Winter Olympian Katya Crema to open Australian Backcountry Film Festival

Hotham Ambassador Katya Crema. Photo credit: Hotham Media

Two-time Olympic skier and Hotham ambassador Katya Crema will share her experiences of transitioning from Olympic ski cross racing to backcountry enthusiast at the launch of the Australian Backcountry Film Festival in September.

The festival held at Falls Creek on September 1 and 2 is showcasing Australian backcountry films as part of the larger Australian Backcountry Festival. These films come from a number of up and coming producers and feature stories and stunning scenes from some of Australia’s grandest skiing and riding terrain.

Festival organiser Cam Walker says “there are literally hundreds of films available that highlight backcountry skiing and riding from around the world. This is the first festival to focus solely on the Australian backcountry”.

“The most challenging skiing and riding in Australia is outside resorts: from the western slopes of the Snowy Mountains to the eastern face of Mt Feathertop, Australia has world class terrain that few resort skiers and riders have ever experienced. These films celebrate some of these iconic locations.”  

The evening will be introduced by film maker Stephen Curtain, who made the great Australian telemark film Winter Dreaming. Matt O’Keeffe, head of Falls Creek ski patrol, will talk about backcountry safety.

Tamara Hutchins from Melbourne Girls Outside, one of the fastest growing female adventure groups in the country, will also be speaking about breaking down barriers to adventure, and empowering women in the outdoors to realise that adventure is an attitude, not an age group or aptitude.

Featured films in the mini festival include: 

  • Mount Townsend 2209 – Australian Freeride Story by Lachlan Humphries
  • Hunt for White October III – film maker Mike Garrett
  • Out of Reach – film maker Richard Snowden
  • On top of Australia – film maker Tim Eddy
  • Here for the Long Run – film maker Nigel Malone
  • Feathertop – the Queen of the Vic Alps – film maker Stephen Curtain
  • My Wild Home – Hayden Griffith

The inaugural Australian backcountry festival is also offering a range of free clinics, workshops, skillshares and tours and a chance for first timers to try out skiing, riding and snow shoeing outside the resort.

Backcountry and avalanche safety, navigation and snow camping basics, and telemark clinics and ski and snow shoe tours are some of the highlights of the program. There will also be AST level 1 avalanche training courses available and an outdoor bar is hosted by Sweetwater Brewery

Tickets are $10 each and available on this link. 

All proceeds will go to a breeding program for the Mountain Pygmy Possum and climate change campaigns.

For the festival program please check here.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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