Child 2 Mod



SEPTEMBER 9-11, 2016

Navy Heritage Center’s Burke Theater

701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, DC


Adventure Starts Here


We’ve gone paperless for our program.  Please view our program below or scroll through our film lineup.

If you’d like to download the PDF please click the following link. 2016-dcaff-program-for-pdf_issue_final

Friday September 9, 2016

Program 1 (5:30 – 6:30pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

Risk of RegretThe Risk of Regret Film Fest Cut / June 2016 / Anthony Lapomardo, George Bruce Wilson – United States – 3 min

Risk is inherent in all things we do. But, the biggest risk in life is looking back at all the opportunities we let pass us by. Where the line is drawn is different for everyone. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to criticize those that take it to the limit, exchanging safety and comfort for the richness of a life well-lived. Because, in the end, maybe the greatest risk in life is regret.

The Wild Ones - Kyle KentThe Wild Ones – Kyle Kent / April 2016 / Logan Bockrath – United States – 3 mins

Certain places have a sense of home that root visitors as soon as they arrive. Ironically enough, this happens all the time in a place that most Americans don’t even know is its own state. While on the path to a degree in pharmacy Kyle Kent followed a friend to southern West Virginia where he fell in love with its rock and rivers; it changed his life forever.


mongolian-scenery-from-flashesofthealtai-with-filmmaker-@joeyschusler.-the-highlight-of-our-bikeraftFlashes of the Altai / May 2016 / Joey Schusler – United States – 5 mins

Three childhood friends set out for the far western corner of Mongolia to combine mountain biking and packrafting in a self-supported adventure into the unknown. Never having attempted a mountain bike to packraft link-up, they decided it was a great idea to travel to one of the most remote and sparsely populated places in the world to try it out. The goal was to traverse the Mongolian Altai, a remote range of high glaciated peaks with silt-laden rivers draining from their heights. The only inhabitants of the region are Kazakh nomads, the last people on earth who continue the tradition of hunting with golden eagles. Ancient standing stones carved over the millennia stand guard over the landscape. Twelve days in the wilderness, riding over high passes loaded with gear, surviving raging whitewater, drinking fermented mare’s milk, and battling the elements, this was not an adventure these young lads would soon forget.


Photo 1 MichiganIceFilm-SamEliasFallen Feather / February 2016 / Aaron Peterson – United States – 10 mins

In the far north of America’s heartland sandstone walls erupt from the icy waters of an inland sea to form one of the largest concentrations of climbable ice in North America. Pro climber Sam Elias returns to his home state of Michigan to reveal the harsh conditions and virgin routes found in this unlikely climbing destination. This is an excerpt from the full Michigan Ice film (2016, 71 min).


Cedar Wright FledglingsFledglings / May 2016 / Cedar Wright – United States – 26 mins

As longtime professional climbers who eat, sleep and live the sport, Cedar Wright and Matt Segal are used to being competent, comfortable and at the top of their game. Then they get into paragliding, and what starts as a toe dip turns quickly into a consuming addiction, as well as a lesson in what it’s like to be bumbling, naïve, gung-ho beginners. Tree landings, sketchy moments and junkshow launches become part of the new normal. With only six months of flying under their belts, and professional flier Matt Henzi as a sensei, Wright and Segal embark on an audacious objective: to climb and fly off Orizaba, the third-highest peak in the America’s and the highest in Mexico. What ensues is disaster-style climbing, iffy weather, broken gear and a lesson in jumping into the deep end and being forced to swim.

boundlessBoundless / March 2016 / Kirk Williams, Adam Rosenberg – United States – 9 mins
Boundless is a short documentary about three adaptive sports athletes and a filmmaker figuring out what makes life most fulfilling. Whether it’s a sport, art, job or lifestyle, they have one thing in common. Boundless takes you on the journey of figuring out what you love the most in life and choosing to pursue it. What’s your excuse?


_E1B9939Equal Footing / February 2016 / Daniel Holz, Eric Elofson, Kaare Iverson – United States – 8 mins

Wyoming’s remote and vast wilderness provides the perfect canvas for alpinists Kim Havell and Julia Heemstra to redefine preconception of the feminine. Isolated and exposed, their presence breathes life into this bleak yet breathtaking landscape as they navigate sheer granite walls and explore the fabric of experience.

SPECIAL Q/A with Co-Director Eric Elofson immediately following the film.



Program 2 (Main Program) (7:30 – 9:30pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

7:30 PM  Pat Keller – world renowned pro-kayaker presents the expedition and film The Lost Valley of the Merced.


Pat KellerThe Lost Valley of the Merced / August 2015 – Steve Fisher – United States – 20 mins

Steve Fisher and Pat Keller tackle the first decent of the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, one of the low-hanging forbidden fruits of kayakers. The pair hope to set a precedent for opening more rivers in other national parks.


The Runner
/ December 2015 – Jon Drever – United Kingdom – 8 mins

THE RUNNER is a story about endurance. Ben Abdelnoor was a child who loved to run. He loved the outdoors. Then one awful day, he broke his back. This is the beautiful, heart-warming story, of how Ben fought back from injury, defied expectations and became The Runner.





Acrophobia ThumbnailAcrophobia – I’m Afraid of Heights / December 2015 / Philippe Woodtli – Switzerland – 3 mins

Acrophobia is about a BASE jumper that is afraid of heights. He has to overcome his deepest fear before every single jump.


ELK_140616_05842Elk River / March 2016 / Jenny Nichols, Joe Riis – United States – 28 mins

A short documentary that captures the migration of elk in the Yellowstone area through a multidisciplinary lens by following a scientist, Arthur Middleton, a contemporary artist, James Prosek and award winning photojournalist Joe Riis. For many of the elk herds that summer in Yellowstone National Park, home is outside the protected park boundaries the rest of the year, as far as 70 miles away. Mirroring a similar expedition undertaken in 1871 that fused science and the arts, this modern band of explorers join their ungulate counterparts on a trek from Wyoming’s rangeland through snowy mountain passes and treacherous river crossings to the rugged beauty of Yellowstone’s high-alpine meadows. Along the way, they meet backcountry guides and cattle ranchers whose lives are intricately tied with the elk and other migratory species that call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem home.

Photo 2 Skinner_4_DCAFF adjustedBeing Here / April 2016 / Hilary Oliver – United States – 5 mins
Sometimes it takes a trip to a wild place to remember just how brave, connected, vulnerable and free we can be. Where is your wild place? Being Here is a visual poem about how important these places are.



Offseason Screen ShotOffseason / June 2016 / Ben Moon – United States – 8 mins

For Daniel Norris, baseball has been a passion, career, patient teacher and cruel master. But becoming a professional athlete means life in a high-stakes world of intense pressure where players are constantly under the microscope. That’s why during the offseason, Norris lives in his VW van, Shaggy. It’s a simple life. He travels alone, taking pictures, surfing, exploring the West and hoping that Shaggy will make it to the next destination. It’s not life in the fast lane; it’s life in the right lane, chugging along at 55 with other cars speeding past. But that view is exactly what he needs.

Photo 1 Haywire_CoverFrame-3Haywire / March 2016 / Cheyne Lempe – United States – 14 mins
Dave Allfrey and Cheyne Lempe experience the wild beauty of Baffin Island, and this is their story about a dream that goes haywire. A terrifying mishap results in the contemplation of life and the cost of adventure.


Poster_1_-_walking_through_snowGulmarg – Paradise on Earth / April 2016 / Cassie De Colling – Australia – 15 mins

Gulmarg, Kashmir, known as “Paradise on Earth.” Not quite?  Gulmarg, Paradise on Earth is a portrait of a small once wartorn mountain village that has been discovered as a new frontier for western ski tourism. The film explores the past and the future that Gulmarg is undergoing. The village of Gulmarg sits five kilometers below the disputed Line of Control between the Indian and Pakistan army. One part is administered by Pakistan and the other by India. The Indian Government feared that Pakistan could invade the disputed land and as a result they based thousands of Indian Army troops in the region. After years of ongoing war both countries agreed to a Ceasefire in 2003. But, still today more than ten years later Indian army troops and their AK47’s out-number local people. Sadly much of Gulmarg’s population lives under the suppression of the Indian Army. After the erection of the Gulmarg Gondola a new era of adventure skiing and snowboarding was born. The greatest change to Gulmarg for the locals is the opportunity to learn to ski and snowboard and find freedom in the mountains when true freedom is far from reality in their village.

Program 3 (10:00 – 11:00pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

12885780_1024080044331287_1091615907419136367_oPaddle for the North / November 2015 / Simon Lucas – New Zealand – 54 mins

Six mates paddle 1500km across six remote northern rivers to show the world the true value of the north. Before it’s too late.

Saturday September 10, 2016

Program 4 (5:30 – 6:30pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

20150213_TBP_1028Juma of Itanda / October 2015 / Tommy Penick – United States – 5 mins

As Juma Via Kalikwani walks through the dirt streets of his hometown, he is bombarded with children and adults alike who flock to see him–his role as the Director of Operations for Nile River Explorers, a large Jinja, Uganda based rafting company, has earned him hometown stardom. But Kalikwani’s beginnings are humble. As a young boy, he became friends with the first rafters to discover the warm rapids of the Victoria Nile, and slowly worked his way up through the ranks of NRE to his current role. Kalikwani and the rest of the Ugandans who benefit from the rafting and tourism industry nearly lost their livelihoods in 2011 when the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project was completed, burying half of the Nile’s famous rapids in its reservoir. Fortunately, the companies were able to relocate downstream and continue their businesses. Following the construction and a public uproar from the local people, in 2007 the Ugandan Government signed a non-development agreement with the IDA/World Bank called the Kalagala Offset Indemnity Agreement to protect the area for its cultural significance and tourism value. Despite the agreement, the World Bank and its affiliates were quiet as the Ugandan government accepted a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and contracted China International Water and Electric Corporation to build the Isimba Power Station. Three dam heights were proposed; the largest, which would generate an estimated 183 MW will create a devastating reservoir to the people and economy of the Victoria Nile. The smallest, which would generate an estimated 170 MW–only 13 MW less–would spare most of the rapids and homes in its path. While there is no denying the need for more power generation in Uganda, the Isimba Dam discussion bypasses the compromise that the local people are striving for. 

Faroes-Poster-Festival-1200x1800FAROES: The Outpost Vol. 02 / November 2015 / Ben Weiland, Chris Burkard – United States – 26 mins

In the middle of the North Atlantic, a cluster of 18 jagged islands comprises the Faroe Islands. Dane Gudauskas, Justin Quintal, Sam Hammer, Tyler Warren, Chris Burkard, and Ben Weiland attempt to unravel a coastline of dramatic fjords and plunging waterfalls in search of perfect waves. They spend two weeks hopping between the islands, living in seaside cottages and becoming acquainted with the strange and ancient customs of a nation founded by vikings.




Tom SeippTom Seipp – A Mountain Journal Short / March 2016 / Dom Bush – United Kingdom – 7 mins

Tom is 11 and just loves riding his bikes with his dad, no matter what the terrain, no matter what the weather. Having completed 2 Strathpuffer 24hr races he has racked up the miles over the last few years. Driven to just enjoy being out, he has big plans as he looks to drag his dad along the 2,700+ miles of the Great Divide route later in the year.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-12_at_3.41.00_PMGateway / September 2014 / Amy Marquis , Dana Romanoff – United States – 5 mins

In Summer 2014, nine young interns from beautifully diverse backgrounds served as ambassadors at Gateway National Recreational Area. The ranger-led program, called Your Park! Your Health!, is a partnership between the National Park Service and American Heart Association. Each summer, YPYH interns promote fitness, fun, and exploration of the park among their peers, families, and neighbors. NPX produced this video as a side project with the National Parks Conservation Association and National Park Service. We hope it sparks a conversation about how the Park Service and its partners can continue to create deeper connections with all Americans and ensure broad support for our national parks using creative programs and tools.

Poster True_Silence_PosterThe Last Time I Heard True Silence / July 2015 / Tim O’Donnell – United States – 22 mins

Noah Cass was a machine gunner for the Marine Corps during the 2005 Operation Spear in Iraq. During an over-watch mission his team was ambushed and a mortar round hit his truck leaving him with permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. When Noah returned home he dealt with issues common to veterans transitioning into civilian life: aggressive behavior, alcohol, addiction, depression, difficulty keeping a job, and relationship problems. Noah eventual hit rock bottom after 3 years and was desperate for a change. After losing more friends to suicide than in war, he decided to become sober and start running in his local woods. Noah, now a father and husband, enters the 50-mile wilderness race with only completing one 26-mile marathon prior. This race represents the journey a young soldier has to face to help cope with a past that haunts him every day.


Program 5 (Main Program) (7:30 – 9:30pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

7:30 PM Brendan Leonard – founder, Climber, Filmmaker (Co-Director Ace and the Desert Dog), and Author of “Sixty Meters to Anywhere”
brendan-leonardBrendan Leonard is the creator of and author of the book “Sixty Meters to Anywhere”. He has written for CNN, Climbing, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, the Dirtbag Diaries podcast, Adventure Journal, and other publications. He co-directed the award-winning short film Frank and the Tower, co-produced The Important Places, and co-directed and co-produced Ace and the Desert Dog.

“I think we all need to spend more time doing things we love, going to places that make us feel small, remembering to laugh at ourselves, and getting a little cold, tired, and scared every once in a while.” When Brendan isn’t linking letters together, he spends his time in the outdoors.  He’s bicycled across America, ridden through the Grand Canyon on a raft and walked across it twice, and lived out of a converted van for three years, climbing and adventuring in the mountains around the West.



Photo 3 Ace_Woodward-1042-2Ace and the Desert Dog / April 2016 / Brendan Leonard, Stefan Hunt, Forest Woodward – United States – 9 mins
For his 60th birthday, adventure photographer Ace Kvale and his dog, Genghis Khan, set out for a 60-day backpacking trip in Utah’s canyon country. The pair tells the story of their trek, friendship, and Genghis records it on his Desert Dawg Adventure Blawg.


Photo 3 SGP_DL_3_SLorencePhoto_Darklight_WebDarklight / October 2015 / Mike Brown – Canada – 8 mins

The lights haven’t gone out yet! Sweetgrass Productions is back with Darklight, a film that takes viewers back into a world of light and color. Supported by innovative television manufacturer Philips TV, this is the third collaboration between the soulful filmmakers at Sweetgrass Productions and Swedish creative house Ahlstrand and Wållgren. Follow professional mountain bikers Graham Agassiz, Matt Hunter, and Matty Miles on a mind-bending night ride through the moonscapes of Southern Utah to the Ewok forests of the Pacific Northwest. A physically and mentally demanding production, this piece was shot during the midnight hours over three intense weeks. With a scrappy and determined crew of 27, thousands of pounds of camera and lighting gear was slogged, rigged, soldered, hung and broken down each night. Unlike anything ever seen before in the world of mountain biking, Darklight features arrestingly beautiful landscapes and world class riding. An evolution of its predecessors, Darklight continues to push the creative bounds of action sports cinema. 

 Operation Moffat / October 2015 / Claire Carter, Jen Randall – United Kingdom – 20 minsOperation Moffat Poster

Operation Moffat takes inspiration and wit from the colourful climbing life of Britian’s First Female Mountain Guide Gwen Moffat. Writer Claire Carter and Filmmaker Jen Randall scramble, swim and barefoot climb through Gwen’s most cherished British landscapes, grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security, wilderness over tick lists. With new take on landscape photography, archive footage and action sequences this is a film rooted in a real love of wild places.




Poster zion_promo1ZION / February 2016 / Jim Pattiz, Will Pattiz – United States – 5 mins

ZION is the culmination of nearly a month spent exploring Zion National Park during peak fall color. Exquisitely carved by the Virgin River over millions of years, Zion Canyon is one of the most stunning places on earth. Journey with More Than Just Parks to discover a land of dazzling red cliffs, golden meadows, sweeping vistas, towering white temples, and ancient rivers. This is Zion.





Martins_Boat_posterMartin’s Boat / September 2015 / Peter McBride – United States – 24 mins

Preeminent conservationist David Brower called him his conscience: in the 1950’s when the Bureau of Reclamation proposed two dams in the Grand Canyon—one at Marble Canyon and the other at Bridge Canyon—the late Martin Litton made sure the Sierra Club didn’t acquiesce. Martin believed the best way for people to understand how important it was to preserve the Grand Canyon was to have them experience this secret world from the river, but not in just any boat. Martin pioneered whitewater dories on the Colorado River in the 1960’s and started a proud tradition of naming the boats after wild places that had been lost or compromised by the hand of man. Now, some 50 years later, America’s open-air cathedral faces continued threats from development and mining and it’s up to all of us to ensure the crown jewel of our National Park system is protected now and for future generations. Martin’s Boat is a film that honors the legacy of Martin Litton and follows the newest boat in the Grand Canyon Dories fleet, the Marble Canyon, on its maiden voyage down the legendary Colorado River through the grandest canyon on Earth.


Program 6 (10:00 – 11:00pm) Navy Memorial Heritage Center

543680104_1280x720Eclipse / August 2015 / Anthony Bonello – Canada – 31 mins

From the beginning it was an absurd idea: Travel to Svalbard, high above the Arctic Circle in the middle of winter, to try and capture a photo of a skier in front of a total solar eclipse. A cast of Salomon skiers including Cody Townsend, Chris Rubens, and Brody Leven follow photographer, Reuben Krabbe, into the frozen wilds, battling weather, climate change, and their own ambitions in a quest for a shot at a once-in-a-lifetime photo.

Vimeo-PosterThe Great Siberian Traverse / November 2015 / Leo Hoorn – Canada – 27 mins

The Great Siberian Traverse documents a 6,000-mile ski journey through Russia, along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The documentary – created in collaboration with POWDER and Sherpas Cinema – showcases a fringe backcountry skiing community, deep Siberian powder, and skiing’s ancient origins. Team skiers Ingrid Backstrom, Callum Pettit, and Nick Martini share their insights along the adventure.


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