|On its 40th anniversary, British outdoor brand Rab (owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd.) has awarded The Mountain People Film Grant to the proposed film project, Radical Trails. Filmmakers, Jaha Browne and Olivia Martin McGuire, aim to show the British outdoor landscape through a different lens in an intimate, character-driven portrait of inspiring black females in the outdoors.|
A recent report from the Runnymede Trust addressed systemic racism in England, its criminal justice system, education, health, and employment. While this is routinely examined in urban environments, insights on the accessibility and exclusivity of the outdoors are rarely examined. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) studies showed that only 1% of visitors to UK National Parks come from BAME backgrounds. Given the benefits that the outdoors have on our mental and physical wellbeing, and that those who feel connected to the outdoors are more likely to fight for its conservation, Radical Trails aims to break the status quo and play a part in diversifying the British outdoors. The film will follow a pioneering group of black women connecting to nature and claiming their right to be well. They hope to capture the spirit of the mountains and trails they are walking – always through a black lens – rather than the white lens through which the British landscape is almost always viewed to date.
The Award Ceremony took place at the recent edition of Kendal Mountain Festival, for which Rab was one of the main sponsors. The Kendal Mountain Festival has been the highlight of many mountain-goers’ calendar for the last 40 years. The annual, four-day long festival is dedicated to sharing awe-inspiring, life-affirming stories from the world of outdoor adventure.
Claire Carter, Artistic Director at Kendal Mountain Festival, explains: “The Festival are thrilled to have received such a range of applications; exploring nature connection and adventure from far ranging perspectives. In awarding Radical Trails we wanted to highlight a clear and brave development of film craft and storytelling, both in authorship and vision. We are looking forward to a vibrant film, evolving from an in-depth and innovative approach.”
Jaha Browne and Olivia Martin McGuire add: “We are really excited to come together on this project to try to bridge a much deeper understanding and stimulate a wide-reaching conversation around the BIPOC experience of the British outdoors.”
Rab’s The Mountain People Film Grant is worth £10K and will contribute to finalising this film project and bringing it to life, just in time for KMF 2022. Jaha and Olivia will have monthly check-in’s and support from the Rab and Kendal Mountain Festival teams and aim to complete the film by the end of September 2022.