Last night, the Husband and I took advantage of Grandparent babysitters and drove an hour south to Wimborne, a little town in Dorset, where the Trails in Motion Film Festival was being shown. This collection of films has been an annual highlight of mine for several years now; we went in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Last night’s showing was held at the tiny little sports nutrition store Xmiles – the seating area only held about 15 people (they’re showing the films for three successive nights) which made it very intimate and friendly, very different from the massive space of San Francisco’s Sports Basement where we watched the films last year. It was easy to get chatting to people and there was that lovely British banter that we’ve missed over the past seven years.
Over the next few hours, we watched 9 films ranging from a few minutes to half an hour with a short break in the middle. I honestly thought that this was the best selection of films since I’ve been going to the festival – out of all the films, there was only one that I didn’t think was awesome. Trails in Motion are running a ‘Vote for your favourite’ competition and the Husband and I really struggled to pick our one favourite as we drove home.
Our highlights were:
Iceland – Change your life
This film was visually spectacular, as three (French?) dudes ran around Iceland. We loved this because our own trip to Iceland is so fresh in our memories but frankly, I spent the whole thing thinking ‘Agh, we need to go back to Iceland NOW and see all this’. It’s a GORGEOUS film. Iceland looks utterly ravishing and somehow they struck gold with the weather. I have two slight criticisms of the film. One – the guys climb places and run places that are so dangerous and risky that it’s kind of idiotic. And two, there’s a voiceover of deep, meaningful, philosophical musings which are super pretentious. It’s probably translated from the French and the French like deep, meaningful and philosophical. But put aside the ridiculous risk-taking and the fancy-pants commentary and golly it’s beautiful. This was one of my favourite films all night. Watch the trailer HERE and book cheap flights on Wow airlines! Because Iceland really is the dog’s doodahs.
Life on the Fells
This short film is set in the British Lake District, focussing on a guy who simply loves running there. The visuals are lovely and he’s very endearing, especially when it turns out he is the recipient of a heart transplant and he really wants to honour his donor and the gift that he was given. Watch it here.
One Step at a Time
This longer film was the story of three guys who aim to set a FKT on the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail. This was a great story of beauty and pain, of failure and success. It made me very homesick for the US as the guys run past Crater Lake and Mt Hood, where we visited last year. It’s great story-telling, really beautifully shot and compelling to watch. You can watch it online here for a small fee and I really recommend you do.
The Hard Way
This was PROBABLY my favourite – telling the story of an incredible 89-year old Montana man who still runs ultras and marathons. His simple, beautiful, hard life and his dogged persistence in running are genuinely inspiring to watch. He said one thing that struck me. He said that, at his age, he didn’t need to do easy things, he needed to do hard things to keep him fit and strong. How different that sentiment is to my own life, let alone the lives of older people around the world. This was a really moving film that I keep thinking about today. There’s a trailer HERE.
I’m a massive fan of the Salomon Trail Team and their wonderful films on Youtube. I’d seen Mount Marathon several times before but I still really love it, mainly because of my girl-crush on Emelie Forsberg who just lights up the screen every time she’s on it. Alaska looks great, Emelie looks great, there are naked butts…it’s so much fun. Watch it HERE.
In the interval, there was a raffle. With such a tiny audience, the odds were good. The Husband won a pack of nutrition bars and I won an Xmiles t-shirt which I was REALLY excited about – we still don’t have access to the things we’ve shipped from the US so I’m really short on clothes! And this t-shirt is cute!
Once again, there were precious few films with women as the main protagonist – I believe that that’s because film-makers simply aren’t making enough female-centric running films. And people of colour were also sorely lacking from the films, probably for the same reasons! Come on, film-makers! Step away from the hot dudes for a brief second!
Having said that, it was a great night out – we really enjoyed the films and also really enjoyed being amongst like-minded people for an evening. We’re new here, we don’t have a running community yet and I found myself wishing we lived closer to Wimborne to be part of this group of people. I just have to hang on till we’ve moved to our new house when we can start finding our own tribe.
Trails in Motion runs tonight (Friday) and Saturday at Xmiles – if by chance you’re reading this in the South of England, I really recommend you go. If you’re elsewhere, you can still catch the festival this year – Bay Area peeps, it’s in Berkley on 4th November and SF on 16th Nov! Go!