Backcountry film festival

2014-15 Backcountry Film Festival

BCFF-2014-15-PosterNow in its 10th year the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival celebrates the human powered winter experience through film. The festival aims to entertain while helping to raise funds and awareness for Winter Wildlands and our like-minded partners.

The Backcountry Film Festival premieres in Boise, Idaho, and then travels to more than 100 locations worldwide.  Along the way, it will be viewed by more than 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts and raise more than $110,000 each year for local organisations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and Snow School programs.

Melbourne show

Thursday May 21, 2015

Cinema at RMIT. Building 80.

Level 1, Room 2, 445 Swanston Street.

Suggested donation: $8 conc & students/ $15 waged.

All proceeds go to the Friends of the Earth climate campaign.

Facebook page here.

The cinema is Room 80.01.02 (It can be hard to find, best bet is to enter off A’Beckett Street, just by the Oxford Scholar Hotel (map here). Building 80 is on Swanston, between Latrobe and Franklin street, opposite the main RMIT campus.

Feel free to meet at the Oxford Scholar for a drink from 6.30pm. Please aim to arrive at the Cinema around 7, we will start the films at 7.15pm.

The festival will also be shown during the 2015 Splitfest (splitboarding festival) being held in the Snowy Mountains, on friday August 22 in Jindabyne.

Please get in touch if you want to help organise a show. Cam.

2014-15 Backcountry Film Festival Line Up   

From the Road (21:00) Fischer Creative Join the Dynafit team on a journey to Alaska

Afterglow (11:35) Sweetgrass Production This visually spectacular film lights up the backcountry like never before.

Backcountry Baker (5:15) Jeremy Lurgio The story of Labrador retriever Baker and his owner as they pursue their love of mountains through backcountry skiing in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains.

Out on a Limb (6:44) T-bar Films The story of Vasu who’s love for skiing and the backcountry overcomes all obstacles.

95 to Infinity (3:30) Doglotion Media Follow brothers Andy and Mike Traslin as keep the touch lite for 95 months of winter turns

IRS Traverse (8:00) Luc Mehl A fun and corky adventure through the Alaska Wilderness

Powder Pilgrimage (20:00) Joey Howell Two friends ventures of ski bumming it to Valdez, a trip we should all take just once.

Sundog (5:15) Sturge Films Capturing the dog days of skiing in Patagonia.

Higher (20:00) Teton Gravity Research Continuing the journey of athlete Jeremy Jones as he reaches new heights. Check the trailer here.


2014 season – Backcountry film festival

festival 2Thanks to everyone  who came along to the 2014 festival in Melbourne. More than 100 people attended. Thanks to MU Ski Club for hosting us, and to Watkin for showing the film about skiing on Mt Bogong.

Stay tuned for details on winter shows at Falls Creek and Jindabyne.

Now in its 9th year the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival celebrates the human powered winter experience through film.

The festival is now a pre winter event here in Australia, in its 4th season.

The Melbourne show for 2014 will be held on

Wednesday the 14th May

FBE Theatre 1, 111 Barry St (Melbourne Uni), Carlton. Between Pelham and Gratton streets, short walk from #19 and #59 trams up Elizabeth street.

From 6.30pm, films start at 7pm.

Program: arrive from 6.30pm. Films start at 7pm, and run til about 7.50pm. 15 min break, restarting with OFF GRID and then Valhalla. Ending around 8.40pm

Suggested donation: $8 conc & students/ $12 waged.

NB: please note that this year, because of the venue, we won’t have drinks for sale.

Co-hosted with Melbourne University Ski Club.

MUSkiFoEA logo colour

The festival is run by not-for-profit hosts, and in Australia, all funds raised will support the Friends of the Earth (FoE) climate campaign. Funds will go to FoE’s work with regional communities to stop the development of new coal mines and unconventional gas drilling across southern Victoria.

Facebook event page here: please feel free to invite your friends.

Check the trailer for the season here.

BC festival posterThe films in this year’s festival are:

  • Trail Break by Powderwhore, is a beautiful black and white portrait of deep powder skiing in Utah’s Wasatch Range.
  • Morning Rituals, in Jackson Hole an undercover ski bum chronicles his daily dawn patrol on Teton Pass. Presented by Chris Dickey of Orange and Purple.
  • Youth, in the Sierra Range of California, filmmaker Corey Rich inspires us to pack up the kids and proves that backcountry skiing can be a family affair.
  • Bolton Valley is the story of how a small Vermont community fought to save their beloved ski area. Winner of “Best Conservation Film” award.
  • Bigger Braver, Alaska based filmmaker Luc Mehl turns the camera on a young female athlete who shares her insight into the courage and strength involved in seeking big mountain adventure. Winner of “Best Short Film” award.
  • Strong, filmmaker and storyteller Fitz Cahall at Duct Tape then Beer reflects about moving forward after a tragic avalanche on Snoqualmie Pass.
  • Poor Man’s Heli, in France Antoine Boisselier thinks outside the skin track and comes up with a new and unique way to the top of the mountain. From Mike Douglas at Switchback Entertainment.
  • Take the Ride, in which Patagonia filmmaker Jason Thompson asks the question; “when you have a dream will you buy the ticket? Will you Take the Ride?”
  • Valhalla from Sweetgrass Productions and winner of the 2013 “Best of Festival,” is the tale of one man’s search to rediscover the freedom of his youth. Feeling the distant heat of its fire still burning in the mountains of the frozen north, he sets out in search of those tending the flame the untamed, the wild, and the outcast dwelling on the fringe .
  • We will also show SoO Airtime‘s new film OFF GRID. This will be the  premier showing. “In 2012 seven adventurous skiers explored the Australian High Country. They camped, skied and filmed across one week’.

You can see the trailer here. The full film is here.



2013 season – Backcountry film festival

backcountryFF2013We are planning to expand the BC festival this year, with shows in Melbourne and Sydney, plus a few ski towns. If you’re interested in helping organise venues in alpine resorts please get in touch.

The festival will be held in May, August and September. Details below.

The Winter Wildlands Alliance created the Backcountry Film Festival in 2005 to help grassroots and professional filmmakers to show audiences their love of the winter outdoors. Since then, the annual festival has become something of an institution amongst many outdoor communities.

The festival is now a pre winter event here in Australia.

Backcountry film festival 2013 season

The showings are listed in chronological order, except for the most recent, which is at the top.

Falls Creek

There is one last showing for 2013 – at Falls Creek, on friday September 20.

Many thanks to Brett Lemin for organising the evening, and to Falls Creek resort management for support, the Last Hoot cafe bar for hosting, and Patagonia for the give-aways.

Back Coutry


This was the biggest show yet, almost 110 people came out on a cold and rainy night. Thanks to everyone that made the effort!

Wednesday May 15

At The South Melbourne Commons
corner of Bank & Montague St in South Melbourne

Suggested donation: $8 conc/ $12 waged

7pm. Come and grab a drink and catch up. We will have a bar serving basic drinks from 7. Lots of nearby places for dinner (suggest Clarendon street for good options).

7.30. Films start, the show runs til about 10pm (with a 20 minute break in the middle).

Check here for details on how to get to the Commons. Trams and the Light Rail are a few minutes walk away (#96 tram from Bourke street is a 3 minute walk if you get off at South Melbourne Market stop). Lots of parking at night.

Facebook event page here, feel free to invite your friends. / 0419 338 047


Patagonia SydneyMany thanks to Patagonia for hosting this show, which included a new film supported by Patagonia, called Groundswell. It highlights the risk posed by a pipeline to a section of the coast of British Columbia, from a proposed Tar Sands pipeline and associated oil tanker traffic. We had about 50 people attend.

For the first time the BC fest is coming to Sydney.

It will be held on Monday May 20. See the poster for location details.

Many thanks to Patagonia Australia for hosting this event.

BC Fest Patagonia


Thanks to Brett and everyone at Patagonia for hosting this showing. We had at least 60 people come along, a great crowd.

chapel street

May 23. Please see poster for details.

Thanks to Patagonia for hosting a second Melbourne showing at their store in Chapel Street.

To book a ticket, please check here.

Patagonia showings in Melbourne


Friday May 24, 7 – 9pm.

This is an informal showing at home, for any skiers/ boarders in Central VIC. Please email Cam for details on location. or check the facebook page.

Jindabyne and Mt Hotham

9315077_origFor the first time, the BC film festival is jumping the border into NSW, with a showing planned during the 2nd Splitboard festival.


It will be held on the Main Range over the weekend of August 23 – 25. Presented by FirstLight Boards.

The film showing will be on Friday August 23.

Please register for the Splitboard festival here.


Sept 6 – 8

FirstLight Snowboards are also bringing the splitboard festival to Victoria – Mt Hotham – over the weekend of September 6 til 8.

The film showing will be on friday September 6. At The General Hotel, Mt Hotham, starting at 6. This night will have raffles and give aways, an intro to what is happening with the split board festival, and lots of fun.

Check here for extra details.


The films

The BC festival is a 90 minute event, featuring primarily short films, all with a focus on outdoor, human powered adventure.

Check here for the trailer for this year’s showing.

Films in this year’s showing:

Best of the Backcountry:  “Skiing the Void” by Sweetgrass Productions. The Sweetgrass crew contemplates the price of pushing it too far in the ninth installment of their “On The Road” series with Solitaire.

Best Grassroots Film: “Alaska Wilderness Ski Classic” by Luc Mehl. This film documents an adventure race through the Brooks Range, Alaska. Covering 200 miles in 4 days, this group of skiers travels from Galbraith Lake to Wiseman, capturing all the beauty along the way.

Best Environmental Film:  “Stories of Trust” by International Trust Campaign. This tells the story of Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an 11-year-old boy from Boulder, Colorado. Xiuhtezcatl is asking that our atmosphere be protected, because he fears that the landscapes he most enjoys will not be there for his generation if we continue emitting carbon at current rates.

Other film selections include…

Unicorn Sashimi. Felt Soul Media from Telluride teamed up with Nick Waggoner and Yuki Mayazaki of Sweetgrass Productions to track a wild unicorn in Hokkaido, Japan. But all they found was delicious ramen — and deep, sweet snow.

Freedom Chair. Josh Dueck was a passionate free-skier who was paralysed in a skiing accident. Dueck refocused his passion into sit-skiing, and the experience allowed him to jump-start a new career and find a new way to do what he loves the best: ski.

Denali Experiment. Features an attempt by skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and snowboarder Lucas Debari to climb and ride 20,320-foot Denali in Alaska — the highest peak in North America.

Further. Further is an inspiring effort from renowned snow boarder Jeremy Jones, which the second installment in his snowboard movie trilogy, Deeper, Further, Higher and features backcountry boarding in Alaska.  Details here.

The festival is run by not-for-profit hosts, and in Australia, all funds raised will support the Friends of the Earth climate campaign.

FoEA logo colour

For details on the festival, please contact Cam:

2012 season

Thanks to everyone who came along to the 2012 Melbourne show. 303 was at capacity, about 90 people.

There are plans for shows in winter – in Bright and Falls Creek and Hotham – stay tuned for details.

To go on the mailing list for future shows, email

The Melbourne showing is being held in early May.

Nine films over 90 minutes, celebrating human powered adventure and the backcountry life. Films cover skiing, boarding, walking, mountain biking and some pretty impressive kayaking.

Tuesday May 8

Image: Winter Wildlands Alliance

Films start at 8 pm. Please feel free to arrive earlier to grab a drink. There are lots of places to get dinner nearby. The evening should finish at about 10pm.

Venue: The festival is being held at the same venue as last year: 303 (303 High street, Northcote, Melbourne), tram stop #32 on the #86 tram. Its just next door to the Northcote Social Club.

303 is a licensed bar.

Entry by donation.

All funds raised will support Protect Our Winters and the Friends of the Earth climate campaign against new coal and CSG in Victoria.

You can watch the trailer here.

2012 Films

Best of the Festival:  “Solitaire“, by Sweetgrass Productions

From the Sweetgrass website:

In the high desert of South America, winter takes hold, devouring bleached bones and abandoned shacks. Born in the spires of Argentina’s legendary Las Lenas, a lonely two-year journey begins through an abandoned world. wandering the length of a continent from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca to Chilean Patagonia, Solitaire fuses western-inspired tales of backcountry gambles into landscapes never before visited on film.

Best Short Award: “Chalk and Ski”, by Purple Orange

Best of the Backcountry Award:  “Breaking Trail“, by Powderwhore

Powderwhore traditionally produce films with a focus on telemark skiing. This year: ” Powderwhore is no longer focusing primarily on the telemark turn. BREAKING TRAIL will highlight riders of all disciplines choosing their own backcountry adventures”.

Image: Powderwhore

And you have to love their sales pitch:

“Warning! There are no shots of helicopters filming other helicopters or hankie-clad 16-year-olds hepped up on energy drinks spinning to rap music. And you won’t win a Jeep if you come out to a premiere. You will find a mixed bag of highly talented and dedicated individuals who enjoy hiking out into the unknown in search of turns and adventure. All this captured by two video hacks carrying as little as necessary in order to travel fast and light.”

Other film selections include…

  •     40 Tribes Kyrgyzstan
  •     Berber Turns. (You tube video available here).
  •     Ski Bums Never Die
  •     Winters of My Life. This is a portrait of Howard Weamer. For the past 35 years he has spent his winters as a hutkeeper in Yosemite’s backcountry.
  •     Seasons; Winter
  •     Bike, Ski, Raft Denali Traverse

For any enquiries please contact Cam.

Event page on Facebook is here.

2011 season – Backcountry film festival

Thanks to everyone who came to the 2011 showings in Melbourne and at Dinner Plain. To go on the email list for the 2012 season, please email Cam:

  Backcountry film festival at Dinner Plain

The 2011 season of the backcountry film festival is showing again, this time at Dinner Plain, in the Victorian Alps, on August 9th.

Tuesday 9th August, from 9 – 10.30pm

At Dinner Plain Hotel.

This is a free event, a small donation would be welcome. Six films. Drinks available from the bar.

Thanks to Hamish at the staff at DP Hotel for hosting the show.

Presented by Protect Our Winters.

 Melbourne show, April 2011

the show @ 303

We held the 2011 festival in April in Melbourne. Many thanks to everyone who showed up. We will need a bigger venue next time.

There are showings in other parts of the country later in the year, scroll down for details.

To go on the mailing list for the 2012 show, please email Cam.

The Winter Wildlands Alliance created the Backcountry Film Festival in 2005 to help grassroots and professional filmmakers to show audiences their love of the winter outdoors. Since then, the annual festival has been shown in more than 30 towns and cities, and raised thousands of dollars to help efforts to preserve our winter environment.

The 2011 film festival is showing in Australia.

April 12

Films start at 8 pm. Please feel free to arrive earlier to grab a drink.

At 303 (303 High street, Northcote, Melbourne), tram stop #32 on the #86 tram. Its just next door to the Northcote Social Club.

303 is a licensed bar.

Entry by donation. All funds raised will support Protect Our Winters.

You can watch the trailer here.

Protect Our Winters is the environmental centre point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and local mountain communities.

We believe that to really effect things, consumer behaviour needs to change and that the power of an actively participating and united community can have a direct influence on climate change, now and for generations behind us.

This year’s festival features:

Best of the Festival: Teton Gravity Research’s festival cut of “Deeper” follows legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones and other top riders as they forsake helicopters, snowmobiles and lifts to venture deep into untouched terrain under their own power.

Best Short Film: “Desert River” from Sweetgrass Productions, is a beautiful ski adventure into Alaska.

Best Environmental Film: “Whitebark Warrior” from TreeFight and Snaz Media, chronicles the decline of thousand-year old whitebark pines due to climate change and efforts underway to save these iconic high alpine trees.

Other Films Include:

* Australis, an Antarctic ski odyssey
* TELEvision (check here for a TELEvision trailer to give you a sense of whats on offer) and
* Cross Country Snowboarding

For extra information, please check the festival website.

For details on POW Australia, please contact Cam:

There will be other Australian screenings of the festival:

* at Mt Buller on 16th July.
* Jindabyne, dates TBC.

Snow Monkey has offered a 10% discount card to each person that attends the night.

They have shops in Collingwood and Mt Hotham.

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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


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