Preview: 2019 Lookout Wild Film Festival

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Audience members attending this year’s Lookout Wild Film Festival will enjoy stories of rock climbing in Antartica, mountain unicycling in Switzerland, bear research in Colorado and disc golf pioneers right here in the Tennessee Valley.

The festival will feature more than 75 films chosen from the 457 that were submitted. Submissions for the festival came in from 38 countries.

It takes place from January 24th through January 27th.

And this year it's a first for the festival: It will be held at Chattanooga's historic Tivoli Theatre. Organizers say thanks to upgrades this fall, the Tivoli is now home to the largest screen of its kind in North America, along with cutting edge projection and audio.

“LWFF films are always beautiful, but I’m excited to see this year’s films in a state-of-the-art theatre like the Tivoli,” says festival director Andy Johns. “Whether you’ve attended each of our previous six festivals or if this is your first time, expect to be inspired, excited and amazed by the way these filmmakers tell their stories.”

In addition to the films, this year’s festival will feature virtual reality caving, live music, backstage yoga, a dinner with a lecture on wildness, a silent auction and an advocacy expo of area non-profit groups.

But as usual, the films will take center stage. This year’s films tell the story of a group of Australians recreating Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” by bicycle, a Sherpa who has climbed Mt. Everest 21 times, a 97-year-old trail runner and an expedition to establish Europe’s longest cave. Several films have regional connections including how running has changed the lives of two Chattanoogans, the work to build and maintain trails in the Tennessee River Gorge, an inspirational story of one local student living life to the fullest, a pair of North Carolinians kayaking un-paddled rivers in Alaska, and a documentary sharing the past, present and future of disc golf in Chattanooga.

“The Lookout Wild Film Festival was created to showcase wild places and the people they inspire,” says Johns. “Sometimes those places are a world away and sometimes they are right here in our backyard.”


Thursday Jan. 24
Lobby doors: 6 p.m.
Theater doors: 6:30 p.m.
Films: 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (15-min intermission)

Friday Jan. 25
Lobby doors: 6 p.m.
Theater doors: 6:30 p.m.
Films: 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (15-min intermission)
After Party in lobby with Slim Pickins Bluegrass: 10:30 to 11 p.m.

Saturday Jan. 26
Backstage Yoga and Timelapse Films: 1 p.m.
Advocacy Expo 1 pm to 8:30 pm
Lobby doors: 1 p.m.
Theater doors: 1:30 p.m.
Matinee Films: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (15-min intermission)
Rock/Creek Lecture Series and Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Lobby doors: 6 p.m.
Theater doors: 6:30 p.m.
Films: 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (15-min intermission)
After Party in lobby with Jordan Hallquist: 10:30 to 11 p.m.

Sunday Jan. 26
Backstage Yoga and Timelapse Films: 1 p.m.
Lobby doors: 1 p.m.
Theater doors: 1:30 p.m.
Matinee Films: 2 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (15-min intermission)



DreamRide 3, 6 min
Mike Hopkins' epic journey comes to an end in the final chapter of the DreamRide trilogy.

I Am Here, Oregon, 8 min
Despite growing up on a farm surrounded by mountains, Yesenia didn't know how to access or prepare for the outdoors until college

Man on a Wheel, Germany, 3 min
Lutz Eichholz is a professional mountain unicyclist taking the unicycle to places it’s never been.

Shots from Above, Colorado, 7 min
It’s the everyday men and women exploring their own backyards that often inspire the most. Chris Dahl-Bredine — who built an experimental aircraft in his garage in order to bring a new perspective to his life — is one of those guys.

Chocolate Spokes, Colorado, 6 min
Gregory Crichlow left his architecture job to start a bicycle shop in a traditionally African-American and Latino neighborhood in Denver. Servicing residents’ bikes keep the doors open, but hand-building steel frames is what inspires him

Ski the World, France / China, 5 min
Candide Thovex doesn't need a ski resort. He doesn't even need snow.

Laplanders, Sweden, 7 min
This quest for the Baltic Salmon is one every angler can relate to: an ever-going search for the next fish.

Wild Ice - Backcountry Skating Alaska, Alaska, 3 min
Filmed in southcentral and southeast Alaska over the course of two winters, "Wild Ice" features members of Alaska's backcountry skating community on a search for more wild ice

takayna, Australia, 37 min
Tarkine in northwestern Tasmania is home to one of the last tracts of old-growth rainforest in the world, yet it’s currently at the mercy of destructive extraction industries, including logging and mining

Passing Moments, Tennessee , 4 min
What could one do if she chose to live her life to the fullest? What would happen if she spent one day exploring and adventuring like there was no tomorrow?

Blue, Alaska, 4 min
Blue is a spectacle of winter innovation — an icy playground providing a visual journey as never seen before by bike.

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, US, 96 min
Hailed as one of the most prolific and influential climbers of all time, Fred Beckey has become a cult hero in the outdoor world. A scholar and author, an environmentalist ahead of his time and an inspiration to all who yearn to live life on their own terms, this iconic mountaineer has remained shrouded in mystery until now.


In Perpetual Motion, Australia, French Polynesia, New Zealand, 5 min
A short film that explores the work of adventure photographer Krystle Wright and the different tangents of fear that weaves between her life and her work.

Top Trails Chattanooga, Tennessee, 10 min
From the Hoka One One Top Trails series, David Pharr and Randy Wharton share their running stories while highlighting Chattanooga's best trails.

What if You Fly, Canada, 10 min
Hawaiian artist Sean Yoro traveled to Baffin Island, to paint a portrait of a local Inuit woman on the sea ice.

Searching for Christmas Tree, China, 16 min
A university teacher chases a mysterious frozen waterfall.

A New View of the Moon, California, 3 min
Wylie Overstreet took a telescope around the streets of Los Angeles to give strangers an up-close look at a familiar object: the moon.

Ritchie Hollow, Tennessee, 6 min
The Tennessee River Gorge Trust, along with Rock/Creek and prAna, have built the new Ritchie Hollow Trail to connect the Tennessee River with the Cumberland Trail system

We are the Rovers, NORWAY, Norway, 25 min
A paramotoring adventure where laughs, discoveries and the unexpected make every moment unforgettable.

The Passage, Washington / British Columbia, 25 min
In 1974, the filmmaker's parents and uncle built their own canoes and paddled from Washington to Alaska. In the summer of 2017, the family renovated those canoes and completed the 1974 journey

Your Rivers Need You, Kentucky, 6 min
Originally a proponent of damming Kentucky's Red River, Joe Bowen has changed his attitude about wild rivers.

Loved By All: The Story of Apa Sherpa, Nepal, 14 min
Pulled away at the age of 12 to work as a high altitude porter, Apa Sherpa aims to create a different future for his people.

The World's Best Belayer, USA, 11 min
For Ray Verseau belaying is more than a skill. It's a lifestyle.

Escape, Canada, 8 min
JaBig, a Montreal-based DJ, is on a quest to beat the record for the longest continuous bike ride in a single country.

For the Love of Mary, Pennsylvannia / New Hampshire, 6 min
Despite having a pacemaker, 97-year-old runner George Etzweiler continues to race up Mt. Washington, breaking his own record each year as the oldest finisher

Confluence, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, 55 min
An up-and-coming indie folk band documents the deep imprint the Colorado River has carved on both the land and the people of the American Southwest.

Saturday Matinee

A Nordic Skater, Norway, 5 min
The self-proclaimed oldest Swede in Norway shares the story of how the little-known sport of Nordic skating came to play a big part in his life.

Space Godzilla | Pigeon River Abstract, North Carolina, 2 min
An experimental view of play boating and the flow between paddler, boat, and water.

Ed, Colorado, 6 min
At 68, Ed Zevely still chooses to ride into the Colorado highcountry for two weeks at a time. And he does it alone.

In the Tallgrass, Iowa, 4 min
A short animated film exploring the insect world hidden in an Iowa tallgrass prairie.

The Ario Dream, Spain, 24 min
In this gripping account of expedition-style cave exploration, cavers and cave divers explore one of Europe's longest cave systems.

Sky Migrations, US, 16 min
Sky Migrations embeds viewers in an epic migration, telling the stories of those who tuck themselves atop mountains to help ensure that October skies continue to flood with raptors.

Welcome to the Sinks, Tennessee , 25 min
The history, the community, and the future of disc golf in Chattanooga.

4634 Perception – The Mountain Within, Switzerland, 26 min
Mont Rose at 4, 634m in altitude, is the new dream of the bird woman — to snowboard down the longest couloir of the Alps and fly from the highest peak of Mont Rose.

Sand in the Sky, US, 5 min
Ollie was 8 months old when he traveled to Hawaii. Exactly one year later, his parents sat him down and interviewed him about his trip

Boy Nomad, Mongolia, 21 min
Boy Nomad follows a year in the life of nine-year-old Janibek, who lives with his family in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains

Bears of Durango, Colorado, 59 min
Dive headfirst into bear dens with biologists working to learn how human development affects bear behavior.

Saturday Night

Home of Trails, Switzerland, 5 min
Graubünden's reputation as the Home of Trails attracted cyclists Danny MacAskill and Claudio Caluori, who recorded their adventures.

Frontier of Firsts, Alaska, 12 min
Frontier of Firsts follows two kayakers and an Alaskan bush pilot during an expedition of unpaddled rivers in Southern Alaska.

Building Bridges, Tennessee, 4 min
With 200 miles of trail cleared and over 40 bridges built, the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail in Tennessee is steadily growing. Meet the folks who are making it happen, bridge by bridge.

Facing Sunrise, Canada, 9 min
While dealing with one of the, darkest times of her life, Azzah becomes captivated by the question, “what do you want to do before you die?”

Dreamwalkers — The Faroes Project, Faroe Islands, 29 min
The journey of four friends who set out on an adventure to be the first to highline one of the most unlikely of places: the Faroe Islands.

Plastico, Mexico, 9 min
Beach communities around the world suffer from an abundance of plastic that tragically ends up in the oceans at an alarming rate – over 8 million metric tons per year.

How to Run 100 Miles, United States, 28 min
The odds were stacked against Jayson Sime: poverty, homelessness, dyslexia, bullying. But he learned to fight, literally and metaphorically. In 2017, he entered his first 100-mile mountain ultramarathon, betting on his lifelong resilience to carry him to the finish line.

How to Make a Fishing Film, Belize, 6 min
So you want to make a fishing film? These guys have you covered.

The Frenchy, Colorado, 12 min
Jaques Houot is an 82-year-old ski racer, downhill mountain biker, road cyclist and an incorrigible flirt.

5 blind veterans kayak the Grand Canyon, Arizona, 5 min
Google Maps and Team River Runner teamed up to document an incredible world record: five visually impaired veterans kayaking 226 miles down Grand Canyon.

Moonline, France, 2 min
When night falls in the mountains, Speed Rider Valentin Delluc wakes up to brighten up the Bossons glacier in Chamonix, France.

Looking Out, The United Kingdom, 9 min
Left with a permanent limp and a brain injury that makes speech and language incredibly difficult for her, Philippa Arding has defied the odds and gone on to overcome many obstacles, take part in great adventures and lead marine conservation initiatives.

Safe Haven, Tennessee, 8 min
Founded on the belief that everyone is welcome, Memphis Rox opened a climbing gym to be at the center of the city's revitalization.

Wild Toddler Chronicles, United States, 10 min
With humor, emotion and general toddler craziness, this film offers a realistic look at one family's motivations for introducing their young daughter to adventure in wild places.

How Not to Capture the Grand Canyon, Arizona, 18 min
What a young, overconfident videographer learned while trying to capture the Grand Canyon from a boat.

Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, 27 min
A dream team of six elite climbers, including Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright, mount an expedition to one of the world's last great climbing frontiers: the remote frozen towers of Antarctica.


Sliding Fire, Vanautu, 8 min
Negotiating molten rock and dirt storms, three skiers make active volcano Mount Yasur the home of their latest adventure.

Women in Fire, US, 8 min
Less than 10 percent of firefighters are women. But what these women lack in numbers, they make up for in guts and inspiration.

Intersection: Micayla Gatto, Canada, 4 min
For Micayla Gatto, a Canadian professional mountain biker, artistic creativity is the key that unlocks her unique approach to riding.

Look Up, California, 8 min
Once a year, adventurous arborist and tree climbing instructor, Tim Kovar, takes a select few on a climb up one of the tallest trees in the world — a summit he says fewer people have attempted than Mt. Everest

Disko, Greenland, 17 min
An eccentric French skipper builds his own wooden boat and heads through the Arctic Circle on a quest to find icebergs.

Everywhere Unseen, New Zealand, 9 min
Four photographers discover that while they are all traveling to the same destinations, each one will have their own completely different points of view.

Running with the Belles, Colorado, 10 min
Maroon Belles running team members show that when a community of women come together, they tap into that voice that tells them to go for it and accomplish something that they wouldn't on their own.

One Week At A Time, New England, 11 min
Over the span of 30 years, four good friends circumnavigate New England via sea kayak.

First Descent: The Legend of Scott Swaney, California, 30 min
Scott Swaney has taught himself expert-level skills in almost every known adventure sport including his current passion: canyoneering in Death Valley.

Wild Crawfisherman, Louisiana, 3 min
For Jody Meche, being a crawfisherman is a way of life. But he's worried future generations won't get that chance.

Bikes of Wrath, US, 101 min
The Bikes of Wrath is a story of adventure, human connection and an in-depth look at today’s America through the lens of John Steinbeck’s seminal novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Oklahoma to California: 2600 km, $420, 30 days, 5 bicycles, 3 cameras, 2 guitars and one of the most influential novels of the 20th century.

Learn more about the festival here,

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