First, the good news from the Ministry of Health. We can have a full-sized festival with no indoor limits but we are still keen to be careful. All our staff will be wearing masks and you are welcome to do the same. We also ask people to stay away if they are unwell, or are a household contact of someone with Covid-19. It sure will be fun to catch up with everyone and share adventures.
Festival Passes on Sale
You know how this goes: every year on the first of May we roll out our festival passes. Grab yours now! As a festival fan, you hear it here first. The festival pass allows you to attend any and all of the events in either Wanaka ($145) or Queenstown ($59). We have some people who attend every show – you know who you are! Loyal fans, we invite you to buy online here. Get in quick, these special passes do usually sell fast. But fret not, general ticket sales will start when we release the programme on June 1.
Introducing Two More Speakers
Ultra-distance runner Tanya Bottomley calls herself a scaredy-cat but her traverse of the 45th Parallel on a self-supported 600km journey tells us otherwise! Covering over 300km on foot, 270km by bike and 22km by kayak, the journey took 26 days, starting from the rugged, untouched west coast of New Zealand’s South Island and finishing on the sandy beaches of the east coast.
Tanya set out to traverse areas through which few others have travelled, climbing, hiking and scrambling through untouched wilderness, paddling glacial lakes, and following ridgelines, rivers and historic cycleways to complete her mission.
As an advocate for women’s empowerment, Tanya is showing women everywhere that there is a space where fear and success can co-exist, and that extraordinary strength can come from choosing audacity over timidity.
Paul was a cutting-edge rock climber and mountaineer hailing from the UK. His adventures took him from Wales to the Himalayas, the Karakoram to Patagonia, Baffin Island to the Pamiers and the European Alps.
In February 1998 while climbing a slender sea stack known as The Totem Pole, in Tasmania, he was hit on the head by a TV-sized boulder falling from 25m and suffered a life-changing injury. He spent a year in hospital and his doctors thought that he might never walk or speak again, yet for Paul, this catastrophic brain injury has become a precious gift.
Paul will tell us how he has embraced his personal journey through hemiplegia – which has robbed his right side of movement and continues to play tricks with his speech and memory – and continues to pursue an adventurous life including returning to climb the Totem Pole 18 years after his accident.
Some of our book festival speakers are also confirmed including Shaun Barnett who co-wrote the Montana Award-winning Classic Tramping in New Zealand (with Rob Brown) and whose book Tramping, A New Zealand History (with Chris Maclean) was long listed for the 2016 Ockham Book Awards. Shaun is joined by Chris Long, the son of the bestselling authors of A Life on Gorge River and A Wife on Gorge River, who will speak about his book Boy from Gorge River; journalist Hazel Phillips; and photographer Peter Laurensen, as well as Mark Sedon who will speak about his recently published book What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Adventure Film School
This year the AFS returns to the beginner and intermediate filmmaker. Anyone who’s curious about the craft or has dabbled but is interested to learn more, this year is for you.
For this two-day course we will head back to the basics and you’ll learn the core skills of camera settings, exposure and composition, learn to shoot sequences that will tell your story when you get to the editing side of things. Basic editing, titles and simple sound will get you taking the first steps to creating a project from start to finish.
This will give you the skills and confidence to head out to find and create your story. We are hopeful that after this you will have the drive to progress your learning so that you can make it into the intermediate/advanced five-day course next year.
Read more and sign up now here.
Hands up volunteers
Every year a trusty team of volunteers becomes the glue that holds the event together. For each festival, we rely on the true grit and devotion of 30-40 volunteers. The tasks involved are varied, from ticket checking to ushering, café sales or setup; there are many ways to get involved. Anyone aged 16 years or older can roll up their sleeves, in either Wanaka or Queenstown, to help our viewers have the best time. Volunteering means you can gain free access to shows in exchange for helping us out with a range of tasks. You can sign up online here.