Adventure hits the big screen 

The WFF Adventure Film Series offers array of films as part of GO Fest from May 17 to 19

click to enlarge PHOTO BY COREY RICH/RED BULL CONTENT POOL - Hanging out Catch a screening of The Dawn Wall on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.
  • Photo by Corey Rich/Red Bull Content Pool
  • Hanging out Catch a screening of The Dawn Wall on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

There's no shortage of amateur adventure filmmakers in Whistler.

Whether it's skiers and snowboarders, mountain bikers or climbers, plenty of people have video footage from their iPhones and GoPros squirrelled away on their computer.

But a new workshop running as part of the Whistler Film Festival's (WFF) Adventure Film Series will offer insight into how two of B.C.'s leading adventure filmmakers forged their unique careers.

"It's the best $40 you can spend to learn how to make a film," says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, executive director of the WFF.

Grant Baldwin, the Leo-awarding winning Vancouver director behind the popular documentary, This Mountain Life, and Whistler-based director Brian Hockenstein, who premiered his environmental and adventure-based film The Radicals at the Whistler Film Festival in 2018, will lead the two-hour Adventure Filmmaking Workshop on Saturday, May 18 from 2 to 4 p.m.

"We wanted to give adventure filmmakers an opportunity to hear about what it takes to make a great adventure film," Hardy Mishaw says. "It's quite an in-depth, two-hour program. They'll speak to their experiences, but they have a course outline where you'll learn (how to go) from the seed of an idea, from conception to production to distribution, and what it takes to make an adventure film."

The session is open to all levels, she adds. "There are takeaways for that wide spectrum of filmmaker—aspiring, emerging, and established."

After, participants can also check out Baldwin's This Mountain Life, running as part of the film series on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

"(You can) really get a sense of what Grant is talking about," Hardy Mishaw says.

Meanwhile, the series features a total of nine films in seven screenings, running from May 17 to 19 as part of Whistler's Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest). They capture adventures in climbing, biking, travelling and endurance racing.

"We've got something for everyone," Hardy Mishaw adds.

Kicking off with Reel Rock 13, a collection of short climbing films, the first evening will also feature the unveiling of the 2019 Adventure Photography Competition winners.

On Saturday, after This Mountain Life, Safety to Nome is set to screen, chronicling the journey of athletes taking on the multi-day Iditarod Trail Invitational, 1,609 km across Alaska by bike, foot or ski.

Bikes of Wrath, following five friends who bike the route set out in The Grapes of Wrath, wraps up the offerings at 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday, catch The Meaning of Vanlife, looking into the nomadic trend of van dwelling, at 6:30 p.m. then finish your long weekend film fest with The Dawn Wall at 8:30 p.m. "Last year we showed Free Solo. This year, the closing film is a climbing film featuring Tommy Caldwell," Hardy Mishaw says. "It came out the same time as Free Solo ... It's another amazing story we thought would really resonate."

The Adventure Film Series, heading into its sixth year, first launched as part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler's GO Fest offerings. "We started it with GO Fest because it gives us an opportunity to extend our programming," Hardy Mishaw says. "It offers a weather alternative and a cultural alternative."

Over the years, they've seen both locals and visitors head indoors to take in films over the long weekend. "We always look for a thematic range across different disciplines; what's going to resonate with the community or potential attendees," she says. "The series is about people's stories. It's their adventure stories. There's a very personal approach to the films—they're all really compelling." To see the full lineup of films and to purchase tickets visit

For more on GO Fest, head to


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