Five Female Adventure Filmmakers to Watch this Summer

Fell runner Hannah Russell on Striding Edge, shot by Duncan Hague for Salt Street Productions & BBC Sport

Fell runner Hannah Russell on Striding Edge, shot by Duncan Hague for Salt Street Productions & BBC Sport

This summer feels deceptively quiet, bookended by Sheffield Adventure Film Festival in March and Kendal Mountain Festival in November. I guess this is when adventure filmmakers are busy taking advantage of the good weather. Or maybe they’re locked in an editing suite desperate to get out. Either way, I’m in need of a little adventure inspiration. So I put together my list of five female adventure filmmakers to watch this summer, with a reminder of recently released films and a chance to look forward to some exciting upcoming projects. Most of them are available to watch online, so you can settle down on a rainy day and create your own women in adventure film session…

Emma Crome, Coldhouse

Emma is the Producer at Coldhouse, whose film Aziza won the Grand Prize at the BMC TV Women in Adventure film competition presented at ShAFF this year. Set in the streets of Bou Tharar and the wide, craggy valleys of the lower Atlas in Morocco, this is the story of Aziza Raji who has thrived in the world of ultra-racing. The combination of her ambition, determination, and the loving support of her family has helped her to overcome many social and cultural challenges, and has made her a role model for other up-and-coming athletes in Morocco. Emma also produced the recently released Dark Peak Fell Runners: Excellence Through Misadventure, so keep an eye out for that in this season’s mountain festivals.

Emma is currently working on a documentary film Albion, which explores the state of nature in the UK.

Ellie Green, Summit Fever Media

Summit Fever Media specialise in adventure and environmental films, often filming in challenging and remote environments. Summit Fever recently released award winning film Underdog, a film about British journalist, father, tea-lover and athlete, Damian Hall as he returns to the world's biggest trail race, the 105-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Current projects include a film documenting ultrarunner Nicky Spinks’ attempt at the fabled and feared Barkley Marathons, so we can look forward to seeing that later this year.

Hannah Maia, Maia Media

Hannah quietly made her last film, My Big White Thighs and Me over the course of a year, unsure whether she would release the final result. It swept the board across film festivals in 2018, winning Best Women in Adventure & Grand Prize for Best Film at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, and People’s Choice & Most Inspiring Film at 5Point Film Festival to name a few.

Hannah’s current project is Beyond the Bay: an all girl, canoe-tripping documentary. A coming-of-age film following teenage girls on a strenuous and life-changing, 7-week canoe trip into the Canadian wilderness, and you can be sure their tale will be told with Hannah’s usual skillful combination of storytelling, humor, and heart. Now in post-production, the project is being crowdfunded and you can support it at the Beyond The Bay Kickstarter campaign site, and by liking Beyond the Bay on facebook.

Jen Randall, Lightshed Pictures

After the success of climbing documentary Psychovertical, Jen is working on another crowdfunded adventure epic. This time Home tells the story of Sarah Outen’s solo, human-powered journey around the world. Woven out of hundreds of hours of Sarah’s own footage Home intimately and unflinchingly captures the adventure, telling a story that promises to be honest and gripping. Funded via Kickstarter campaign London2London: Via the World, Home is due for release in summer 2019.

Jen is also working on a film with super-climbers Hazel Findlay and Madeleine Cope, following their expedition in Central Mongolia where they explored by foot, horse and old Russian 4x4. The film is due be featured in the Real Rock 2019 tour.

Anna Paxton, Salt Street Productions

I’m currently producing a six part series for BBC Sport and Salt Street Productions. Salt Street specialise in bold and exciting films about action sports, combining unexpected locations, talented athletes and the will to turn imagination into reality. Aimed at enticing 16-24 year-olds into sports they might never have considered before, this series pits sport against sport, or in some cases athlete against animal…

As producer I’ve been proud to ensure that the series features a strong selection of inspiring female athletes, as well as producing shoots on location in Glencoe and Helvellyn, covering sports like skiing, MTB, and fell running. The series is due out over the summer, so keep an eye on my instagram for updates.

Athlete Katie Edwards shot by Duncan Hague for BBC Sport & Salt Street Productions

Athlete Katie Edwards shot by Duncan Hague for BBC Sport & Salt Street Productions