Unfortunately, for obvious reasons the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) wasn't held this year. Fortunately, there's still a wealth of eclectic films available online, for free. Festival Director Matt Heason has compiled a list of some festival favourites from the past few years below. There's everything from expeditions to the greater ranges, Afghani women breaking cultural barriers and becoming leaders through climbing, to a documentary getting to grips with speed climbing.
ShAFF have spent lockdown kindly compiling film lists to help us get our dose of the outdoors. They have a fantastic selection of films on their website here.
Frank and the Tower
The first time Frank Sanders saw Devil's Tower was in the sudden brilliance of a lightning strike. It sent a wave of anxiety through him, but the next day he climbed The Tower. 43 years later, he's repeated that act more than 2,000 times and learned a thing or two about going up and not growing old.
Uruca II - Bugaboos Edition
Hugo and Lipe are back on the wall to face all challenges (and some bad luck) of alpine climbing—frozen and wet rock, poor communication with each other, inner demons, selfies, and the frigid, ever-changing weather.
Ascending Afghanistan: Women Rising
A joint venture between Vice and HBO, we learn about the everyday challenges of being a woman in Afghanistan and some dark chapters in the history of women's rights there. The bulk of the film follows a group of young women as they progress through a programme of training and then an attempt on a high peak in Afghanistan, accompanied by local climbers and a US based guide, Danika Gilbert. It is a challenging and sometimes emotional journey for everyone, as they battle injury, tiredness and personal demons. But the girls' energy is contagious and inspiring. Each participant wants to summit Mount Noshaq. The more important question is whether the experience can help them live their lives as fully and bravely as possible.
The Place of The Gaels
'The Place of the Gaels' explores both the community and culture of winter mountaineering and climbing in the Highlands. A journey through Scotland discovering that the weather is just as fickle, the people just as welcoming and the climbing just as demanding it's always been.
Brothers of Climbing
How can you be what you can't see? Mikhail Martin, co-founder of Brothers of Climbing said, "I literally typed, 'Are there black climbers?' in Google … someone said, 'black people don't climb.'" A small group of climbers began to challenge that thought. The Brothers of Climbing is a crew that's making the climbing community more welcoming. Watch to see how they created a community where one wasn't.
Jump on board a madcap sailing adventure to the biggest rock walls in the Arctic Circle with a team of elite climbers as zany as they are talented. Sean Villanueva, Nico Favresse, Olivier Favresse and Ben Ditto have made cutting edge first ascents in remote mountain ranges around the world -- climbing hard, making music and goofing off thousands of feet in the air. Now they embark on their greatest expedition yet, voyaging to the massive walls of Greenland and Baffin Island on the good ship Dodo's Delight, skippered by the spry 79-year old Captain Bob Shepton. Amongst rough seas, falling rocks and freezing temperatures, this hilarious and badass gang of adventurers forge bold new routes and have the time of their lives.
Janhukot is a mountain buried deep in the heart of the Indian Garwhal Himalaya, at the end of the long Gangotri glacier and the head of the sacred source of the Ganges River.
Surrounded by some of the jewels of the Himalayan mountains - Shivling, Meru, Kedar Dome - Janhukot has an allure all of its own; mountaineers have strived in vain on this far flung summit as far back as the 1980s.
In May 2018, three British climbers Malcolm Bass, Paul Figg and Guy Buckingham set out to attempt the first ascent of Janhukot. They filmed their experiences along the way, in the hope that by sharing their mental and physical struggles to camera, they can encourage others to attempt similar adventures, and prove that with some sacrifice and training, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Liv Along the Way
Since she first summited Mont Blanc as a teen, Liv Sansoz knew she would make her life in the mountains. She was twice crowned World Champion in sport climbing, and eventually expanded her professional horizons to mixed climbing, ski mountaineering, and base jumping. In 2017, at 40 years old, Liv set out from her base in Chamonix, France to attempt to climb all 82 4000m peaks in the European Alps in a single year. As she's learned several times throughout her life, things don't always go as planned.
Women are Mountains
Women are Mountains is a short documentary film that portrays the lives of climbers Mônica Filipini and Danielle Pinto in the quiet city of São Bento do Sapucai, in the countryside of São Paulo, Brazil. At the same time as they are responsible for their children and domestic affairs, they are able to enjoy their great passion: the mountains. With lyricism, this documentary showcases Brazilian feminine multi-pitch climbing scenery (a traditionally masculine sport in Brazil) and investigates the motivations of the two climbers practising the sport.
The intimate travel diary of an incredible freeride expedition into the heart of the Karakoram range. The search for one of the most beautiful mountains to ski on the planet, standing at 5880m. An adventure so remote, so high, so committed that no mistakes were allowed. During five weeks, the crew got deeper and deeper inside Pakistan, with a 150 km loop in complete autonomy, pulling sleds filled with food, tents and solar panels across gigantic glaciers. As far from home as one can get. A meeting point of Freeriding and Mountaineering. A true adventure.
Up to Speed
When climbing was announced as part of the 2020 Olympics, it was a monumental occasion for the sport. But many climbers were shocked to learn that one of three combined events required to compete for a medal is… speed climbing. REEL ROCK correspondent Zachary Barr looks into this little-known and seldom practised sub-discipline of the sport, and the role it will play in shaping climbing's future. Barr's journey from the U.S. to France (the birthplace of modern speed climbing) to South Asia (it's actually huge there) culminates at an international competition in Moscow, where speed demons race up a 15-meter wall in less than six seconds.
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival
ShAFF has become a regular fixture in the Outdoor City and has a well earned reputation for being a friendly festival, welcoming everyone whether you're an outdoors enthusiast or an armchair adventurer who just loves a good story.