Europe’s largest outdoor film festival takes in 500 venues in 20 countries and when it arrives in our little corner of the Alps for the second year in a row, we’re expecting another full house. Our assembled crowd of 250 people will enjoy ten short films showcasing the world’s most extraordinary adventurers. In advance of the Montriond & Morzine screening of the European Outdoor Film Tour hosted by Morzine Source Magazine at the Domaine du Baron on Lake Montriond on Tuesday 7th April 2020, we’ve spoken with personalities from three of the movies on this year’s programme.
As you might expect from the daughter of two polar guides growing up on Baffin Island, Canada surrounded by Inuit culture and endless winters, Sarah McNair-Landry has an insatiable hunger for adventure. Freedom to Roam showcases the exceptional life of the world’s first female Master Polar Guide and winner of the 21st Century Adventurer Award.
“Expeditions are my passion and for over a decade I have been putting all my time and energy into making them possible – so it’s great to be recognised” explains Sarah on winning the award. The award is accompanied by a prize fund which Sarah plans to use towards her next expedition; “which is a huge bonus as fundraising and getting sponsorship is my least favourite part,” says Sarah. Freedom to Roam is a portrait of Sarah and her past expeditions, which include traversing Greenland’s ice cap (five times), being the youngest person to reach both the North and South Poles and her adventures travelling via kite-ski. There’s summer footage in there too, including climbing and kayaking in Idaho.
“Expeditions are my passion and for over a decade I have been putting all my time and energy into making them possible – so it’s great to be recognised”
“I love to continue to learn, sometimes it’s a new sport (recently I’ve been learning to rock climb), I also love to continue to learn more about film and photography,” Sarah tells me when I ask about her commitment to learn a new skill every day. “The biggest skill I’ve learnt so far is how to push myself and stay optimistic, even when something is really hard or seems impossible. It’s humbling to be a complete beginner at something.”
A life spent in some of the worlds least-hospitable terrain surely comes with some risks. “My scariest moment happened about half way into a kite skiing expedition through the Northwest Passage. My brother and I were sleeping and woke up to a polar bear ripping through our tent. It’s a long story but it does have a happy ending; the bear, my brother and I all survived!”