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"Where the Wild Things Play" a film by Krystle Wright. Photo provided by Ottawa Adventure Film Festival.

Ottawa Adventure Film Festival brings global adventure to Ottawa

By Chris Cormier on November 15, 2017

As someone with a keen interest in action sports of all kinds, I was thrilled to find out that on November 18 and 19, the inaugural Ottawa Adventure Film Festival (OAFF) is taking place at the Mayfair Theatre. Originally scheduled for a single screening, the community response was so strong that the November 18 event sold out over a month in advance and the second screening was added. After parties are also being held immediately following each of the screenings, include additional film screenings and take place across the street from the Mayfair at the House of Targ (free, RSVP required).

The first of its kind in Ottawa and Eastern Canada, the OAFF features eight films from around the world. From skiing in China, to kayaking in Equador, to hiking in Jordan, the films vary in length from five minutes to one hour and there is certainly plenty of adventure to take in. Two screenings in particular resonate with me, the first being At What Price directed by Tommy Day and SHIFT directed by Kelly Milner.

At What Price shows professional adventure and climbing photographer John Price and the disparity he sees between the lifestyles shown in social media feeds and the lived reality of professional photographers. Having seen many jaw-dropping adventure images float across my feed and stoke my fear of missing out, this film offers a behind the scenes peek into how some of those images were created. As one would expect, this trailer suggests that things are not really as glamorous as they might seem when you stop scrolling and look deeper.

SHIFT documents local indigenous activists in Carcross, Yukon as they work to transform and revitalize their hometown with an unlikely tool: mountain bikes. Over the course of ten years they have managed to turn the historic trails surrounding their town into a world-class mountain bike destination to the benefit of the local community. Youth empowerment, economic prosperity, and environmental protection all come together to illustrate how something as simple as a bicycle can bring meaningful change if you are receptive enough.

The Ottawa Adventure Film Festival has screenings from 12-3pm on both November 18 and 19. More information about the festival can be found on their website and their Facebook page. After party tickets are available for the Saturday event here and the Sunday event here. The Mayfair Theatre is located at 1074 Bank Street and more information about the venue, including accessibility information can be found on their website. The House of Targ (1077 Bank Street)  unfortunately does not have an accessible entrance. More information can be found on their website.