Sit down face-to-face with a series of local and not-so-local adventurers and filmmakers sharing tales of joy, blood, sweat, tears, cold and hours of editing! You're guaranteed a good yarn in an amazing setting at the Forest Yurts.
Thank you to our adventurers from CMFF19…
Sophie Ballagh (NZ)
A Kiwi by blood but nomadic by heart, Sophie wanders the world jumping from one adventure and one wild place to another.
Sophie contracted a nasty case of the polar bug after her first season working in ship-board tourism in Antarctica. She has been bi-polar ever since, migrating from one pole to the other, leading guests via sea kayak, viewing polar bears in the Arctic desert and zodiac cruising the towering glacial faces of Svalbard.
Hear why she and Ewan were inspired to take a self-supported, two-week, sea kayaking expedition along the ice-choked waterways of the Antarctic peninsula that has been documented in their new film, ICEolation (2019).
Ewan Blyth (TAS)
Ewan spent his childhood growing up on a farm and exploring the vast Tassie wilderness.
He travelled widely, for work and pleasure, leading expeditions in Vietnam, summiting peaks in Ecuador, undertaking reconnaissance missions for hydropower projects in the wilds of PNG, leading extended sea kayaking trips to canyon guiding in the Japanese Alps to name but a few of his adventures.
He spends the majority of his professional life these days guiding guests via sea kayak, from the icy waters of the polar regions to the coral reefs of the tropics.
Andy Szollosi (TAS)
Andy Sloz (that last name is just too hard for us) calls Tasmania home and is fast becoming known for dominating some of Tasmania’s most difficult expeditions, such as an 84-day Skyline Traverse of Tasmania in 2018 (following the highest ridges from the Southernmost tip to Northernmost peak), and a winter ascent of the formidable North Western Blade of Federation Peak in 2016 (documented in the award-winning film Winter on the Blade).
Andy will share some tales and images from his Skyline Traverse of Tasmania, which he documented in daily haiku capturing the moments of serenity and difficulty in the true wilderness.
Fred Olivier (France/TAS)
Fred lives in Hobart and travels the world as a cinematographer, photographer and expeditioner and has worked on too many projects to name!
You can see her Antarctic wildlife work on BBCOne’s Spy in the Wild and her polar work on National Geographic in Jade’s Quest. Fred’s work is also featured in the Emmy-nominated “Spy in the Snow” which features our own very Tasmanian animals (wallabies and wombats) filmed on Ben Lomond last winter.
Fred will discuss some of the challenges, technical aspects and pleasures of documenting icy places, as she reflects on crossing Greenland in 2017.
Tom Griffin (QLD)
If you were asked to make a list of Tom’s outdoor pursuits, you would have to put hiking, canoeing, archery and axe throwing somewhere near the top. You would also have to include his passion for bringing those things to life through film, photography and podcasting. His documentary 'Exposed' is a perfect example of his two worlds dove-tailing together as he documents the journey of seven Leukaemia survivors hiking the length of the Overland Track.
During his Storytelling session, Tom will detail the logistical struggles of being a one-man film crew while shooting a documentary across 75km of rugged Tasmanian terrain. He will also talk to the magnitude of having to convey such an important message and if you're lucky, he might even talk about his axe throwing technique.
Stephen Fordyce (VIC)
Melbourne-based caver, cave diver and engineer Stephen Fordyce knows what it feels like to be alone, while completing some of the most challenging cave dives in Australia. The 2006 Australian Geographic Society Young Adventurer of the Year and recently named Emerging Explorer of the Year at the OzTek Technical Diving Conference, he has stepped foot in places that nobody has ever been before, and maybe none will ever return to. On solo expedition dives beyond the known limits of some of Australia’s deepest cave systems, Steve is cut off from the outside world in a way that not many others will ever experience! Steve talks about his ongoing project to explore the uncharted flooded passageways of Australia’s deepest cave, Niggly cave - located under Mount Field in Tasmania’s Junee Florentine karst region.
Fraser Johnston (TAS)
Fraser is a film maker and Emmy nominated cinematographer who has been documenting the exploration of the Junee Florentine cave system in Southern Tasmania for the past three years. Fraser has learned vertical caving from scratch before joining expeditions into the country’s deepest and most challenging caves, filming and working along side cavers and cave divers as they explore and map the huge cave system, searching for undiscovered sections of the near mythical Master Cave.
Fraser will be talking about the challenges of filming underground, and his in development caving feature film Tartarus. Also screening Fraser’s film Push Day (20 mins; 2019).
Paul Pritchard (UK/TAS)
Recently awarded the Australian Geographic Society's Spirit of Adventure Award for 2018, Paul has an epic story to tell of two lives radically separated but lived consecutively.
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 Pamirs and the European Alps.
On Friday the 13th of February 1998, a TV-sized boulder falling from 25 metres inflicted such terrible head injuries that doctors thought he might never walk or even speak again.
Paul has spent his time since the accident in contemplation of the hemiplegia which has robbed his right side of movement and continues to play tricks with his speech and memory. He sees the accident as a precious gift and describes it as the best thing that has ever happened to him. Paul will be signing the 20th anniversary edition of his book The Totem Pole at CMFF19, with copies available to purchase.
Kate Legge (VIC)
Kate writes for The Weekend Australian Magazine and has recently published Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story which traces the achievements of Gustav Weindorfer and Kate Cowle, the unconventional adventurers and their fight to preserve the wilderness where they pioneered eco-tourism.
After several experiences of Tasmanian tourism, she can share her thoughts and feelings on wilderness tourism and the remarkable story behind the creation of the Cradle Mountain sanctuary that now attracts over 200 000 people each year and is THE reason most people visit Tasmania.
Kate will be reading from her book and signed copies will be available for purchase.