Each month we shine a light on a short film from the nature and adventure space and chat to someone involved in the production. We call it Lunchtime Cinema. The series has run throughout 2021, and so far has featured everything from SUP and sourdough to community-owned energy, animation, eagles, beavers, round-the-world sailing parties and mountain bikes cleverly attached to abandoned railways. It's safe to say we pack in a fair amount of variety. Here are the films that we chose to feature in 2021:
Drifting - A Stand Up Paddle Board Film
‘Drifting’ is a short SUP watch from freelance adventure filmmaker Rachel Sarah and outdoor enthusiast Abbey James. Filmed in during lockdown 2020, it has a real sense of time and place - days spent baking, shots of keep-cups locked up in cupboards, and a marked change in our relationship with our local nature. The film captures a mixed bag of feelings that so many will be able to relate with; from feeling lost and isolated away from our friends to finding solace in the greens and blues of our parks and canals. Read on.
Danny MacAskill - The Slabs
Danny returns to his home island of the Isle of Skye, where he previously shot The Ridge, which racked up 75 million views back in 2014. The video sees Danny ride down the legendary Dubh Slabs on the edge of the Cuillins, one of the most remote of Scotland's classic moderate climbing routes with some of the finest friction slabs. As you can see from the stunning feature image, taken by Dave Mackison, there's more beautiful Skye scenery in spades. Read on.
Grenzerfahrungen - Bikepacking the Iron Curtain Gravel Trail
In October 2020, round-the-world cyclist and bikepacking route-setter Markus Stitz set out on his most personal journey yet. Born in the small town of Heiligenstadt in former East Germany, Markus set out to plot, ride and launch the 700km Iron Curtain Gravel Trail in his homeland - passing through the states of Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony. Read on.
Icebound - The Animated Tale of Peter Freuchen
Peter Freuchen was a six foot seven Danish traveller, author and anthropologist. He's most notable for this role in the Thule Expeditions, led by the legendary Knud Rasmussen, but best known for another story; in which he managed to dig his way out an avalanche in Greenland using - and here's the kicker - his own frozen faeces. This is a stunning animation of that story. Read on.
Redundant - A 90-Second Mountain Bike Film-Poem
The film-poem ‘Redundant’ is by Much Better Adventure’s own Stuart Kenny. Set in the Pentland Hills, the 100km hill range on the outskirts of Edinburgh, this 90-second feature explores the language around unemployment, and looks at the place of nature as a haven and comfort during lockdown and beyond. Read on.
We the Power | A Patagonia Film About Community Energy
‘We the Power’ focuses on the renewable community energy movement in Europe. Today, as many as one million European citizens are already involved in this growing movement, which aims to upend the traditional energy system and give the power (and financial security) of clean electricity to local communities. This documentary follows pioneering projects in Germany’s Black Forest, on the ancient streets of Girona, Spain and in Brixton, London, and meets the people who are paving the way for a renewable energy revolution. Read on.
Beavers Without Borders - A Short Documentary
'Beavers Without Borders' follows science communicator Sophie Pavelle as she visits sites around Britain (and further afield) where beavers have been reintroduced, and sees the positive, transformative impact that the keystone species can have on their environments - bringing biodiversity back to previous barren land, as well as offering numerous other benefits. Read on.
Wave of Change - A Low-Tech Surf Film
The documentary sees pro surfer Damien Castera join Corentin de Chatelperron (better known as ‘Coco’), Guenolé Conrad and Caroline Pultz aboard a catamaran called the Nomade des Mers, a phrase which translates wonderfully to English as 'Nomad of the Seas'. The boat is a floating laboratory which has been sailing around the world for five years pioneering low-tech innovations - back-to-basics solutions that fulfil our everyday human needs with clean tech that is easy to build, repair and access. Read on.
Under a Mongolian Sky - A Film About the Kazakh Eagle Hunters
The Kazakhs of Mongolia are the largest ethnic minority group in the country, and live mostly in the province of Bayan-Olgii. They have their own language, religion and culture - including the tradition of eagle hunting. This doesn’t mean they hunt eagles, but rather, that they hunt with golden eagles, for food and fur. The culture, and the Kazakh people, are beautifully captured by filmmakers Sam Potter and Nainoa Langer in their short film ‘Under a Mongolian Sky’. Read on.
New Life - A Film About Adventure and Parenthood
‘New Life’, a short film directed by Chris Prescott of Dark Sky Media, and presented by The North Face. The 25-minute watch follows the journey of Caroline Ciavaldini and her husband James Pearson, both accomplished professional climbers, as they prepare to welcome their first child into a world that revolves around climbing, performance and outdoor exploration - and a world where happiness and fulfilment is often dependent on risk. Read on.
Riding the Rails - A New Type of Mountain Biking
‘Riding the Rails’, a short film starring professional mountain biker Alex McAndrew, directed by Evan Kay, and presented by Smartwool. The 10-minute short follows Alex as he combines his passions for engineering and bike-riding to create a whole new way to explore the great outdoors. With a couple of mountain bikes, some old skateboard and rollerblade wheels, and a new-found passion for welding, Alex sets about building his very own custom rail-bike. Read on.
After Ice - The Story of Our Disappearing Frozen World
‘After Ice’ - directed by Kieran Baxter, written and narrated by glaciologist M Jackson and produced by Baxter and Þorvarður Árnason. The award-winning 12-minute film overlays imagery from the archives of the National Land Survey of Iceland with modern footage of six outlet glaciers in the Hornafjörður region of Southeast Iceland to reveal the story of a rapidly disappearing frozen world. Read on.
TranSending - A Story of Self-Discovery and the Seven Summits
‘TranSending’ follows the journey of mountaineer Erin Parisi as she aims to become the first known transgender woman to ever climb the seven highest mountains on each continent. “There’s a whole narrative that goes along with transition in the United States,” says Erin in the film, created with Merrell. “You feel like you can be you but you can’t be seen and you can’t be heard. Everything the Seven Summits stood for to me was bucking that stigma and saying that I could own my own narrative. To show myself who I was and how strong I was and how strong I had become.” Read on.
Our award-winning online magazine is packed with stories, guides and opinions to help fill your life with adventure. Go for a scroll... Who knows what you might be inspired to do next.