New Adventures Supporting Kendal Mountain Festival through our Ignition Awards

Introducing new voices and pushing boundaries at Cumbria's celebration of outdoors culture.

Each November, Kendal Mountain Festival brings thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe to their corner of Cumbria for a celebration of adventure, the natural world and the environments that inspire us. In 2019, the festival’s recurring mission to “Share the adventure” is complemented by a focus, both organisational and thematic, on Openness. The results of this year’s approach can be seen in a transformed way of working for the festival itself and a varied programme of talks, art and sport that challenge the outdoor community to examine its barriers, push its boundaries, adapt and thrive.

Such transformations are particularly evident in the festival’s film programme, which this year boasts 120 titles and 2 key additions: a revised ticketing structure and a new strand programmed by local young people. Individual film tickets will replace the festival’s previous system of day passes, opening up the screening programme with flexible buying options to suit audiences’ schedules and budget. And the new Youth Programmed section, funded by Film Hub North’s Ignition Awards, represents the culmination of an exciting organisational shift within the Kendal Mountain team to broaden the range of voices that shape the festival and to engage the adventurers, curators, creators and audiences of the future.

Hub support has allowed the festival to recruit a team of 10 young Cumbrians who have spent the past 3 months working with and learning from Artistic Director Claire Carter. In that time, the festival’s Young Programmers have scouted titles, provided feedback on programme selections and curated a series of films showcasing the stories of adventure that speak to them.

The Young Programmers will present the fruits of their labour at two special events on 16 and 17 November. They’ll provide an event introduction before screening a collection of films that connect with the festival’s themes of Openness and adventure in different, sometimes unexpected, ways. From the young Palestinians in Hurdle who use parkour to overcome physical and political obstacles, to Nebula and its story of an intrepid photographer searching for wide open skies in the backcountry of British Columbia and a sense of connection between humanity and the cosmos. Alongside presenting their selections, the Young Programmers will host a Q&A with some of the featured filmmakers, including white water kayaker Bren Orton and filmmaker and sketch artist Max Romey.

The Youth Programmed adventure is set to continue well after the festival hangs up its boots for the 2019 edition, with a special tour planned for venues across Cumbria and the North West. Another new addition to the Kendal Mountain’s regular touring activity, the Young Programmers Film Tour will extend the festival’s Openness project beyond the confines of its November event. Screenings will reach out into communities, breaking down the barriers that Cumbria’s stunning but expansive geography can present to local audiences when accessing cinema. The stories presented in the tour, chosen by their peers, will also invite young Cumbrians to reconsider their surroundings; framing the outstanding natural beauty on their doorstep as a place of play and inspiration, and a space of connection - rather than separation - for the North’s rural communities and the global outdoors movement.

See the Festival's Youth Programmed collection

Kendal Mountain Festival have created their Young Programmers group with support from our Ignition Awards. For more information on how we can help your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding homepage.