Adventure On Demand - ShAFF 2018 Revisited

We're looking forward to rearranged screenings of our 2020 films (sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates), but until then there's no shortage of online adventure to keep you entertained.

Although we love to get something for nothing, paid-for content will really help support filmmakers at this time. Adventure films are usually made by small independent production companies who are currently unable to work, but the great news is that you can invite adventure into your own home for less than the cost of a coffee and cake, or a couple of pints.

So, alongside our weekly watchlists of free online content, the ShAFF team are revisiting the past few festivals and listing the best on-demand adventure films for your indoor inspiration and entertainment. These ones featured in ShAFF 2018: 



This eye-opening film will forever alter your perspective on the amount of plastic you use in daily life.

Ruth Farrar

The film that everyone is talking about. A challenging but important look at what is happening to the world’s oceans. It definitely motivated me to reduce the amount of plastic I use.

Anna Paxton

I look into plastic Around the World in a depth that I have never had explained to me before. A film that does indeed motivate change.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. 

In this adventure documentary, Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over the next four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.

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An account of the people and cultures encountered by this trio of friends as they tour Kyrgyzstan on fat bikes made from bamboo.

Anna Paxton

How about touring in a place where everyone around you tells you it's too dangerous to go and doing it's sustainably. We learnt a lot about culture and history of the region.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

In the remote Pamir mountains, in Central Asia, three friends want to show the viability of an ambitious bike concept, designed by young French craftsman and made out of bamboo. 

Besides climbing peaks close to 6,000m, they meet men and women who have decided to take on another kind of challenge : innovate to perpetuate local culture and win back their autonomy. From home, to the top of the Tajik mountains, their adventure engages ourselves to wonder about the sense and the responsibility of our actions.

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An insight into a super tough 300k (186 mile) ultra in Hong Kong, running four of their long distance hiking trails the other way round to their usual direction. There are beautiful shots of Japanese trails that will open your eyes to the stunning running and hiking opportunities there. And you will marvel at the strength of these runners as they battle sleep demons (and Japanese water machine dispensers) to crack this crazy race within the 60 hour cut off.

Claire Maxted Claire Maxted

Runners don’t miss this one, an extreme ultra running challenge. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad it’s not you running (but secretly wish you were!)

Anna Paxton

These runners are incredible that distance that elevation is just mind-blowing to me really great film that takes you through an incredible physical challenge.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Breaking 60 is a documentary about the 2017 Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge, a fat‐ass trail running event where there are no race fees, no prizes, no medals, no pats on the back for being super awesome. Just a bunch of slightly left field individuals trying to run all four of Hong Kong’s ultra trails ‐ totalling 298km ‐ non stop, unsupported and in less than 60 hours. 

Each year a small group of runners are hand selected and Breaking 60 explores the personal challenges facing 4 of them. Since its inception, nobody has ever gone sub 60. The HK4TUC is a unique personal challenge that requires a significant level of self sufficiency, strong determination, willingness to dig deep and suffer and it is a journey of self discovery over three days and (in most cases) three nights. 

The HK4TUC attracts unique individuals that are not interested in the increasing commercialism of ultrarunning races as there are no medals, prizes or rankings. The focus instead is on the challenge itself, the challenge to physically and, more importantly, mentally go to places the individual has not gone before. This is only for people who love pain and suffering and get a thrill out of attempting something that they deem impossible and they expect most likely to completely fail at. That's the reason why this Challenge was founded in 2012. Given the distance and elevation change involved, this event is targeted at the experienced trail running enthusiast. 

This is a very hard event and it challenges your strategy and self-pacing, and not necessarily just raw fitness. The idea is for this to be a community-driven, non-commercial, no-frills challenge. Breaking 60 beautifully documents this journey of four participants in the challenge.

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Superior adrenalin packed MTB movie with excellent sound track

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Back your self, on your bike at breakneck speed. Nice riding from the Brits ⛽💥

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

DEATHGRIP puts the defining style of Brendan Fairclough with the progressive filmmaking of Clay Porter, slamming them together into an in-your-face, non-stop onslaught of race-pace action set against Planet Earth scenery. It pushes mountain biking to a new level of intensity and documents the sport at a pulse faster than ever before. Starring Brendan Fairclough and featuring Brandon Semenuk, Josh Bryceland, Sam Reynolds, Ryan Howard, Nico Vink, Andrew Neethling, Kyle Jameson and Olly Wilkins. The future is now.

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An honest portrayal of obsession.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Fred Beckey lived his whole life to climb, still getting up routes at 93. This film looks at his considerable achievements and explores his unique character and drive. Featuring many of the well known climbers that tied in with him and some of the best locations to climb in the world.

Anna Paxton

Hailed as one of the most influential climbers of all time, Fred Beckey is the original American “Dirtbag"–one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle. This rebel athlete’s lifetime of accomplishments set the bar for the entire sport. He shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable. Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and thrived as a loner so that his only obligation would remain conquering the next summit. He kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his romantic life, to the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not seen by anyone else on Earth. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. He defiantly continued to climb until passing away on October 30, 2017 at the age of 94. Throughout the 20th Century, Beckey’s accomplishments exceeded anyone in the sport. A rebel athlete with myopic focus, he shattered records with an unparalleled string of superhuman first ascents, bushwhacking trails and pioneering direct routes thought previously impassable. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for new generations. Beckey has entrusted director Dave O’Leske with volumes of his personal journals, rare archival footage, photographs and writings dating from 1933 - 2015. O’Leske is the only person ever to gain unfiltered access to Beckey and have his full cooperation to create a feature film about his life. This 96-minute documentary reveals the untold story of a true American icon. Director Dave O’Leske spent the past decade filming Fred Beckey with unprecedented access, getting to know the mythical man in the mountains of China, across North America and in his Pacific Northwest home. In 2015, O’Leske partnered with a crew of award-winning filmmakers––Producers Jason Reid, Andy McDonough, Colin Plank and Adam Brown, Executive Producer Colin Baxter and Editor Darren Lund––whose past credits include the hit climbing documentary K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS (2012), the Emmy® Award-winning MAN ZOU: BEIJING TO SHANGHAI (2010), the Webby Award-winning SONICSGATE: REQUIEM FOR A TEAM (2009), and the narrative drama EDEN (2013), which won Audience Awards for Best Narrative at SXSW and the Milan International Film Festival. O'Leske's first film, SPIRIT OF SNOW (2002), won a Special Jury Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride and Best Short Documentary at the Golden Film Festival.

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Two guys go to the Amazon and learn how to make dug out canoes. Proper adventure, really fun, deeply interesting.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Ever go on adventures with your mates? These two went to the jungle and made a boat from a tree they chopped down, with the plan to sail in it down a mysterious river. A great story of adventure, travel, and friendship.

Anna Paxton

Undoubtedly one of the best films from the festival a fantastic adventure into the Amazon rainforest but what will thay learn?

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Ben and James have been on several 'adventures' together, from pulling a sofa across southern England to swimming the length of a knee deep river in Dorset. Making films about their trips has become a part of the journey. 

They wanted to build on these journeys in their latest project but also make something about more than themselves - to capture the beauty of the landscape, the people and the wildlife they encountered would have to be more important than any distance or number of miles they could travel. 

 It was with this in mind that they came up with the idea of DugOut, an idea as simple as the name suggests: they would travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon, live with an indigenous community, learn from them how to build a canoe, then take that canoe on a journey… 

 The film covers the two month trip, documenting their time in the Huaorani community as they built a dugout canoe, then the journey downstream through Ecuador's Yasuni region - one of the most biodiverse areas of the world.

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A film that needed to be made. Its powerful insights on risk, climbing and finding one's place in the world will stay with you long after experiencing this cinematic masterpiece.

Ruth Farrar

Deep and emotional meditation on risk taking and loss in adventure sports, and the toll that recovery takes. A unique and much needed film.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

A mountaineer taking on his mortality in selfish Pursuits after a huge accident. Cover some serious ground and has some great takeaway morals to live by.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Highly recommended! One climber’s journey as he recovers from a serious accident in the mountains above Chamonix. Emotional, heartwarming and honest, he asks difficult questions about risk and reward as he reassesses his life.

Anna Paxton

"Fascinating and very moving" - Sir Chris Bonington 
 "Powerful and thought-provoking" - Ed Douglas 
 "An important, beautiful film" - Andy Kirkpatrick 

Magnetic Mountains is an independent documentary that follows the story of an everyman who, after falling from an Alpine north face, is struggling to find a balance. Featuring some of the biggest names in mountain sports, it will explore the psychology of risk taking in the mountains, asking – is it really worth it? 

In October 2014, Steve Wakeford, a sports broadcast editor (part of EMMY and BAFTA award winning teams), fell 70 metres whilst climbing a mountain known as Les Petites Jorasses in the French Alps. It was a fall that required him to be airlifted out of the mountains suffering from a number of serious injuries and resulted in him being temporarily left in a wheelchair - he is lucky to be alive. At the start of a long journey of rehabilitation, he began to ask himself some serious questions - 

"Regardless of injury or trauma, why are we drawn to the mountains in the first place?"

Is risk an essential part of what we do? Perhaps most importantly, why is it that I am planning to climb the same route from which I fell?" Having lost his sense of direction and identity, he decided to pick up a camera and document his journey. And so, Magnetic Mountains was born. 

In order to start finding answers, Steve decided to meet with some of the leading figures in alpine sports - Sir Chris Bonington, Tommy Caldwell, Steve House, Andy Parkin, Nick Bullock, Ellen Brennan, Liv Sansoz, Marja Persson, Tom Ballard, Paul Pritchard and more – as well as speaking with university professors, psychologists and the heroic professionals of PGHM Mountain Rescue. 

But if anything, the process led to him needing to ask further, more challenging questions - both of himself and the community in which he is a part of. Is playing in the mountains selfish? What impact does it have on our relationships? What influence does social media have? Can the risks ever be justified? 

When he picked up his camera during his long and dark days of rehab, even Steve couldn't have predicted quite how much the next 3 years would have in store for him. As he prepares to re-climb the route from which he fell, he discovers that perhaps the bigger mountains to climb are, in fact, closer to home...

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"Mama" is the most personal film from all I've created over the years. It explores parts of ours life that few years ago were completely unknown for me - being a parent and maintaining progress in your passion. My passion is the same as Kinga's - main character of the film. Climbing changed my life 13 years ago and now becoming a father in November I need to adjust to that new role. Making that film showed me that anything is possible. Kinga is the very first women in the world to be a mother of two kids and maintain world-class level sending 9a sport climbing route. Witnessing Kinga's climb live and being able to share it with the audience is a really special experience.



This is like a throwback to the the old skate films where it was just you and the crew throwing down together having having fun if you do any sport this this will make you want to go out with your mates and throw down. 🔥💯

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

You’re in Sheffield and it’s March so I guess you can’t ski, but this on the big screen might be the next best thing...

Anna Paxton

NUMINOUS - a film by Dendrite Studios and Kye Petersen Awed and Attracted He is one of the most aggressive and talented freeskiers of our age. Born and raised in the BC backcountry, with a bloodline alive with adventure and a style carved from the landscape itself, Kye Petersen is about to blow the doors off of big mountain skiing. This is a short segment from the film.

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Horrendously irresponsible promotion of dangerous climbing or admirable portrait of a skilled climber? You be the judge. The total antithesis of "Testing Ourselves".

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

With solo rock climbing, there’s no rope and no safety net. Every climber has to weight up their own ability against their appetite for risk. An examination of one solo climber’s mindset as he takes his choices and deals with the consequences...

Anna Paxton

For most climbers, it's safety first. But Brad Gobright is definitely not most climbers. Fuelled by day-old donuts and unhindered by a fear of falling, this young talent is pushing the limits of scary trad and free solo ropeless climbing in his backyard playground of Eldorado Canyon. 

Having survived a few big scares, Brad is determined to make his boldest ascent yet - a first-ever free solo of one of Eldo's most exposed and difficult routes.



Maureen ‘Mo’ Beck is one hard-core climber! Fun, fearless and fuelled by cupcakes: Mo’s bad-ass tenacity knows no bounds. A highly enjoyable memorable must-see film.

Ruth Farrar

Ok I'm going to put my hands up 👐 and say that I do find this incredibly inspiring. But then again anyone pushing hard is inspiring. Oh and its hilarious.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

“I don’t want to be known as just a one-armed climber,” says Maureen Beck, “I just want to be a good climber.” Maureen Beck may have been born missing her lower left arm, but that hasn’t stopped her from going hard. 

She takes whippers on 5.12 and crushes overhanging boulders, while shot-gunning beers. But she is not here to be your inspiration. 

“People say, ‘Look, a one-armed climber, now I have no excuses.’ I’m like, dude, you never had any excuses in the first place.” 

Maureen is here to crush the gnar — with one bloody stump helping her get to the top.

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Prolific filmmaker Paul Diffley masterfully creates an immersive experience for the viewer as the camera delves deep below the Ario Caves in Spain capturing the claustrophobia, challenges and camaraderie of this caving adventure film. A truly gripping documentary following brave solo divers venturing into the dark unknown.

Ruth Farrar

I work of sheer determination both in filming in a location beneath the surface but also to get a crew down there to explore further.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Gripping! A caving expedition involving diving to 30m in cold water after reaching a location 8 and a half hours beneath the surface and any hope of rescue. An amazing story.

Anna Paxton

Renowned filmmaker Paul Diffley has brought his technical skills to the caving world, with his new film The Ario Dream. The film profiles the exploration of the deep caves of Ario in the Picos de Europa mountains, Northern Spain. The film follows the latest 2016/17 expeditions as they try to make the last few connections that could result in the deepest cave system in Europe. This is a gripping account of ‘expedition-style’ cave exploration involving underground camps and complex logistics, and where the penalties for unforeseen emergencies or problems are severe. At the apex of the operation are the cave divers, pushing into the unknown in deep sumps where rescue is not an option. The tension, as each diver disappears into the blackness, is genuine…

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