Whistler, B.C. (July 22, 2020) – Get ready for a month of virtual adventures! The Whistler Film Festival’s 6th annual Adventure Film Series will take place online from August 3 to 30, 2020. The film series will include five features plus five shorts authorized for viewing in Canada over four weeks that range from extreme sports to activism through adventure. Mountain biking, deep water cave diving, kayaking, cycling, rowing, trail running, skiing, pioneering, adventure photography and environmental activism are themes highlighted in the adrenaline-fueled lineup.
“Whistler is a renowned outdoor adventure destination and, as this year has forced us all to adapt to the times, we’re bringing great outdoor stories to film fans, thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies who can’t make it here in person,” says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, WFF’s Executive Director and Founder. “Audiences from across the country will be able to experience virtual adventures through these carefully curated films and personal stories.”
Dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences, WFF’s Adventure Film Series will be presented as an online experience featuring the film screenings plus bonus content that includes filmmaker introductions and live Q&A’s with some of the filmmakers as well as the ShortWork program. The features are scheduled to debut each Monday throughout the month of August at 7:00am PST and will be available to watch online until the following Sunday until 12:00am PST, or until sold out on WFF’s virtual festival platform.
In celebration of BC Day, the Adventure Film Series will launch on August 3 with the BC Premiere of HOME from Squamish based award-winning filmmaker, Jen Randall. Between 2011 and 2015, UK adventurer Sarah Outen traversed the globe on her ‘London2London: Via The World’ expedition. She was the engine of her four-year odyssey, which took her over 20,000 miles by bike, kayak and rowboat across Europe and Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and, finally, the Atlantic. Winner of the best adventure and exploration film at the 2019 BANFF Mountain Film Festival, HOME is the flawlessly edited recollection of Sarah’s ups and downs as she braved the world in isolation and challenged herself to find out what home truly meant to her.
On August 10, the series continues with double features that include PICTURE OF HIS LIFE directed by Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir, which traces the frigid journey of world-renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum as he attempts to conquer his final photographic dream – to photograph a polar bear underwater while swimming alongside it. The film follows Amos in the Canadian Arctic, as he prepares for his ultimate challenge. As the journey unfolds, so does an intimate and painful story of dedication, sacrifice and personal redemption.
Also screening on August 10 is the World Premiere of LOST ON EVEREST, the latest film from National Geographic, which investigates one of exploration’s most perplexing mysteries: What happened to the great explorers Andrew “Sandy” Irvine and George Leigh Mallory, who disappeared on June 8, 1924, while attempting the first summit of Everest? The clues to solving this mystery lie frozen somewhere near the top of the world’s tallest mountain. The one-hour special is led by journalist, climber and adventurer Mark Synnott, along with National Geographic photographer, climber and mountaineer Renan Ozturk and they are joined by a world-renowned team of professional climbers with more than 100 combined years of experience on the mountain. Together, they set out to find the body of Everest pioneer Irvine, solve the mystery behind his disappearance, and conclusively determine who successfully conquered the world’s tallest mountain — a feat that would rewrite mountaineering history. LOST ON EVEREST features never-before-seen breathtaking images captured from high-altitude drones and new research from the preeminent Everest historian Tom Holzel, who utilizes state-of-the-art computer software to uncover photographic details. As part of the expedition, Ozturk captured a rare and breathtaking 360-degree panorama photograph of Mount Everest, which was featured in National Geographic magazine in 2019. LOST ON EVEREST is executive produced for National Geographic by Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk, who also directs, with Drew Pulley producing. Serving as Executive Producers for National Geographic are Bengt Anderson and Alan Eyres, Senior Vice President of Production and Development. LOST ON EVEREST is scheduled to premiere on National Geographic on October 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
On August 17, WFF invites audiences to join us for the English Canadian premiere of DAVE NOT COMING BACK directed by Jonah Malak. Two high-level scuba-divers and long-time friends, Don and Dave, broke a world record for depth in the Boesmansgat cave in South Africa. It would take them 15 minutes to reach the bottom, but 12 hours to resurface. Having reached the bottom, against all odds, they find a body. They decide to come back and retrieve it, but their retrieval does not go as planned. What ensues is the gripping, feature-length documentary about the retrieval of not one body but two when Dave does not come back.
On August 24, the series concludes with the exclusive Canadian premiere of WATSON directed by Lesley Chilcott. Runner up of the Documentary Audience Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, WATSON is the quintessential documentary for environmental enthusiasts and activists. Coming out of hiding, Captain Paul Watson, Co-Founder of Greenpeace and Founder of Sea Shepherd, grippingly recounts his adventures at sea and the history and work that has gone into the last 40 years of fighting to end the destruction of the ocean’s wildlife and its habitat. Produced by Academy Award-winning production studio Participant Media (AMERICAN FACTORY, THE COVE and ROMA), WATSON blends revealing contemporary interviews with Captain Watson, archival clips of Sea Shepherd’s dramatic encounters, and spectacular underwater nature footage, as award-winning documentarian Lesley Chilcott (AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”) paints a fascinating portrait of a man willing to put his own life at risk in a relentless quest to protect the oceans and the marine life within.
To recognize the vitality and endurance of adventure filmmakers during these unprecedented times, the Adventure Film Series also features five award-winning BC made short films that previously played the festival. The ShortWork program includes the WFF19 Best Mountain Culture Film winner COMING HOME by Ryan Scura and Dylan Ladds, honourable mention for Best Mountain Culture film NEBULA by Jay Trusler, CALL ME CRAZY from Whistler-based production studio Origin directed by Andrea Wing, BECOMING HISTORY directed by Whistler’s ‘Father of Freeskiing,’ Mike Douglas, and MADMAN TRAILS OF BHUTAN, the latest work from WFF Adventure Film Series alumnus Scott Secco. The ShortWork program will be available to view throughout the series as free bonus content for all Adrenaline Passholders or for a suggested $20 donation in support of WFF’s 20th anniversary year.
WFF Adventure Film Series tickets are $14 per feature and the Adrenaline Pass is $50, which includes the five features and the five shorts. Discover more at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.