The Winter Wildlands Alliance releases trailer for the Backcountry Film Festival’s 14th year

With 14 years under its belt, the Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Backcountry Film Festival is a mainstay of the fall movie premiere circuit. A mid-November premier in Boise, Idaho kicks off an international tour of the 90-minute show. And Backcountry Film Festival Manager Melinda Quick is excited about the potential reach of this year’s show, as she hopes to plan stops for Europe, Australia and South America in addition to Canada and the U.S. This breadth of viewership speaks to the interest in the Backcountry Film Festival’s theme—the human-powered backcountry winter experience—and its continued growth worldwide. We caught up with Quick to learn more about what’s on tap for 2018. 

Backcountry Film Festival 2018-19 – Trailer from Winter Wildlands Alliance on Vimeo.

Backcountry Magazine: What are you excited for in this year’s festival?

Melinda Quick: What’s unique about the 2018/19 Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival is that we’re starting to expand more internationally. We’ve got a lot of events already lined up for Australia next summer—their winter—in addition to Canada, Chile and a few European screenings.

The festival tour brings backcountry communities around the world together, so it’s wonderful that it’s expanding outside of North America in our 14th year. We want this to be a networking event that also serves as a mode to connect—and, of course, as a great form of entertainment.

BCM: How can people become involved as hosts and as viewers? 

MQ: Each November, we premier in our hometown of Boise, Idaho. From there, the festival goes on its international tour. Anyone can host and we also work specifically with our grassroots organizations, backcountry partners and SnowSchools. Screenings serve as a fundraiser for either a local nonprofit that a host works for, with, or wants to support charitably. Typically the festival is the non-profit’s fundraiser of the year with our national sponsor swag and the host’s local sponsor swag up for a raffle or auction. It’s a really great way to bring everybody together and raise funds for local nonprofits and backcountry adventures.

We hope that hosts use their screening as an opportunity to build relationships with local outdoor gear shops, outfitting guides and other local business that may share the same passion for the outdoors.

A crowd gathers for the 2017 premier of the Backcountry Film Festival in Boise, Idaho. [Photo] Courtesy Winter Wildlands Alliance

BCM: Are there any trends you think you’re going to be seeing in some of the films that are being submitted this year?

MQ: We’ve seen more films focused on the current direction of the outdoor industry in terms of inclusivity and diversity, and how we ensure the individual experience matches the represented collective experience. There is also a focus on public lands regarding management and preservation. A lot of that narrative is coming from films featuring people in the backcountry and exploring via human-powered methods of transportation and recreation.

BCM: How does the backcountry film festival relate to the mission of the Winter Wildlands Alliance?

MQ: The Winter Wildlands mission is to advocate and support human-powered experiences in the winter backcountry. And so the Backcountry Film Festival puts those winter experiences on the big screen. As the celebratory arm of the Winter Wildlands Alliance, it’s important we provide an annual opportunity for backcountry and mountain communities to come together, share the stoke, and raise funds for their local community—while also reminding us how important it is to continue to advocate for the privileges we have in being able to recreate on our public lands through low impact, environmentally-focused means.

Stoke levels are high at the Boise Premier during swag giveaways. [Photo] Courtesy Winter Wildlands Alliance

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