell, a look at the wildest event in the climbing world, where elite climbers and novices alike go for broke in a sun up-to-sun up fury of lactic acid and beer. The tour visits over 50 locations across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Various venues UK, Jan--May 2017
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival
There are over 100 films covering adventure, travel and extreme sport to be seen at this festival, all selected by Festival Director Matt Heason. To help wade through the programme the films are grouped into categories covering adrenaline, spirit of adventure and specialist sports, such as mountain biking, running and climbing. Unlike many other festivals the panel announce the winners a week before the festival begins, allowing you the chance to see if you agree with the judges. The programme also includes a Festival Fringe of free events and special screenings for children and teens.
Sheffield, March 17–19 2017
Keswick Mountain Festival
This festival doesn't kick off until May but entries are already open for the sporting events including 5k, 10k, 25k and 50k trail runs, a 70km sportive, two open water swims and long and short triathlons over tricky terrain. When you're not powering across the landscape there's also a programme of adventure speakers, live music and camping. Last year's speakers included trail runner Lizzy Hawker, explorer and presenter Monty Halls and double Olympic gold medalist and rower James Cracknel, whose endurance challenges include the Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race and The race across The Atlantic, both with buddy Ben Fogle.
Keswick, 18–22 May 2017