Best in Show & Audience Award
In 1974, my 20-year-old parents and uncle Andy built their own canoes, launched them into the Pacific, and became some the first people in modern history to canoe from Washington to Alaska up the Inside Passage. My brother and I grew up paddling those wooden canoes in the Virginia rives and the 1974 adventure became legend in our family – shaping who we’ve become, how we view our parents, and how our parents view themselves. In the summer of 2017, we renovated those canoes and with our aging parents completed their 1974 journey. The Passage is a story about the dreams of aging brothers, fathers and sons, and the wild places that define us.
Directed by Nate Dappen
Zanskar is a remote kingdom in the northwest Indian Himalaya, where local people are snow-bound for six months of the year. About 10,000 Zanskaris live in the isolated valley. In winter, mountain passes are blocked, the summer Jeep road closes and buses stop.
Two decades ago, three friends founded a ski school – to enable winter travel in the valley, improve quality of life, and to encourage young people to stay in Zanskar by helping establish a culture of mountain sports.
The film tells the story of this friendship, the ski school and the development of skiing in the area. Along the way, a bigger question is raised.
Directed by Ben Stephenson, Vera Neverkevich and Yana Kehrlein
JaBig, a Montreal-based DJ, buys a bike on a whim and decides to attempt to beat the record for the longest continuous bike ride in a single country. What’s more, he’ll ride a single speed, fixed-gear bicycle and finish in the winter, approaching the Arctic Ocean by way of Canada’s northernmost continental hamlet, Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories. In his final kilometres, he falls more times than he has in the previous 17,000km combined. JaBig knows he is where he is meant to be, but the final hours will push him further than he ever imagined. The journey is bleak and beautiful at the same time, and Jean’s story will make you pause, asking yourself, “where would I go from here?”
Directed by Anjali Nayar
Best in Show
40 Winters follows adventurer Simon Donato, professional obstacle course racer Ryan Atkins and ultra-runner Adam Campbell as they attempt to traverse the 11 peaks of the iconic Mt. Rundle ridge in a single day. Facing snow, ice, and quickly changing early spring conditions, the trio set out along the iconic Rundle ridge between Canmore and Banff, Canada, to try and post a fastest known time for the traverse in winter conditions.
Directed by Drew Goldsack & Simon Donato
At What Price
Professional adventure and climbing photographer John Price explores the myth of ‘the perfect life’ that’s so pervasive in social media. Set in the breathtaking Canadian Rockies this film ponders how to strike the balance as an artist between self-promotion and authenticity.
Directed by Tommy Day
Shift is a half-hour documentary about a group of indigenous youth from Carcross, Yukon who have spent the past 10 years converting historical trails in the mountains around their community into a world-class mountain biking destination – and transforming themselves along the way.
Directed by Kelly Milner
The Jondachi river cuts its way through the jungles of the Napo Valley in Ecuador. For those who live with the river, it provides more than a physical connection. It provides a connection that fills the spirit.