Sheffield Adventure Film Festival - This Weekend

© Heason Events
The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) is on this weekend (4-6 March) at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.

"The selection of films is without doubt the strongest ever." said event organiser Matt Heason. There are a total of sixty two films, of which twenty two feature climbing and mountaineering.

But are films the only thing happening? Heason says not:

"There's also a packed live music programme, an amazing second hand kit sale, free sports massage, a down hill mountain bike race, one of the world's foremost international bouldering masters (The CWIF), and loads, loads more."

Appearing at the event are the likes of Andy Kirkpatrick, Kenton Cool, Niall Grimes, Jerry Moffatt, Ron Fawcett and Lucy Creamer

The Youtube trailer, edited by master filmmaker Alastair Lee, has had 13,000 views in one month.

View it here:

Websites, reviews and trailers to all the films at the festival can be found at

Here Matt Heason takes us through the twenty two films featuring climbing and mountaineering:

A Life Ascending (57 mins) USA
A LIFE ASCENDING explores the highs and lows of living life on the edge as mountain ski guide Ruedi Beglinger and his family deal with the ever-present dangers of their dad working in the avalanche prone Rocky Mountains. Filmed against the stunning backdrop of their home on a remote glacier in British Columbia, their story is heart-breaking, uplifting and thought-provoking. It examines what price is worth paying for living life to the full?
Showing as part of Mountain Films (Sat 5 Mar - 13.30 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 13.00 - Screen 2). Best Film On Mountain Culture - Banff; People's Choice Award - Banff; Best Mountain Culture Film - Kendal; Plus Many More
Matt's comments: A really engaging and touching film about a well respected Swiss mountain guide living with his family in the Rockies. Beautifully filmed with story-telling second to none at the festival this year. It's won countless awards at other festivals. Don't write it off because it's not adrenaline fuelled.

Annapurna in Light Style (25 mins) Poland
Piotr Pustelnik is trying to climb his 14th 8000 m peak for the 4th time. This time together with his good friends Peter Hamor, Piotr Morawski and Darek Zaluski. This small expedition climbing in light style reaches the summit ridge at almost 8000 m. There they have to decide if they dare the summit push of “only” 150 m despite a storm coming up.
Showing as part of Mountain Films (Sat 5 Mar - 13.30 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 13.00 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: A typical Eastern European gritty film on high altitude mountaineering. Lots of beer drinking in a very laid back approach to what is clearly a gruelling climb.

Down & Out & Under (17 mins) USA
A once-in-a-lifetime adventure expedition for first ascents in Australia and on the wild sea cliffs of outer Tasmania.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 2 (Sat 5 Mar - 21.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 20.30 - Creative Lounge).
Matt's comments: An unusual take on a climbing film actually featuring very little climbing, but lots of strife, man-wrestling and wallaby bowling. Guaranteed to make you smile.

Father of the Pride (3 mins) UK
Simon Lee gets on the grit at age 5
Showing as part of Young Adventurers Films (Sat 5 Mar - 11.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 11.00 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: A lovely little short, featured in the festival trailer and capturing those infamous words “come on, get your feet up”.

Crackoholic - British Premiere

Crackoholic (29 mins) Sweden / (British Premiere)
CRACKOHOLIC is the story of the history of Europe's best kept climbing secret - the trad climbing paradise of Bohuslän in Sweden. Featuring archive footage of Leo Houlding and Neil Gresham's early climbs, the film tells the full story about this climber's paradise and portrays these granite afficionados, these Crackoholics. BRITISH PREMIERE.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 1 (Sat 5 Mar - 17.00 - Screen 1 , Sun 6 Mar - 15.30 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: This is a short edit of a longer feature length film. If you like trad climbing and have not hear of Bohuslan then I guarantee that it will be high on your list of places to visit as soon as you have watched it. The filmmaker will be at the festival to answer any questions you have about the place! He's over with a mate to sample some gritstone cracks...

First Ascent - Brothers Wild (24 mins) USA
In BROTHERS WILD pro-climber Timmy O'Neill and his brother Sean - who is paralysed from the waist down - push the limits of adaptive climbing. Together they conquer the 3,000 foot face of California's El Capitan, then face the challenge of the treacherous glacier and remote rock wall of Alaska's storm-stricken Ruth Gorge. This short film includes interviews with the O'Neill family about how they and Sean have come to terms with disability since a bridge-jumping accident aged 18.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 1 (Sat 5 Mar - 17.00 - Screen 1 , Sun 6 Mar - 15.30 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: A really well made short film about the O'Neill family. Funny, engaging, heart warming. It has the lot.

First Ascent - Fly Or Die (24 mins) USA
Cutting-edge climber Dean Potter is creating a new climbing frontier: the Base Free Solo. By combining free-solo climbing and base jumping, Dean is on a quest to master disciplines that will lead to a bold evolution of the sport. Is this the same as first ascent?
Showing as part of Adrenaline Films (Sat 5 Mar - 18.30 - Screen 2 , Sun 5 Mar - 18.00 - Screen 2). SPECIAL JURY MENTION - Banff
Matt's comments: A few years ago when Tim Emmett and Leo Houlding started BASE jumping it was clear what their goal was – to climb big walls with nothing but a chalk bag, a pair of boots and a parachute. Dean Potter has taken this incredibly pure 'sport' further than anybody else.

First Ascent - Point Of No Return (24 mins) USA
POINT OF NO RETURN charts the story of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash's attempt to make a first ascent of China's Mt Edgar via the east side during warm weather that makes the route prone to avalanches. "It's scary," Jonny tells cameraman Wade Johnson. "I've been on a lot of expeditions with Jonny," says Micah, "and that's the first time I've ever heard him refer to something as 'scary.'" They were right to be unnerved.
Showing as part of Mountain Films (Sat 5 Mar - 13.30 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 13.00 - Screen 2). Judges Special Prize - Kendal
Matt's comments: This film really highlights the camaraderie that exists within the climbing community, their friends quite literally dropping everything to fly out to China when help is needed. It made me glad that I chose to be a climber.

Ueli Steck in The Swiss Machine

The Swiss Machine (19 mins) USA
Stunning aerial footage of Ueli Steck's record-breaking speed ascents in the Alps. THE SWISS MACHINE charts the amazing feats of perhaps the greatest speed alpinist the world has ever seen. Ueli literally races up 8,000 foot mountains doing in hours what other mountaineers take days to achieve. He even pushes renowned climber Alex Honnold to his limits on the big rock faces of Yosemite.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 2 (Sat 5 Mar - 21.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 20.30 - Creative Lounge). Best Mountaineering Film - Kendal
Matt's comments: The final few minutes of this short film is probably the finest and most hair raising bit of adventure-sport footage I have ever seen. The rest of the film is pretty good too! Definitely one of my favourites and also features my favourite music track of 2010 (Welcome Home Son by Radical Face)

Nouvelle Vague (31 mins) Switzerland / (British Premiere)
NOUVELLE VAGUE is an energetic and unusual film entirely dedicated to urban Street Climbing. Filmed in Geneva, top climbers scale buildings and bridges showing that with a bit of imagination adventure can be found on the corner of your street. Featuring Spiderman aka Alain Robert. BRITISH PREMIERE.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 1 (Sat 5 Mar - 17.00 - Screen 1 , Sun 6 Mar - 15.30 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: Probably the best film to date on urban climbing. Filmed exclusively in Geneva it shows the city off incredibly well via a series of well filmed climbing japes on amazing architecture. Perhaps the local tourist board should use it as a promotional video!

The Architect (16 mins) UK
A tribute to Robin Smith and Jimmy Marshall's famous week on Ben Nevis in 1960.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 2 (Sat 5 Mar - 21.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 20.30 - Creative Lounge). People's Choice at Kendal, Edinburgh & Dundee
Matt's comments: Paul Diffley's award winning documentary about an amazing week of Scottish mountaineering. This is a short edit of the full feature and works very nicely on its own.

The Hardest Move (17 mins) USA
Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson compete to climb the hardest boulders ever scaled. An inside look at what it takes to push the difficulty envelope of this intense sport.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 2 (Sat 5 Mar - 21.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 20.30 - Creative Lounge).
Matt's comments: It's hard to go a few days at the moment without hearing something about these two young men. Josh Lowell has put together as competent a character study as I've seen yet in climbing films.

The Prophet (41 mins) UK
Following the UK's top big wall climber Leo Houlding as he revisits his 10 year project; 'The Prophet', an exceptionally steep, loose and difficult route on the east face of Yosemite's El Cap. Leo describes the route as 'the wildest climb I've ever been on'. This has to be seen to be believed, crazy climbing.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 2 (Sat 5 Mar - 21.00 - Screen 2 , Sun 6 Mar - 20.30 - Creative Lounge). Best Film & Best Climbnig Film - Kendal
Matt's comments: Hardly needs any comment. Leo Houlding is an amazing climber. El Capitan is an amazing cliff. Alastair Lee is an amazing filmmaker. If you haven't seen it yet then it's well worth a watch.

Tuzgle  © Heason Events
The British Premiere of Tuzgle

Tuzgle (21 mins) France / (British Premiere)
Featuring Nina Caprez, Michael Fuselier and their friends actually discovering and exploring the fantastic climbing possibilities around the Tuzgle volcano in the wild deserts of Argentina.
Showing as part of Climbing Films 1 (Sat 5 Mar - 17.00 - Screen 1 , Sun 6 Mar - 15.30 - Screen 2).
Matt's comments: What I love about this film, apart from the fact that the protagonists are clearly having a lot of fun, is that they found the place using Google Earth. An inspiration to us all and something any of us can do if we have the inclination.

ShAFF is supported by: Jagged Globe, UKClimbing, Hammer Design, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative, Sheffield Telegraph, Petzl, Arc'teryx and Mammut

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1 Mar, 2011
New website launched overnight too. Feedback appreciated. MattH
7 Mar, 2011
So which films won ? Was very impressed by Race Across the Sky, Dean Potter's Freebaseing and Wild Water
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