Here at SteepEdge we like to watch quality, creative adventure movies. It just so happens that filmmakers often give away such projects to be watched by anyone for nothing. Very nice of them! We collect the best of these on our free movies section, so read on for reviews of our current favourites. While you enjoy the freebies remember to support your local, or not so local filmmaker - buy their other projects, go to the film festivals, vote, follow and reweet.
World class alpinist Kyle Dempster (winner of the Piolet d'Or) keeps a video diary on a solo biking and climbing trip in Central Asia. A finalist at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and winner of Best Mountain Adventure Film at Kendal Mountain Film Festival this year. Just 25 minutes long, this film packs a full punch; story, adventure, character, humour and beauty. Very well edited, deserving of its accolades.
'The overall tone, which I'd describe as goofball bro meets iron-willed hardass, is set with the opening scene: Dempster naked by the side of a raging river, explaining to the camera that he needs to swim across in order to continue on his quixotic way.' - The Huffington Post
Another finalist at this year's Banff festival, and winner of Best Short Film at Kendal Mountain Festival, Cascada is from the phenomenal film power-house that is Forge Motion pictures. Anson Fogel and Skip Armstrong accompany a team of kayakers through the remote Mexican jungle in search of the perfect waterfall, and the perfect shot.
'A perfect short film. beautiful, great narrative, breathtaking action - delivered on every count. The art, the sport, the adventure - all there in less than 10 perfectly formed minutes!' - Kendal Mountain Festival Judges
Nick Brown's debut feature, preceding the brilliant Life on Hold. Set in the sandstone paradise of Rocklands, the film follows a selection of Britain's finest boulderers. No interviews, no nonsense, just climbing. At 45 minutes long, it's a lot of work to give away for free. Nick said this about his decision:
'E9 6C? Only God climbs that hard!'
The history of the first route to be graded E9, and a fascinating rivalry between the iconic figures Johnny Dawes and John Redhead. The Indian Face saw its fifth, sixth and seventh ascents this summer by James McHaffie, Calum Muskett and George Ulrich, and was pitched back into the limelight ... again. This is 10 minutes of 1980's climbing heritage. Wacky angles, wackier outfits. Watch, and try to understand ...
A few months ago, mountain bike legend Martyn Ashton took a road bike (identical to the one Mark Cavendish used in the Tour) and back-flipped it onto the silver screen in the original, and fantastic, Road Bike Party.
Sadly, Martyn broke his back this year, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. In typical style, he was determined to finish the sequel to his film, and asked a couple of friends to help him out.
Something different. Made in Iceland is Klara Harden's documentary about her 25-day-long solo trek through Iceland during summer 2011. Official Selection at the Norwegian Mountain Film Festival 2012, the film is innovative, playful and beautiful.
'It feels like I've never been away, because what was experienced was so different from the usual, that it seems absurd to believe it could be reality. I came to Iceland to search for adventure and solitude. It was not the longest, hardest or most adventurous hike ever done. I didn't break any world records. But I broke all my own records and crossed all my own borders. It was the longest, hardest and most adventurous thing I have ever done. And I loved it.'
A compelling cinematic journey into snowboarding's unique history and the wider cultural forces that shaped it. Half a century ago, in his garage in the suburbs of Muskegon, Michigan, a father decides to tie two basic skis together so his small daughter can try riding on the snow. Fast forward to the present day and snowboarding is not only an Olympic sport, but a multimillion pound global industry. Top riders are international celebrities, competitions are world-class events and boarding pushes the limits of human capability.
This 90-minute documentary is made completely from archive footage, with fresh interviews from top riders and those at the heart of the industry. Well worth a watch.
Another piece of esoteric climbing heritage. The team behind Stone Love and Stick It film strong man of the day Malcom Smith training in his basement. How the British got strong, how the best still do it. Probably the hardest 'thing' ever climbed, this is a meditation on the complete meaninglessness of climbing, but the utter satisfaction it carries.
Finally, for absolute top-quality filmmaking, watch Dark Side of the Lens. We hope you enjoy the free films collected on SteepEdge. We think they are perfect for the Christmas season, for finding after-party psyche. You will get out next Saturday!