Credit on film poster illustrations: Tony Deboom

“Nothing brings the solitary backcountry skiers out of the woods like a night of films and beer and community.” —Gus B, from Wenatchee, Washington

Fifteen years ago, the staff at Winter Wildlands Alliance pressed play on a ski movie called Sanctified. It was produced by KGB Productions and Newschoolers, of all places, called it an “environmentally focused, soulful ski film.” That first showing was a true grassroots beginning for the Backcountry Film Festival. One ski movie evolved into a “film night,” and then in 2007, a full-on festival tour with screenings in Salt Lake City, Sun Valley, Steamboat Springs, and Tahoe.

“It grew from a scrappy idea into a national and international tour, bringing together skiers, families, dirtbags, and lovers of winter to celebrate and build community,” says Lana Weber, Community Engagement Coordinator at Idaho Conservation League. Weber used to work for Winter Wildlands, and says the festival was a big part of her world. “I watched my kids grow up alongside the action. They became pros at selling raffle tickets and consumed more Clif Bars than anyone I’ve ever known.”

The Backcountry Film Festival was built on bringing our backcountry community together. We’ve connected audiences to tales of snowy adventures, while also raising money for grassroots causes. Thanks to you, the film festival has raised more than $1.3 million for other grassroots backcountry groups around the country. Last year alone, we raised $190,000 with more than 100 partners around the country. 

“When I found myself hibernating metaphorically from the wild outside, this festival got me excited to get back out there again, the cold be damned.” —Megan G, from Syracuse, New York

If there’s one place of common ground for skiers—well, it’s probably the chairlift or the skin track. But the second best place for skiers to gather is definitely around a screen to watch a ski movie. Whether it’s putting the POW in human powered, or diving into stories about public lands and access to human-powered recreation, we’re still just as happy to press the play button.

“I’m honored to continue carrying the Backcountry Film Festival legacy into its fifteenth season and beyond,” says Melinda Quick, Backcountry Film Festival manager.  “The festival continues to grow, bringing together backcountry communities to celebrate and support their local adventures. Thank you for continuing to believe in the impact of wild winter landscapes and human-powered stories!”

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: We’re still accepting film submissions for the 15th Annual Backcountry Film Festival!

What do you have to say about the Backcountry Film Festival?

  • “Hosting the Backcountry Film Festival has been a fun and effective way to celebrate winter and build community in Mount Shasta. It helps us raise essential funds for our Ski School Program and we look forward to it every year.”  – Jenna K, Mt. Shasta, California
  • “The Backcountry Film Festival is one of our largest fundraisers of the year. It provides an opportunity to increase the visibility of our organization with a target audience that we sometimes have trouble reaching (young adults, athletes, and adults without small children). It has become a most anticipated annual event in our small town.”  – Beth C, Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • “The Festival really fostered that sense of community, a community that shares the love for wild places.” – Jara J, Alma, Colorado
  • “Backcountry Film Festival allows us to bring our community together, not just to watch amazing films, but since we live in a place where we have to go find winter, BCFF creates the enthusiasm to go seek those places out! When we host, we get to support our community non-profit organizations geared towards getting people outside and connected with the beauty of the natural world and provide a fun forum to appreciate what the winter season provides and to inspire attendees to go explore!” – Lindsey B, San Luis Obispo, California
  • “The Backcountry Film Fest is a turn-key method to enhance a sense of community; GBA uses the Film Fest platform as a tool to enter into new markets and introduce itself and WWA to those folks. It is highly effective for that purpose.” – Tyler R, North Conway, New Hampshire