Women’s Adventure Film tour is Not One-Size-Fits-All and I Love It
It’s all about the inclusivity.
For the first time ever, the Women’s Adventure Film tour has finally dropped in North America.
With multiple showings throughout the western United States, this international film tour focuses on the digital narratives of outdoor women.
From the tiniest adventurer (5-year-old Isabella) going on a Norwegian adventure with her paragliding pilot father to professional snowboarder Mona Seraji shredding the mountains of her native Iran, the tour includes 9 short films of varying length and subjects.
Apart from the obvious title and women-specific origins, the appeal of the Women’s Adventure Film tour lies in its content.
The producers are careful to avoid the formulaic (i.e. endless stories featuring impossibly fit, young women who are often white and regularly found on the cover of Women’s Health) and instead feature lived experiences from women of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities.
These women look like us. Their stories of struggle and triumph resonate with our own experiences. Their vulnerability is why the Women’s Adventure Film tour matters.
More than just a big screen Lilith Fair for outdoor junkies, the Women’s Adventure Film tour utilizes a diverse framework and makes the effort to present women outdoor enthusiasts as authentically as possible.
We see environmentalist Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard surfing the waves of Hawaii; the late Glen Canyon activist Katie Lee nude and unapologetic; a trio of Nepalese women breaking gender barriers while mountain biking in the Himalayas; and U.S. pro surfer Brianna Cope ruminate over a birth defect’s visibility in a major advertising campaign, and later, question her surfing future after being dropped by a sponsor. The list goes on.
At a time when we are inundated with adventure films celebrating our favorite outdoor pursuits, few have the stories or creativity to distinguish themselves. The 2-year-old Women’s Adventure Film tour is not that. It not only distinguishes itself for its gender-specific mission but for its painstaking effort to present the diversity of women outdoor enthusiasts. Future screening dates and more information behind the traveling film festival can be found here.
Writer’s Note: In a state full of outdoor enthusiasts, Colorado has no shortage of adventure film screenings been shown on a regular basis. It should be noted that two other adventure film events were being simultaneously shown the night a near-capacity audience packed the Women’s Adventure Film at the Mayan Theater on October 25.
Engearment was recently able to catch up with Women’s Adventure Film (WAF):
Q. Can you provide some background on the Women’s Adventure Film tour?
WAF: For too long, female adventurers have been underrepresented in the outdoors industry. That was all founder, Toby Ryston-Pratt needed to realize when he assessed his young daughter’s future. He wanted to change the perception in the industry, so his daughter could have role models to aspire to. Started in Australia in 2017, as that country’s FIRST all-female, adventure tour, it has quickly grown to be represented on 5 continents.
Q. Were there any unexpected challenges?
WAF: One of the primary challenges was filtering through the scores of quality film submissions in time for our 2018 launch. We couldn’t believe how much content was being produced, globally, and the interest we were receiving to take these films on the road. Of course, licensing, governmental regulations, theater availability, and wrangling hundreds of ticket buyers is always a challenge, but one that we embrace as we continue to expand this to new audiences.
Q. Your film features female outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. How did you find these women?
WAF: Part of what we attempt to do well is to leave no stone unturned. Obviously, we can’t produce this many films, in the various geographic locations represented, all in a calendar year. So, we have open submissions so that we always have the newest, freshest content available, and attend many film festivals around the world- hoping to find a hidden gem that no one else has access to.
Q. What is the takeaway you would like audiences to leave with?
WAF: Our overall goal is to have women, men, and children leave the screenings with a new sense of what adventure is. We’re not always trying to expose the most insane feats, or always profile the sponsored athlete. If we can see an uptick in women getting outdoors, experiencing whatever level of adventure they feel comfortable with, then we have accomplished our goal.