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Backcountry film festival 2023

The Winter Wildlands Alliance presents their annual Backcountry Film Festival. This year’s screenings will showcase human-powered adventure in the backcountry.

The films will cover stories of outdoor stewardship, grassroots advocacy, backcountry adventure, and snow cinema by human-powered advocates, athletes, brands, activists, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

These films are shown all over the world. This year, Friends of the Earth is once again delighted to be the local host for Backcountry film festival in Melbourne. The festival will screen at RMIT in the city on Thursday May 4.


Are $8 concession and $15 waged and can be purchased here.

You can also pay by cash on the night - we have a large venue so you won't miss out.


Trailer for the 2022/23 Festival

You can see the trailer here.



Friends of the Earth

RMIT Outdoor Club


Where & When

RMIT Building 80, 080.01.002 Level 1 Cinema
445 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000


7pm Thursday May 4, 2023. Kickoff of program at 7.15pm.

The Program

The festival will show 12 films over 2 hours.

Additionally we will have speakers from a range of groups, including:

  • Alex Abrahams, from the Victorian backcountry festival
  • Alastair McLeod and Sam Quirke from Protect our Winters
  • Simon Murray from Mountain Safety Collective
  • Majell Backhausen from Patagonia

Stalls from a range of groups including YHA Cross Country Ski Club, Victorian backcountry festival, POW.

In addition to the formal program (see below) we have 2 locally produced films as part of the program, including:

The Australian Alp - a 13 minute documentary that talks to the mystic of Mt Feathertop and our desires to ski such a place.
If you've ever driven the road to Mt Hotham it's hard to not gaze your eyes over the alluring spectacle of Mt Feathertop, which some have referred to as the 'Australian Alp'. A group of riders explore the terrain that forever has been a childhood dream.

Regeneration – Racha: A ski film like no other, taking you on an epic 8-day backcountry trip to the Western Highlands of Georgia.


The Films:

Soñadora_.pngSoñadora by Jr Rodriguez, Sofia Jaramillo, Micheli Oliver, and Luke Kaneb (Human- Powered Film Grant Award Winner)

Mapping Snow by Aaron Kalischer-Coggins and The Hill

Ski Local by Skyler Martin


First Time Adventure by the Mad Trees

HUT VIBES by Noah Howell

The Avalanche Hunter by Wool Hat Creative

The Bottom Line by Northwest Avalanche Center

Tools of Ascension by Chris Murphy and Max Lowe

Ski Together by Greg O’Connor

Stepping Out: An Alaskan Expedition by Top Top Studio

Next Stop Sneg by Marco Tribelhorn


Further details on the films


Human-Powered Film Grant Award Winner (2022)

By Jr Rodriguez, Sofia Jaramillo, Micheli Oliver, and Luke Kaneb

Vanessa is quite literally a trailblazer and with vulnerable storytelling, she is making space for those after her in the outdoor industry. In doing so she is often in predominantly white spaces and thus has had to find ways to stay connected to herself and her culture. This film explores Vanessa’s journey and anyone else who lives between worlds.


Mapping Snow

By Aaron Kalischer-Coggins and The Hill

“Mapping Snow” explores how scientists are trying to better understand snow around the world, to save lives and mitigate the impacts of climate change on our most precious resource. Featuring WWA Ambassador, HP Marshall, this film shows how HP conducts this research in Idaho to connect with NASA and other snow scientists around the world.


Ski Local

By Skyler Martin

Ski Local explores the past and present culture of skiing on the Palouse.



By WNDR Alpine

An immersive deep pow experience.


First Time Adventure

By The Mad Trees

Produced by Subaru and REI

WWA Ambassador Vasu Sojitra takes fellow athlete Kira Brazinski backcountry skiing for the first time. A short and sweet film about the joy of getting outside together, sharing in our experiences and how we connect to our bodies in the outdoors.



By Noah Howell

Produced by Flylow Gear and SHELTER

A group of friends head into the Eastern Sierras to share in the well-known and historic backcountry hut experience. A quick look at the magic of huts in the winter and what they provide.


The Avalanche Hunter

By Wool Hat Creative

In this adventure vignette, we get a look behind the scenes into the often invisible world of avalanche control and avalanche professionals. The story follows Roz Reynolds, an “avalanche hunter” and certified badass, who is not only blazing trails in her field and keeping the public safe in the mountains, but also laying first tracks on backcountry slopes, climbing ice walls, and more.


The Bottom Line

By Northwest Avalanche Center

This short film produced by the Northwest Avalanche Center dives into a typical day for NWAC forecasters out in the field along with their routine once back in the office to get the forecast out to the public.


Tools of Ascension

By Chris Murphy and Max Lowe

Conrad Anker knows the value of suffering through the climb — letting difficult experiences build. Learn more about his ascension with new climber Malik Martin.


Ski Together

By Greg O’Connor

Zach McCarthy moved back to Maine from Boston and found purpose in sharing his love of ski touring with others.


Stepping Out: An Alaskan Expedition

By Top Top Studio

Three women set out to ski in the Alaska range for their first time. Serving as their own guides they were excited to arrive on the glacier and were quickly humbled by the complex structure of the terrain. In a new setting, they reimagine what success looks like beyond the familiar expectations of adventure athletes. The mission? Thrive in new roles and progress as a team to test their limits as skiers and leaders. No trip is perfect, but the most memorable ones evolve beyond sport.


Next Stop Sneg

By Marco Tribelhorn

After receiving a suspicious message on his computer screen, Sven Rauber goes on a hallucinating ski trip into a pillow filled forest in the middle of nowhere. He finds himself in a camp alongside a beautiful river between some hills which hold some of the best snow and skiing terrain in the world. A movie for ski and snowboard fanatics with an affectation for deep powder tree skiing.


Come Join Us!


What the funds will be used for?

The funds raised from this year’s film festival will go directly towards gaining urgent protection for alpine forests on Mount Stirling, Mount Wills, and in the Little Dargo. These areas are due to be logged any week now, we need to gain protection for these areas through the Immediate Protection Area process. FoE will also use these funds to continue their work surveying, educating, and campaigning for the forests in Victoria’s high country.

Please act NOW by emailing The Hon Ingrid Stitt, the minister of the environment, asking her to protect Mt Stirling by stopping logging in all the coupes around the mountain.

Here is a link to send an email to the minister of the environment.

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