The People Behind ShAFF

There is an amazing team of people that help make ShAFF happen every year. From volunteers, to judges find out more below about this talented team. If you'd like to get involved in ShAFF (by which we mean doing lots of hard work in return for a free T-shirt), please get in touch, ideally sending a photo of yourself in a silly hat.

ShAFF ambassadors are climbers, bikers, runners and other active folk who live in or near sheffield and who are famous within their circles. Check out the list of ambassadors who have endorsed ShAFF and what it's all about. there are links to their blogs and websites plus a bit of info about each of them. Being an ambassador means tickets to the festival too, so you might well bump into them in the bar.


Anna Paxton

Festival Co-Director

Anna is an ultra runner, writer and film producer working freelance across a variety of roles in the outdoor industry and has been part of the ShAFF team for six years. In 2020 Anna became Co-Director of ShAFF, alongside founder Matt Heason. Anna is producer at Sheffield-based Salt Street Productions, with whom she made a six-part viral mini-series for BBC Sport in 2019, produced the video content for The Outdoor City and Visit Britain’s international Adventure Breaks campaign in 2018, and spent most of 2017 producing a six-part urban sports series for Channel 4. Anna is also author for award winning outdoor publishers Vertebrate Publishing, and her first guide book, Day Walks East Anglia is out now. Sheffield born and bred, Anna is always inspired by Sheffield's outdoor folk and says "I've always been excited when ShAFF comes around, even more so now I'm part of the team that makes the festival happen. It's a place for our amazing outdoor community to come together to share inspiration and a few beers."






Claire Carter

Judge and Presenter

Claire is a writer and filmmaker, alongside juggling numerous jobs in the Outdoor Industry such as working with Kendal Mountain Festival as the Film Officer and the Outdoor Industries Association as Engagement Officer. Being Head Judge for ShAFF means she watches adventure films all year round. She has quite square eyes these days, and very strong fingers from gripping the sides of her arm chair.






Ed Birch

Judge, Filmmaker & ShAFF trailer director

Salt Street Productions, Filmmaker, judge and ShAFF Trailer Producer Ed is the founder and Director of Salt Street Productions, a Sheffield based production company that makes bold and exciting films about action sports. Ed set up Salt Street while still at Sheffield Hallam University, and his career started at ShAFF when we showcased his first adventure sports documentary RED RUN. Ed says "Over the years I've lived in Sheffield I've seen ShAFF grow from strength to strength and I do my utmost to help continue this growth. ShAFF is a fantastic film festival, one of the biggest adventure sports festivals worldwide. I feel very privileged to be a part of it." Ed is a filmmaker, judge, and producer of the ShAFF trailer. He's spent most of this year producing Britain's Abandoned Playgrounds, a six part series for Channel 4 in which a crew of skilled young urban athletes travel the UK breathing new life into derelict locations.






Jimmy Hyland

Jimmy is a young photographer and film maker based in Buxton, Derbyshire. He has had a number of films play at ShAFF over the past few years. These films include Mohon which is Jimmy's 'Cyclomentuary' form a solo cycle trip across Mongolia. ShAFF had been pivotal in kickstarting Jimmy's film career.






Magic Magid

Magic Magid






Mary-Ann Ochota

Mary-Ann is an anthropologist and broadcaster who's travelled and reported from around the world for channels like the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery. She's also a hillwalking ambassador for the British Moutaineering Council and very much enjoys tramping about the British hills. She's making her ShAFF judging debut this year, and will be helping whittle a winner in the 'Spirit of Adventure' category.






Paul Hodgson

Music Judge & ShAFF DJ

Bringing Sheffield producer and DJ Paul Hodgson (aka Grievous Angel) on board fulfils a long-time wish of Matt's to highlight the film soundtracks and all the musicians whose creative energy makes such a huge contribution to the success of a film. In addition to judging the soundtracks, Paul will be pulling together a #ShAFF2015 playlist of the best tunes that we'll be playing all weekend in the Showroom bar. Can't wait? Listen to his #ShAFF2015 Soundtracks playlist on YouTube. Follow Grievous Angel on Soundcloud and on Twitter @grievousangeluk.






Simon Taylor

This year will be Simon's first as a ShAFF judge. He says, "The last time I reviewed films was in 1982/83 as the film critic of the LSE student newspaper, so everyone should realise that my only skill in this area is enthusiasm. My motivation then was to get to see cool films for free. So nothing changes!". His perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors is to do swim-run, that he describes as, "an assault on the senses and great fun being amphibian". Simon is the Chair of a charity called Rural Action Derbyshire (ruralactionderbyshire.org.uk) which works to address rural disadvantage so that communities are sustainable, vibrant and accessible to everyone regardless of age, background or income. During a long career in some large multi-national businesses, Simon was lucky to have a decade of that living and working in Prague, Berlin and Wroclaw.