The Women's Adventure Film Tour launched in May of 2017 to a sold-out crowd in Sydney, Australia. The films have been captivating audiences ever since by featuring some of the most inspiring and adventurous women in the world.

Although the film festival is a celebration of adventurous women, the films are meant to be enjoyed by men and women of all ages, from all walks of life. Since the first screening in 2017, the tour has since expanded outside of Australia and now includes showings in New Zealand, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, India, and the USA/Canada.

The Women’s Adventure Film Tour was greeted by a full house at the La Paloma theater in Encinitas, CA. Photo: Jonathan Kemnitz

In the first year of the tour, the films were sourced from the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado. But as the tour grew, the Women’s Adventure Film Tour began developing content with (and directly from) filmmakers.

The festival operates through rolling submissions, so filmmakers are welcome to submit their films for entry at any time in hopes of joining the tour. In each country and location, films are hand-picked to showcase the ones that will best speak to that particular audience.

We were lucky enough to catch the festival in Encinitas, California to a full house. The festival was hosted by the Changing Tides Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the gap between travelers and the causes on the ground through volunteer work and education in sustainable practices. Proceeds from the U.S. portion of the tour benefit the Changing Tides Foundation, so it was only fitting that the night kicked off with their film, Samosas by professional surfer Leah Dawson.

“The ocean is like a magnet,” said Becky Mendoza of the Changing Tides Foundation in the film. “It brings people together from all over the world.”

Proceeds from the U.S. portion of the tour benefit the Changing Tides Foundation. Photo: Jonathan Kemnitz

As the night progressed, the energy is the audience was electric and contagious. There was cheering, laughing, crying, and an underlying sense of community throughout the theater. Nine films in total were shown, each one just as captivating and awe-inspiring as the last.

Sameseas followed the Changing Tides Foundation to the Dominican Republic where they shared surf, stories, and their love for the ocean with the women of the Mariposa Foundation. Moksha was the story of three Nepali women who committed their lives to competing in, and spreading the joy of mountain biking throughout the Himalayas. Persian Powder was a cultural experience of snowboarding and life in Iran, through the eyes of professional snowboarder Mona Serjaii.

Discovering Adventure was the tale of 5-year-old Isabelle and her family’s adventures in Norway. Perpetual Motion followed adventure sports photographer Krystle Wright on her mission to capture unique moments in adventure sports across the globe.

Finding the Line addressed the topic of fear by following sisters and pro skiers Anna and Nat Segal. Surfing to Cope followed surfer Brianna Cope’s journey of attempting to qualify for the WCT while simultaneously overcoming the challenges of a birth defect.

Vision Nowhere took us to a remote location in Japan and documented some of the most visually stunning slopes in the world. Finally, the night conclude with Katie, a tribute to Glen Canyon adventurer and activist Katie Lee.

It’s all about progression in women’s adventure sports. Image: Courtesy of the Women’s Adventure Film Tour

“Film festivals carry an amazing platform to engage with as it offers a chance for filmmakers to share their projects with a captive audience,” says adventure sports photographer and filmmaker Krystle Wright. “The Women’s Adventure Film Festivals are a great initiative to celebrate great athletes and amazing stories.

“In time, I hope we can continue to progress so there no longer needs to be a special separated platform and instead, it is all-inclusive where we no longer nitpick background, race, sex, age and so forth but instead that a great story is always celebrated.”

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