More than ‘snow-blind’

 

In response to Nick Bowlin’s article about Backcountry Film Festival (“Snow-blind,” Outdoor Rec & Travel 2020), we at the Backcountry Film Festival and Winter Wildlands Alliance would like to address what Bowlin’s critique missed.

BCFF’s films come from a variety of backgrounds, speak to relevant issues regarding a variety of backcountry and environmental issues, and are considered for their ability to inspire, create conversation and represent each attendee’s backcountry experience. We were disappointed in the article’s structure as a stand-alone film review from the viewpoint of the broader ski industry and classic ski movie genre.

Every season, we call for films that represent WWA’s mission to promote and preserve winter wildlands, showcase human-powered winter adventures, empower the backcountry community and/or include a call to action. These are not your standard “ski-porn” films.

A call for filmmakers to create this content, as the article somewhat does, is the first step, one we’ve been taking for the past 15 years. However, Bowlin missteps in discrediting the storytellers who currently create this content and the reason those stories come together. The article ignores BCFF’s purpose as a vital community event and fundraiser supporting local policy and advocacy work, avalanche centers, snow education, backcountry retailers and outdoor nonprofits (to name a few). Since we started our national tour, BCFF has raised $1,300,000 for these communities.

BCFF brings us together to share in the importance of wild winters, conservation and responsible recreation. We will continue screening diverse films that speak to our audiences and the backcountry issues they care about. To all HCN readers, please consider submitting your film for the 2020-’21 season. We’d love to see it.

—Melinda Quick, via email

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