Returning to northern Utah for its fourth year, Wasatch Mountain Film Festival (WMFF), presented by Wasatch Mountain Arts, features a record number of films from around the globe and a new whiskey-tasting after party to cap the six-day event.
WMFF is proud to bring the best selections of outdoor adventure, environmental, and social impact films to the Wasatch community.The 4th Annual Wasatch Mountain Film Festival takes place Monday, April 2 – Sunday April 8, 2018. Co-founders Stuart Derman and Shane Baldwin created the festival in 2014 as the flagship event for Wasatch Mountain Arts. The festival has had significant growth every year. Venues and screenings will be held in Salt Lake City and Park City.
This year, more than 4,500 people are expected to attend the festival, which features 73 films. Stuart Derman, Co-Founder and CEO of WMFF, in regards to film submissions states “This year was competitive! We had to make some tough calls and turn away a lot of quality films. I’ve been blown away by not only the increase in submissions, but the outstanding quality of the films we received this year. It’s exciting to see WMFF starting to attract filmmakers from all corners of the globe.”
For more information and the complete festival lineup visit the website.
This year the festival is also expanding to include a new event. The WMFF’18 Closing Party (21+, $10/person, Saturday April 7th 9:30PM, The Leonardo Museum, 209 East 500 South, Salt
Lake City, UT 84111). The event will include DJ’s and 2 whiskey tastings provided by festival sponsor High West Distillery.
The Wasatch Mountain Film Festival was started in 2014 by Wasatch Mountain Arts (WMA). WMA is a not for profit organization devoted to promoting mountain art and culture along the
Wasatch Front. The festival is WMA’s featured event to showcase the outdoor environment through the best mountain films around the globe.
The organization is run completely by volunteers. Funding is sourced through sponsorships, donations, and ticket sales from the festival.
Derman is pleased with the films this year and says, “It’s been an incredible experience building WMFF from the ground up. Watching the community embrace the festival makes me believe that the event has a long and bright future ahead.”
2018 WASATCH MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL AWARD NOMINEES
Of the festival’s 73 films, 19 were nominated for the festival awards.
The award nominees are as follows:
While much of the outdoor world consists of short films each year we receive feature length films that blow us away. This award is to celebrate those films that are a bit longer and more
complex to create.
Blood Road (Directed by Nicholas Schrunk) – Blood Road follows the journey of ultra endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen,
as they pedal 1,200 arduous miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the newly discovered crash site
and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier. Along the way, both women push their bodies to the limit while learning more
about each other’s cultures, the historic ‘Blood Road’ they’re pedaling, how the Vietnam War shaped each of their lives in different ways, and, ultimately, themselves.
DugOut (Directed by Benjamin Sadd) – Ben and James took a two-month trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon, where they lived with the Huarorani, an indigenous community, learned from them how
to build a dugout canoe, and then took that canoe on a journey through Ecuador’s Yasuni region. This film captures the beauty of the landscape, the people and the wildlife, one of the
most biodiverse areas of the world.
Like A Wolf (Directed by Emeka Ngwube) – On October 18, 2006, with her ski descent of Everest, professional ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers completed a 2.5-year journey to climb
and ski from the highest peak on each of the seven continents, the first person to have accomplished this feat. Never-before-seen footage from the expeditions and interviews with elite
teammates and Kit’s parents tell an inspirational story of how a unique accomplishment was achieved through serendipity, perseverance, and teamwork. The film recounts the challenges of
each mountain and explores the personal journeys and relationships that taught Kit many life lesson, in particular the importance of remaining true to yourself and doing what you are born to do.
SHANE MCCONKEY (Short)
This award was created in honor of the late Shane McConkey who was a visionary and a pioneer in outdoor film and the world of adventure. This award represents the best adventure
short film of the year. The Wasatch Mountain Film Festival has partnered with the Shane McConkey Foundation present this award each year. We are honored to present preserve
Shane’s memory and his passion for outdoor film.
Dream Ride 2.0 (Directed by Mike Hopkins) – DreamRide 2, the follow up sequel to last year’s award-winning short film, DreamRide,takes you to a dream world were the trails never end.
Combining a Dr. Suess-inspired narrative, mind-blowing natural landscapes, and one dreamer on a mountain bike, this film will take you on an adventure like no other.
The Frozen Road (Directed by Ben Page) – Compelled by Jack London’s assertion, that ‘any man who is a man can travel alone’,Ben Page sought an adventure of perfect solitude. Cycling
through the Canadian Arctic,Page came to realize the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable environment were a long way from the romanticisms of Jack London’s descriptions.
The Frozen Road is an honest reflection on his solo trip; of the wonder, terror and frustration of riding through the unforgiving emptiness of one of the world’s last great wildernesses.
The Time Travelers (Directed by Forest Woodward) – The USA Rafting Team has never won a world championship. With full-time jobs,families, and responsibilities, these scrappy 30-40- year
olds use their free time and vacation days to train, travel the world, and race against competitors sometimes half their age. In 2017, they set their sights on making history, attempting to break a
legendary speed record down 277 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Their goal was 34 hours. In a custom-built 48 foot raft and with ultra-marathon effort, ordinary people
attempted something extraordinary on one of the world’s most breathtaking stages. Thirty-four hours–just a blip in the scope of time–could be both their defining moment and the ride of their
Wadi Rum (Directed by Henna Taylor) – Set in the expansive landscape of Jordan’s distinctive national park, Wadi Rum documents the unlikely story of two Israeli climbers, an affable
Bedouin Muslim, and a professional American climber as they work together to complete a climbing route up Wadi Rums’ largest rock formation.
An enormous part of any film is cinematography. The art of composing and developing visually stunning scenes resonates deeply within outdoor film. This award is to celebrate those that take
striking visual work to the next level.
The Canoe (Directed by Goh Iromoto) – “If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations,then one enduring expression of that simple truth is surely the
canoe.” This film captures the human bonds created by Canada’s well-known craft and symbol,the canoe. Through the stories of five paddlers across the majestic background of Ontario, Canada, the film underscores the strength of the human spirit and how the canoe can be a vessel for creating deep and meaningful connections.
Captain of Utopia (Directed by Sarah Del Ben) – François “Ben” Bernard had explored the most remote places of the world for more than 30 years. Then, dreaming of bringing as many people
as possible to discover the beauties and the lights of the Arctic, he invested his life savings in a polar sailboat and began an ambitious project, Atka. For 17 months, the boat travelled on the
west coast of Greenland, carrying on board, in turn, personalities from all horizons: base jumpers,circus artists, teenagers, sick women, and children to discover the icecap.
Dreamwalkers – The Faroes Project (Directed by Chris Eyre-Walker) – The journey of four friends who set out on an adventure to be the first to highline one of the most unlikely of places:
the Faroe Islands.
Life of Glide (Directed by Tim Manning) – Inspired by a poem he wrote long ago, big mountain rider Jeremy Jones summons his greatest influences and dissects his lifelong passion for the
simple and sacred feeling he calls “The Glide.”
Conservation has always been at the core of the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival. We created this award to recognize films that promoted sustainability and the message of conservation.
These stories have make a positive impact on the environment and our world
Hunting Giants (Directed by Sean Horlor and Steve Adams) – The lives of the residents of Port Renfrew, British Columbia, a formerly prosperous town now on the brink of collapse; the local
indigenous community; and a group of big tree climbers who want to climb the biggest tree in Canada intersect in this documentary.This cinematic adventure into the old-growth rainforests of
British Columbia explores a question faced by resource communities around the world: extract profit until there’s nothing left or balance resource development with eco-tourism in pursuit of a
more sustainable future?
Living with Wildlife (Directed by Leanne Allison) – The Bow Valley is the busiest place in the world where people and grizzly bears still coexist. Living with Wildlife is the story of how
communities in the Bow Valley of Alberta, Canada have come together over the past 20 years to live with grizzly bears and other wildlife.
A River’s Reckoning (Directed by Sinjin Eberle) – This is a beautiful story of family, grit, and legacy. After suburbanization forced Art Bruchez to move his family from their historic ranch in
Westminer, Colorado, and begin new operations in the high country, the 2002 – 2004 drought hit, heavily impacting the Colorado River and their fledgling ranch. Simultaneously, the patriarch
of the family came down with cancer, forcing Art’s sons to step up in order to sustain their ranch at 10,000 feet.
Sky Migrations (Directed by Charles Post, Forrest Woodward and Max Lowe) – It takes a village to raise a child; it takes an entire hemisphere to raise a raptor. Fifty years ago, golden
eagles and their raptor allies hung on the edge of extinction. A collective decision was made to ensure that raptors must continue to flood autumn skies. And while the efforts of a few dozen
biologists may seem insignificant, it’s the cumulative effort over decades that counts, and it shapes the future of our planet’s wild places and creatures. Join the directors on the journey as they follow golden eagles for thousands of miles—a fraction of their entire route and just long enough to peek into their remarkable journey and meet the biologists and passionate volunteers
who briefly intercept a handful of them along the way, gathering information that will help generations of raptors to come, and most importantly, experience what stewardship and
conservation can accomplish.
The Social Awareness Award is give to a film that sheds light on cultural issues or challenges
our belief on a topic. This new award is exciting and we are excited to see where it goes.
Adventure Not War (Directed by Max Lowe) – Three U.S. veterans travel back into the mountains of Iraq on a mission to heal wounds and experience the country and its culture without the shadow of war.
La Cumbre (Directed by Dana Romanoff) – La Cumbre unveils the reality of what it means to live as an amputee in the developing world. In partnership with the Range of Motion Project, we
join world class mountaineer and wounded warrior Chad Jukes on a heartfelt journey to shed light on a public health issue affecting amputees worldwide. 80% of the world’s amputees live in
developing countries. Only 2% have access to prosthetics. La Cumbre aims to shift that percentage.
Enock (Directed by Craig Muderlak) – For paraplegic Enock Glidden, having the strength to do 3,000 pull-ups was not enough to for him to fulfill his dream of climbing El Capitan; he needed
the added power of a community of climbers dedicated to making his dream a reality.
Shift (Directed by Kelly Milner) – This half-hour documentary shows the indigenous youth from Carcross, Yukon have spent the past 10 years transforming traditional trails around their
community into a world-class mountain biking destination — and changed themselves along the way.