ShAFF 2021 Film Quotes

Every year at ShAFF we screen around 100 unique, unusual and very memorable films on adventure. Quotes from the films often live with us beyond the festival weekend. We thought we'd share a few below.  



An incredibly wrought adventure that will really make you think, and 'thrill'.

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

"An unexplored river at the bottom of the world's deepest canyon... the Colca." "The polish ambassador to Mexico was also a misfit, he was in exile, and he introduced us to Mexican high society. The Vice President of Mexico invited us to his daughter's wedding and we sang there!" Polish kayakers in 1981 go mad in a Peruvian canyon as deep as Everest is high. Superb archive footage, excellent historical contextualisation, terrific editing combine to make a must-see movie

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

A fantastic film! An amazing adventure on so many levels. Wonderful, wonderful!!!

Simon Taylor

Pioneering river running from back in the day, incredible storytelling from archive footage about pushing boundaries and exploring the un known.

Jimmy Hyland

During the Cold War, Poland’s youth looked for any way to break away from the monotony of life under Communist rule. In the City of Krakow, a group of university students formed a kayaking club as a tool to explore their local rivers and avoid participation in Communist parades and rallies. After experiencing the thrill of Poland’s one and only class III rapid, club members Andrzej Pietowski, Piotr Chmielinski (who would go on to be the first person to paddle the Amazon river source to sea), and Jurek Majcherczyk set their sights on the impossible - leaving the Eastern Bloc to paddle whitewater. Godspeed, Los Polacos! tells the story of five university students on the edge of adulthood who skillfully pull the strings of the Soviet system, and find themselves on a kayaking expedition in the Americas with a six-wheeled military truck, homemade equipment, and little to no whitewater skills. The story follows their epic two-year journey that culminates in the record-breaking first descent of the world’s deepest canyon and finds the kayakers in Soviet cross-hairs after they leverage their newfound fame to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc.

Sustainability Notes

This film was a two-person production and almost entirely archival. By utilizing found footage and animation, the production was able to keep a relatively small carbon footprint

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"Before this expedition we were all pretty anti-Everest." "I distract myself from the pain by looking into the camera." Interesting and extraordinarily beautiful alternative view of climbing Everest with good depiction of the contribution of the sherpas. The tone is sombre but it's a great-looking and artistic film.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

A beautifully different climbing film.

Jimmy Hyland

Classily produced Everest film searching for a body missing from a previous summit attempt.

Simon Taylor

A team sets out to solve one of the greatest mysteries in exploration: who made the first ascent of Mt. Everest. Every stereotype they know about the mountain and its people are turned on its end during this brutally honest look at the current state of affairs during one the busiest Everest seasons in history.



A muslim woman's perspective on enjoying the adventure and camaraderie of the great outdoors.

Simon Taylor

Terrific film about the founders of muslim women's hiking group. Honest and enjoyable.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

An important insight into under represented groups within the outdoor community.

Jimmy Hyland

This short documentary showcases two Asian female adventurers: Amira (28) and her mother, Aysha (50), as they embark on a hike up Rivington Pike in Lancaster, UK. The film follows them on their beautiful hike, as they discuss their highs and lows of being South Asian women in the outdoors and how they connect with their religion when adventuring outside. Amira is one of only a few British Muslim women who hike whilst wearing their hijab, and she has hiked all over the world from Switzerland to Turkey. Aysha discovered hiking in her 40s, and was the only Asian woman in her local hiking and rambling groups. She broke down barriers within her own community, as well as in general society, to show that middle-aged Asian women could venture into the mountains. The film unearths their backstories of loss and how Aysha encouraged Amira to head into the hills together to heal their grief. Their first hike was up Rivington Pike, and at first, Amira struggled. But she persisted, and in this film, we see Amira’s confidence as she hikes this trail again with ease. Together, and with nature, they replaced their feelings of loss with renewed confidence, love and a deeper bond with their religion. They also discuss their experiences of microaggressions and the impact of underrepresentation within the outdoors and adventure industries, whilst unravelling the obstacles that can prevent Asian women from venturing into the outdoors. This Mother-Daughter film adds diversity to the narrative and visuals of adventure films, whilst also building upon age-old concepts of familial love and connection with nature.

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An inspiring and topical story about stepping outside your comfort zone, in the mountains with your mates!

Jimmy Hyland

Must watch for this festival a must watch for the world.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Cool, inspiring film about a black climbing wall in Memphis Tennessee, Memphis Rocks. It is, by some margin, the best made and most entertaining film in this whole festival, while also having the most resonance and meaning - a true "must-see "We're the little brothers of rock climbing and we need our family." "I was battling my demons but they all melted away when I was on the ice wall." "I'm no longer a street dude, I'm an alpinist". "Why does everything bad have to be called black? Like black ice." "Pressure make diamonds."

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

How can our world be so bad and so good at the same time? There was so much courage from everybody involved in making this film happen. But what a fabulous result!

Simon Taylor

A crew of aspiring ice climbers from the Memphis Rox gym travels to the frozen wilds of Montana, where mentors Manoah Ainuu, Conrad Anker and Fred Campbell share their love of winter adventure in the mountains.



Huw Jack Brassington running the Paddy Buckley with a mega support crew and in compromising conditions.

Jimmy Hyland

Ultra-running over 47 Welsh mounters is a challenge few have managed, and this film shows how magnificently photogenic runner Huw Jack Bressington attempts it as the storms descend. The film reveals the full support network an adventure like this requires. Fabulous mountain scenery brilliantly portrayed. Welsh language throughout, and all the better for it. "Run, you hairy potato!"

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Another smasher of a running psych film from Huw Brassington and Huw Erddyn!

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

So enjoyed listening to the Welsh language.

Simon Taylor

A film following ultra runner Huw Jack Brassington, as he attempts to run the notorious Paddy Buckley round. The Paddy Buckley Round is a 100km fell running challenge that takes place in the mountains of North Wales. Those who are brave enough to take on the challenge, climb 8000 Metres over 47 of Snowdonia's highest mountains. All who attempt it want to break the magical 24 hour barrier, as does Huw Jack Brassington. But when a massive summer storm hits Snowdonia this already monstrous challenge becomes almost impossible. As Huw battles against the weather he has to push the boundaries of his strength, endurance and determination further than he's ever done before.

Sustainability Notes

The film does not directly address sustainability, but does exhibit good mountain etiquette. Whilst filming, the carbon footprint was kept as low as possible by using all local crew and safety team. The production team also had a policy of not using any single use plastic bottles whilst filming.

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Two adventurous friends, Jeff Shapiro and Cody Tuttle, have a desire to experience one of the last, raw, and truly preserved wilderness areas on the North American continent. Through the attempt to hike and fly paragliders across the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern Brooks Range of Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, they gain a necessary and visceral connection with the importance of fiercely protecting its nature. During the adventure, their perspectives on friendship, risk and the importance of the word wilderness evolve, making for memories of a lifetime; lifetimes which prove to not only to be finite, but worth sharing if the result is to maintain this special landscape, as it is, for generations to come.

Sustainability Notes

Besides flying bush planes the entire adventure was done on foot and or paragliders. The film encourages everyone to help protect not only ANWR but all public lands that are in threat.



The definition of determination, grit and stamina.

Jimmy Hyland

Very absorbing film. There is a calmness and about the film that belies the challenges and the calories burned. Wonderfully candid.

Simon Taylor

"People would say I'm unlucky because I've had cancer twice and I've been hit by a truck." "I was very materialistic - I don't think I'd like that person if I met them now."

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

James Golding shouldn’t still be here. At 28, doctors found a huge cancerous tumour in his back. They operated, he survived. A year later, he was hit by a truck at 70mph. He went back to hospital. And then, his cancer returned. Once again, he underwent surgery, and was given the all clear. And so when people tell James he’s unlucky, he knows they’re wrong. In fact, everything he’s experienced has made him the man he is today - a long-distance cyclist, capable of enduring the most intense races in the world. This film captures James as he takes on Race Across the West (RAW) - a 930-mile course, which he needs to complete in under four days. But it’s about more than just a man hoping to win a race. It’s about survival and sacrifice and how we learn what’s important in life. James always wanted to live a life less ordinary. Feeling like he never fitted in at school, he left aged just 14, and went on to find success as an estate agent, buying his own house in his early 20s. But when he was diagnosed with cancer, everything changed. Lying in his hospital bed, knowing he had to relearn to walk, James realised that all the materialistic things he had coveted before, no longer mattered. Instead, he thought back to when he last felt free and at ease - it was as a child, on his bike. And so, he threw himself into the sport, training hard and aiming high. He overcame his collision with the lorry and another round of surgery. He broke the seven-day cycling world record. He moved his entire family to Portugal in order to be able to train more regularly and in more suitable terrain. James had his sights on one thing - to become the first Briton to complete Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. But to qualify, he had to first complete RAW. This film captures the highs, and the very deep lows, that James endured as he raced across the desert. The heat, sleep deprivation, hallucinations - James experienced it all. But it’s not the first time he’s suffered - everything he’s been through in life led to this point. And James does not give up.

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Beautifully written and narrated personal journey. Packed full of metaphor and nice scenery.

Simon Taylor

Beautifully shot, heartfelt and philosophically deep amputee skiing film

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

A beautiful story of hope and resilience.

Jimmy Hyland

Inspiring...

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

After losing his leg to cancer as a young adult, Jon Wilson struggled with the emotions of feeling broken. Challenging himself in the outdoors presented a possible remedy. Today, crutching up and skiing down mountains at night provides a distinct backdrop for Jon to explore, accept, and embrace the idea of “brokenness,” allowing him to find a more sincere, genuine and honest connection with life.

Sustainability Notes

This was a one-man crew (myself) filming in our "backyard" (10 min down the road). Very efficient from a resource and travel standpoint.

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