Outdoors

No Man's Land

In pursuit of the radical

See

What: No Man's Land Film Festival

When: 7 pm Thu., Jan. 31

Where: Fraser Hall, WWU

Cost: $5-$10

Info: 650-6146 or http://www.tickets.wwu.edu

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In promotional materials for the adventure juggernaut known as the No Man’s Land Film Festival, women are seeing navigating raging rivers in kayaks, rappelling down seemingly bottomless ravines, mountain biking along jaw-dropping vistas, wrestling with airplane propellers, composing hip-hop music while seated atop very steep hilltops, sailing, paragliding, hiking, surfing and preparing to hit the slopes. 

By all accounts, the short works that make the cut for the annual all-woman film festival that is based out of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and tours around the United States (and beyond) have one thing in common—they tell the stories of kickass individuals who identify as women and aren’t afraid to cross boundaries, both literally and figuratively.

Festival founder Aisha Weinhold says when she first conceived of a film festival that would cater solely to females in the adventure and outdoors industry, she was met with both resistance and contempt.

“No one could understand why women in sports needed a voice,” she wrote in 2016 in an op-ed for Whoa Mag. “The general consensus was that women are not as talented as men and that this film festival would result in a celebration of mediocrity and untamed emotion.”

Determined to prove her critics wrong, Weinhold continued to collect film content in pursuit of her mission. And, at the premiere No Man’s Land Film Festival event in September of 2015, the 250-seat venue she’d booked was full of men and women there to witness her labor of love come to fruition. Since then, new and classic films have screened everywhere from Boston to Bellingham.

“The ladies featured in these films in no way represent a culture of mediocrity or irrational emotions,” Weinhold says. “These women paint a picture of the present and future of women in the outdoor and adventure sports industry. The U.S. women’s soccer team is finally speaking out about differences in pay grades between their male counterparts. Women now must register for the draft. Women in sports are beginning to receive the coverage, respect equity and appreciation that they deserve.”

And because a big part of the mission of the No Man’s Land Film Festival is to connect people who identify as women and are in pursuit of the radical, the tour stop coming to Western Washington University Thurs., Jan. 31 at Fraser Hall will include a “Ladies Night” round table discussion, networking opportunities, and mocktails before the screening.

“We all belong to a wide range of diverse communities,” Weinhold says. “At No Man’s Land, we recognize that these collectives are our greatest allies and paramount in creating meaningful change.”

Sugar Ray
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