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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Adventure Travel Film Festival 14-16 February 2014, Bright, Victoria

Calling all wanderlust travel enthusiasts and world adventurers! Want to see some of the world’s inspiring and dynamic travel adventure films in one action-packed weekend?

The Adventure Travel Film Festival is for everyone who has ever known the highs of travelling the world and experiencing new cultures, people and places. It is for like-minded, travel-addicts of all backgrounds and those seeking inspiration for that next great expedition. It is also a reminder that adventure travel can be undertaken on even the simplest of scales and lowest of budgets and open to anyone, anywhere.

Begun in the UK three years ago, the Adventure Travel Film Festival is now a must-do annual event for all the British and travel-enthusiasts and it fast becoming the same in Australia. The weekend festival was founded by Brit adventurers Austin Vince and Lois image028Pryce who wanted to create a three-day event that packed with all things adventure – including inspirational adventure travel films, speakers, workshops and social events guaranteed to stir the soul of seasoned adventurers, armchair travellers and dreamers alike to celebrate past experiences and inspire the next great adventure.
Against the scenic backdrop of Victoria’s Great Alpine Valleys in beautiful Bright on 14 to 16 February, there’ll be screenings of some of the best adventure travel films ever made. The 2014 line-up includes a veritable smorgasbord of big names from the adventuring world, attending the event from across the globe. They will have listeners on the edge of their seats for the re-telling of their epic and ambitious expeditions, undertaken on both the largest and smallest of scales and budgets.

Founder Austin Vince says: “Over the last ten years or so we have been sent tons of fantastic travel films from all over the world by largely unknown film-makers. They came from all over the globe and covered every form of transport — boats, bicycles, buses, motorcycles, 4x4s and even hitch-hiking and train-hopping.

“The ‘adventure travel’ shows we saw on TV, although polished and professional, were nothing in comparison to the real-life dramas that were arriving in our letterbox. Once we started searching actively, films came to the surface that were absolutely mind-blowing. We were amazed, and excited, that adventures of this quality, old and new, were essentially unknown by the public.  The festival provides a platform for the best independent travel films, and a reminder that anyone from anywhere can experience life-changing adventures and capture it on film to share with the world,” he said.

Among the many diverse and dynamic film highlights of the 2014 festival are: ‘African Odyssey’ which has four teenagers from New Zealand motorcycle from Cape Town to London with no motorcycle experience and a borrowed camera;  ‘Janapar; a travel yarn which interweaves a love story across continents and cultures; ‘Ocean Ambition’ and the tale of a young plucky Irishman’s attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Barbados; ‘White Silk Road’ a film about doing something that nobody has done before, as young snowboarders take to the untouched and dangerous parts of Afghanistan; ‘The Bus’ a celebration of the humble VW camper van as a symbol of free-spirited abandon and adventure; Between Home the story of artist and amateur sailor Nick Jaffe who decided to take the long way home to Australia, negotiating the treacherous waters from the UK to Sydney in a two year adventure; and a true classic ‘The Omidvar Brothers’ - impossibly rare, yet superb collection of vintage colour Iranian travel documentaries by the original Persian DIY Adventure Showmen.  

And the festival hosts a huge range of must-see speakers including some of the country’s most experienced adventurers and travellers: author, presenter and adventurer Paul Carter; super climber and kayaker Peter Treby;  the best-selling travel author Brian Thacker;  acclaimed travel photographer and outback adventurer pilot Richard Green; renowned travel photographerCam Cope;  4wd adventurers Ron and Viv Moon  on the return of their drive crossing the Arctic  Circle to the North West Territories;  Jacob French who attracted worldwide headlines when he trekked solo across the Nullarbor in a storm trooper outfit for charity; and Michael Dillon, a veteran film maker having completed everything from Sir Edmund Hillary’s Ganges jet boat expedition to Tim Macartney-Snape’s Everest Sea-to-Summit expedition.

Yes, it’s all happening at The Adventure Travel Film Festival – whether you’re into trekking, motorcycling, 4x4-ing, kayaking, climbing, cycling, long-distance horse-riding or something more outlandish, it’s a must for any sane human, adventurer or not, who has ever dreamed of exploring our great wide world. Itchy feet guaranteed!

Key films in the festival program in 2014:
‘African Odyssey’ sees four teenagers from New Zealand motorcycle from Cape Town to London. Armed with no motorcycle experience and a borrowed camera, four friends from small-town Whakatane, decided to screw the job, the good advice about Africa and set off on the adventure of a life time – crossing the length of the African continent, on motorbikes most people wouldn’t ride to the cow shed. They managed to ride all 21,000km and showed how simple and accessible adventure can be.

Janapar is the Armenian word for ‘journey’.  This is a moving around-the-world cycling trip with a difference, interwoven with a touching tale of love in wild and wonderful places. Tom Allen, set off on the get-away-from-it-all trip of a lifetime. He pedaled away for over four years, overcoming obstacles faced at every turn. But something else happens during these difficult and turbulent months on the road that will change image029Tom forever. 

This is a true must-see film of the festival, so prepare to leave walking on air and breathlessly intoning the word Janapar…
In a country where no one flies, two friends inspired a nation by putting everything on the line. Following a dream,Canadian paraglider pilot Benjamin Jordan travels to Malawi to teach children the joys of kite flying. There he meets Godfrey, a young man who has always dreamt of flying but never had the means. The odd pair tour the country on bikes, building kites with local children while motivating them to follow their dreams, no matter the challenge. They head for Malawi’s highest peak, from where, after weeks of ground training, the two will attempt to fly down, making Godfrey the first Malawian paraglider pilot, and so completes the making of The Boy who Could Fly.

‘Ocean Ambition’ captures a young plucky Irishman’s attempt to become part of a world-record winning team rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Barbados. Ocean rowing is a growing sport in which specialised boats are used to row across open oceans. The sport is as much psychological as it is physical – ocean rowers have to endure months at sea and it’s a given that they’ll be rowing twenty four hours a day, every day. It has been termed by some as ‘the new Everest’; but fewer people have rowed across an ocean than had climbed Everest or had been into space!! Climb aboard and get ready to row around the clock. 

‘White Silk Road’ sees three young Australian snowboarders take on one of the world’s most dangerous destinations- Afghanistan. But yes, sans ski resorts they had to conquer the mountain in an old-school six-hour walk through the enveloping snow for every run. This is a film about doing something that nobody has done before, and what they discovered in incredible mountains, breathtaking landscapes, and heart-warming communities of hospitable people.

‘Between Home’ is the story of artist and amateur sailor, Nick Jaffe. After living in Berlin for many years, he decided to take the long way home to Australia. Some called it brave, others crazy. In spite of the protests, Nick decided to sail solo from the UK to Australia, negotiating the treacherous waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The camera on board was his only companion on a trip that ends up taking over two years. It captures his reflective musings, his joyful excitement and his isolated struggles in this unique, poetic adventure documentary with an endless empty horizon in every direction. 

In a celebration of the humble VW camper van, ‘The Bus’ explores the camper van’s quietly understated role in getting tens of thousands of people ‘out there’. Few if any other brand of vehicle has generated such an evocative sense of ‘adventure’ than the VW. This is the remarkable story of a vehicle that became the symbol of free-spirited abandon – a nostalgic tale of freedom, love, friendship, breakdowns and, if you want, adventures. From Wolfsburg to Hollywood, Burning Man to Baja, people from all walks of life share their stories and passion in ‘The Bus’. 

‘Building the Alcan Highway’ is a 1947 adventure film classic which depicts the very wobbly building of one of the ten most essential road-trips of all time. The Alcan Highway has gone into overland travel folklore and even five decades later ensures certain bragging rights from anyone who has negotiated the length of the still unsealed road.

And for something truly classic and rarely seen, ‘The Omidvar Brothers’ is an impossibly rare, yet superb collection of vintage colour Iranian travel documentaries. In 1954 Issa and Abdullah Omidvar were in their twenties and growing restless in the suburbs of Tehran. The brothers ordered a couple of 500cc Matchless bikes and set off to see the world and make films about it! They shot incredibly sensitive, stand-alone anthropological documentaries about Eskimos, Amazonian cannibals, Polynesian islanders and much more. Yes, they really were the original Persian DIY Adventure Motorcycle Showmen!

And that is just the beginning. For the full festival program and updates as they are announced, please visit:
Also see Facebook and Twitter if you want to catch up with all the latest on the Festival news and announcements. 

Weekend (from $95) and day passes (from$65) are available in advance via the festival website. There are local hotels, campsites and B&Bs aplenty, with all budgets catered for in the accommodation in the beautiful are in Bright and surrounds. Please see website for further accommodation and ravel details.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places