Film festival to celebrate passion for outdoors | SteamboatToday.com

Film festival to celebrate passion for outdoors

As a benefit for Yampatika and Friends of the Routt Backcountry, the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will be showing at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Chief Theater.

— There's an affinity for the outdoors shared by many Steamboat Springs residents and visitors.

In its 11th year, the annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is a reflection of that passion for the majestic places of solitude many seek in the outdoors.

As a benefit for Yampatika and Friends of the Routt Backcountry and to celebrate the human-powered winter experience, the film festival will be showing at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Chief Theater.

"The mission and value of this festival … is to inspire human-powered outdoor recreation," said Keili Bell, Winter Wildlands Alliance events and outreach coordinator. "The cool part about all of the different films is that it gets people stoked about what's going on in their community and it gets them involved."

Making its selections from more than 50 submissions, Bell said the festival provides a fresh lineup of short films, from grassroots efforts to professionally made productions, a few of which were selected for the Banff Mountain Film Fest. The panel of judges from the Winter Wildlands Alliance narrowed the list to nine.

Each of the featured films uses a form of human-powered recreation in a winter landscape while also following storylines that explore issues of a work-life balance or climate change. Not only that, Bell said the organization is keen to listen to what's going on with land use or gear trends, which are emulated in the films.

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"What's also exciting about these films is that you get to see how the world of filmmakers is changing by using more modern technology that is readily available, like drones, for example," Bell said. "The film industry has really taken off, and we are seeing some really, really cool stories, ideas and concepts come to life through these films."

The Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national, nonprofit organization, which, in 2005, started the festival as a celebration of snow, community and human-powered recreation. The organization creates the festival and allows local nonprofits to use it as a fundraiser.

During the winter months, the film festival premieres in Boise, Idaho, then travels to more than 100 towns worldwide and is seen by more than 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts.

Kellie Gorman, Yampatika program director, said the split sum of proceeds from the event will be used to continue inspiring environmental stewardship through Yampatika's educational programs.

"It's a great way to bring the community up to par on current issues and to see what both of our groups are doing," said Leslie Lovejoy, director of Friends of the Routt Backcountry, a local group dedicated to preserving land for winter recreation, including skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

This will mark the fourth year Friends of the Routt Backcountry has participated in the event. Lovejoy said the group will use the money raised to educate the community and for winter rangers and volunteers stationed in the backcountry during the winter.

"I think people who either live or visit the Yampa Valley are excited about getting outside and enjoying the beauty around us," said Gorman. "It's those shared experiences that connects us all."

Tickets for the event are $20 for adults and $10 for students with an ID and can be purchased online at chieftheater.com or at the door.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Backcountry Film Festival

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $20 for adults and $10 for students with an ID