Have a look at this year’s AFA at Kendal, UK, 11th-15th  November

The annual AFA at the Kendal Mountain Festival is a five-day course studying the basics of filmmaking and enabling you to make your own film. It’s intended to stimulate and develop outdoor adventure and extreme sports filmmaking and is open to all: keen amateurs, adventurers who wish to record their exploits, students, and professionals who have an interest in outdoor filmmaking. It’s an informative and enjoyable week which provides a platform into a future in film making and equipment, tuition and mentoring is provided throughout.

The first three days of the course cover the essential skills and gives hands on experience to make a one-minute short film of a professional standard. They cover:

The use of video, DSLR and GoPro cameras

Recording sound

Shooting for the edit

Filming an interview

Filming adventure sport action

Health and safety


This is followed by a concentrated forty-eight-hour ‘film marathon’, where the skills learned are put to use and small groups make a two-minute broadcast-standard film on their chosen outdoor or adventure sport film idea. These films are screened and judged at the main festival and prizes are awarded.

This year, for the first time, non-course attendees can enter the competition too – individual and small groups are invited to make their own two-minute film in the same forty-eight hours using their own equipment.

AFA was started in 2003 as the Extreme Film School by Graham Hoyland (ex-BBC producer/director) and Brian Hall (then the Festival co-director and now SteepEdge director). Past tutors have included top names in UK adventure film making, Richard Else (independent producer/director at Triple Echo), Keith Partridge (freelance camera/sound), Mark Batey (ex-BBC camera/director) and Paul Diffley (camera/director at Hot Aches).

The course was first held at the BBC in Manchester and then moved to the WFA Media and Culture Centre, Manchester.The past eight years it has been linked more closely to the festival and runs during the week prior, in the Kendal College Arts and Media Campus.

Since conception over a hundred films have been made on the course, many of which can be found on YouTube or Vimeo. Two of the films have been shown on BBC 1 and many more screened at film festivals throughout the world – including making the finals at the Banff Film Festival in Canada. Over half those who have attended have gone on to make another film and twenty per cent have gone on to work in the film industry.

Topics of past films include: climbing, bouldering, mountain biking, urban skate-boarding, sand dune surfing, mono-cycling, adventure racing, under-ice diving, walking, disabled sailing, caving, sheep farming, stone throwing, para gliding, Lakeland fell life – and more!

AFA is an unbelievable five-day experience and exceptional value for money. Comparable to what you would normally pay for a single day ‘skills course’. So what are you all waiting for? Get yourself signed up and achieve!

Course details can be found here.

Written by Brian Hall … Brian helps coordinate AFA and is a director of SteepEdge.



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