Last week the European Outdoor Film Tour arrived in London, The Ski Club went down to see what the fuss was all about...

The European Outdoor Film Tour, or EOFT for short, brings together an incredible selection of documentaries which capture the real, raw experiences of outdoor enthusiasts who are deeply passionate about their disciplines. The Film Tour is a highlight of the outdoor calendar and is shown in 300 venues across 14 countries, showcasing the expertise of passionate individuals and always sticking to the principal of no actors, special effects or second takes. The stories and landscapes are unedited and authentic, which make for truly gripping viewing.

You can still catch the films across the UK in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool until 8th  November.

‘Ice Call’ takes the audience on a dizzying journey around the Mer de Glace Glacier with Freeskier Sam Favret. A mixture of aerial footage and point-of-view shots show Favret trailblazing through deep crevasses, using towering glacier walls as half-pipes and zipping through brilliant blue ice tunnels. Favret uses the natural lips to spin off and transforms the treacherous glacial terrain into a sparkling freeski arena. The sun hitting the ice formations gives the film a hint of danger as the threat of melting is real, but it also makes for an incredible visual adventure through the core of the Mont Blanc glacier.

Ice Call

 

From glaciers to mountains, ‘Choices’ tells the incredible story of Steph Davis who decided in her twenties that life in law school was not for her. Choosing to live out of her van and focus her energy on a career of climbing, base-jumping and wing-suit flying, she attained many female firsts but her reputation was knocked to rock bottom when her first husband climbed an illegal route.

Her passion for wingsuit flying then led to a very real tragedy when she lost her second husband Mario Richard on a joint wingsuit jump. Where Steph would normally find peace and solace in her outdoor passions, they were stung badly by his absence. Slowly and not without struggle, Steph picked herself up and through the support of her friends and partner Ian, she has returned to the extreme sports that she loves. ‘Choices’ focusses on the positive relationship now has with her disciplines, having experienced some of life’s incredible highs and crushing lows.

Erik Boomer

 ‘Choices’ is as much a story about the endurance of life as extreme sports, but ‘Into Twin Galaxies’ shows how strong relationships can pull you through a tough physical journey. It follows Ben Stookesberry, Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Broomer whose mission is to cross the ice sheets of Greenland kite-skiing and be the first to kayak the meltwater stream from its source. The journey is thrown into doubt when Sarah is whipped into the air by her kite. Her expertise is essential on the trip, but the outcome looks bleak as they camp out on the desolate icy landscape, willing her health to improve.

Patience prevails and the team push on across the vast, frozen expanse with their kayaks, only to find the lakes they were aiming for frozen solid. The footage of the team navigating precarious ice bridges and underground tunnels is extremely tense and the sense of relief when they finally arrive at meltwater is tangible. The trip culminates in an outstanding multi-level waterfall descent which leaves Boomer with a bloodied nose but a huge smile as he triumphs over the raging blue meltwater.

Into Twin Galaxies

 

Extreme cold contrasts with extreme humidity as Benjamin Sadd and James Trundle set up camp with an indigenous family in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Their goal is to build a traditional dug-out canoe by felling a tree, but their most important discovery is the breathtaking ability of the family to prosper in the rainforest. The cinematography of ‘Dug Out’ expertly captures the physical discomfort and playful nature of the friends who find the jungle a hostile, impenetrable and suffocating whereas the natives thrive on its challenges. Eating tarantulas, monkeys and grubs, they delight in the confusion and puzzlement of the Englishmen who are saddened that the children of the family will soon be “seduced by the western world.”

The survival tactics that they have been taught are likely to stop at their generation. When the dug-out boat is finished, Sadd and Trundle trade it in at a local village. This exchange along with the discovery of the family land being sold for logging highlight the constantly changing nature of the Amazon, and its precarious place in today’s world. 

Dug Out

 
To find out more about the European Outdoor Film Tour head over to their website and book your place on an upcoming screening here.