In the absence of this year's Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, Matt Heason has collated some of his favourite walking and running films from the festival's back catalogue. This list includes some of ultra running's top talents, along with people simply searching for solace in the outdoors.
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.
Of Fells and Hills
It is presumed that Shepherds were probably the first ever fell runners with the earliest documented accounts of running in the fells dating back to the 11th Century. By the 19th century organised fell runs began taking place in Cumbria in the United Kingdom. Locals raced each other up and down hills and a sport was born. In "Of Fells and Hills" we travel with American Writer, Photographer and Trail Runner, Rickey Gates, to the UK to explore and discover the history, culture and legends of the ancient practise of Fell Running.
Kilian Jornet is considered the greatest mountain runner ever. But he doesn't consider himself a runner. Join Kilian in his new backyard in Norway as he attempts to ski and run in a single day the Seven Summits of Romsdalen, a 77km route with 9000m of elevation gain.
The Ultimate Fan
We would like you to meet Bill Dooper. Hailing from the high-altitude mining town of Leadville Colorado, Bill has a deep love for the sport of Ultra-Trail Running. He has spectated at every Leadville Trail 100 Run since 1988 and every Hardrock 100. And he has never run an Ultra. In this film, we go on a once in a lifetime journey with Bill – getting to know who is and where his love for the sport stems from, as we unveil a story of true appreciation and friendship. Bill Dooper is… The Ultimate Fan.
My Big White Thighs And Me
My Big White Thighs & Me encourages us all to turn down the volume on the demands of the world and to celebrate the quiet heroism of a female life and it's body. A story about womanhood, miscarriage, healing, loving your own skin & freezing your bum off in cold water. My Big White Thighs & Me is Hannah's personal story of how she rebalanced her life and began to appreciate the small things by dipping her feet and taking the plunge.
A Mile an Hour - Running a different kind of marathon
Packing on the pounds after writing a PhD, Beau Miles is running again. He's also back in the shed; fixing stuff, making things, tinkering. For most of us, running was once a form of survival, hunting- or being hunted. Now, it can be as meaningful, or meaningless, than any other aspect of life. Running for Beau is practical- it gets him places, yet like a lot of runners, it's deeply embodied. He defines himself by where his feet take him, thinking about his other forms of life as he runs. Combining a need to get rid of the gut, to run again, and spend some quality time in the shed, Beau will run a mile an hour around his perfectly mile-long block. In between, he'll do as much as possible, likely becoming the fullest, meaningful, most trivial day of Beau's life.
The Bothy Project
The Bothy Project is about exploring the wilds on your own terms, in your own style. Artists Tessa Lyons, Natasha Brooks and writer Claire Carter take themselves into the vast emptiness of the Sheneval bothy in the Scottish Northwest to let go and unravel. A run, a hike, a swim; a painting, a poem, an animation. Each woman's experience is woven into this beautiful short film by Jen Randall
The Important Places
The important places, we all have them. They're the places that awed us, that inspired us, that fed our souls. Sometimes we wander far from them, but the memories remain. Sometimes we have to return there to feel whole again. In this film, a father and son return to one of the father's important places, the Grand Canyon. There they discover more about each other—and the bond they share. This is an important film, about the important places.
Feel the Burn
In a place that has a reputation for decadence and discomfort, a little known ultra marathon is attracting hundreds of runners to experience its one of a kind environment of art, music, and nature.
Every 4th of July thousands of people descend on the small harbour town of Seward, Alaska to witness one of the oldest, fastest, hardest, toughest… and shortest mountain races in the world. For years, Rickey Gates has been churning out war stories and legends of the annual Mount Marathon Race to anyone that would listen. In 2015, in the race's centenary year, Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg finally did.
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.