A live-stream gathering of the trail running community from across the globe for a night of films, revelry, and community building is set to take place May 1 as a celebration of the sport. James Varner, of Rainshadow Running, an organizer of destination trail races in the Northwest since 2006, provides us with this information about the upcoming Trail Running Film Festival: Virtual Edition
Basically, he says, it is a world-wide live-stream broadcast of new trail running films, along with some special guests and prize giveaways from its many sponsors. “We curate the most fun and inspiring new trail running films and make a whole community event out of it,” he says.
In addition to bringing runners together from around the world to celebrate the sport and get excited for when they can get back to racing and running in groups again, the Virtual Festival is raising money for the YWCA's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. (In the first two weeks since it launched it raised more than $10,000.)
The Virtual Festival is replacing the group’s regular in-person events, Varner explains. “Normally our shows are just like this but in person in nice theaters that almost always serve adult beverages,” he says. “It's a fun night of socializing and watching amazing films on the big screen with surround sound and popcorn.”
The group also does a big three-day film festival in Seattle with usually 40-50 films shown over four or five unique screenings, plus workshops with filmmakers, Q&As with elite runners, live music, food trucks, and group trail runs. And then they take the show on the road with a two-hour show in cities all over the U.S. and Canada (and eventually the world!).
The films to be shown for the Virtual Edition are a variety of interesting and exciting stories, he reports — from runners going for speed records on trails like the Tahoe Rim Trail, to a film about the "golden hour" at Western States 100 miler, to personal stories of runners and their pets or someone using running as "trail medicine" and even a few funny films too.
“It's a little bit of everything, just like the sport,” Varner adds.
Trail Running Film Festival, is a production of Outdoor Arts and Recreation 501c3, whose mission is to support artists and athletes who take inspiration from recreation and adventure. The festival supports the filmmakers whose films capture the inspiration, artistry, and stories unique to the trail community and provides a platform for the trail community to watch them. Trail films are both a living history of our sport and a source of inspiration and adventure for those who love trails across the globe.