Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival 

Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20 at The Egyptian


Most major outdoor film festivals premiere in the world's most pristine and majestic places.

Add to the list Boise, which every year for the past decade has hosted the world premiere the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Fest. The festival has continued to gain momentum, according to WWA Outreach Coordinator Keili Bell, and this year, the fest received more entries than ever.

"We have more than 50 submissions," she said. "That's almost double what we usually receive. This year, we had grassroots films ... all the way up to films that made it into Banff [Mountain Film Fest]."

Bell and her colleagues narrowed the submissions to nine shorts that will roll for the 11th annual festival at the Egyptian Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20.

"We choose the films that are most in line with the celebration of winter and the voice that Winter Wildlands Alliance wants to promote: communities wanting to come together and play in the places they love—in the trees, mountains and snow," Bell said.

Each film follows some form of human-powered recreation in a white winterscape, while exploring larger issues like work/life balance and climate change.

Bell said she's excited not only to see the uptick of high-quality films in the outdoor world but also the messages they're spreading.

"I've seen a lot of advocacy in these films," Bell said. "I see disability rights in the outdoors, women's rights in the outdoors, lifestyle changes from the outdoors. I feel like a spark has ignited in the outdoor world, to make [filmmaking] part of their outreach."

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $10, and WWA has put together thousands of dollars worth of gear for a raffle.

A pre-party takes place at the Outdoor Exchange (1405 W. Grove Street) on Friday, Nov. 20 from 4-6:30 p.m. with beer from Odell Brewing and food from P.Ditty's Wrap Wagon, followed by a bike rally to the Egyptian.

The festival will travel to nearly 20 states, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Antarctica—on a boat. But Boise saw it first.

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