Media release: Re-defining the age of adventure as the EMFF returns in February


Youth – or lack of it – is no barrier as the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival highlights adventurers aged four – 97

AS the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival (EMFF) returns in February after a longer-than-normal two-year break, you might feel that you’ve aged since the last event [2018].

Or maybe your kids have just grown up quickly. Maybe both! Don’t worry, you’ll feel more inspired than ever after watching the incredible films at Edinburgh’s longest-running adventure film festival, as adventurers (very) young and (very) old star in the films on the big screen!

The 16th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is being staged, as always, at Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre (formerly known as the George Square Lecture Theatre) in Edinburgh from Saturday 15 to Sunday 16 February 2020. Tickets for the popular festival start at £5 and are on sale now at with the organisers reporting that tickets are already selling fast.

Among the many highlights, you might well find that it’s the young and old athletes who capture your imagination, and possibly even your heart.

The posse of mountain bikers from Whistler, aged 11-14, have got attitude and skills to match. And while 11 year-old Kai Jones might get turned away from the cinema, he’s made very welcome on the extreme terrain at his local ski hill! Murray, the four year-old skier on the slopes of Aonach Mor at Nevis Range, has boundless enthusiasm but it will most likely be the courage and wisdom of 97 year-old runner George Etzweiler, which makes you smile.

Of course, there are also athletes in the ‘expected age bracket’ doing incredible things. Skiers drop fearsome-looking lines in Alaska, and sketchy gullies in the West Highlands. A female climber scales apparently blank rock faces using holds the size of a pinhead, without ropes! Mountain bikers scream down impossible routes. Then there are the parkour athletes, on a stomach-lurching rooftop race in Paris (don’t try this on your holidays). And have we mentioned the blind man attempting to lead-climb the Old Man of Hoy sea stack on Orkney?

As well as the films, the festival welcomes three speakers to the stage to share tales of their incredible journeys. Jenny Graham, from Inverness, tops the bill as she recounts her world-record breaking unsupported cycle around the world. Navigating tornados, bears and Russian traffic, Jenny offers a humorous take on the highs and lows of her 18,000-mile adventure.

And then there’s Anna McNuff, fresh and blister-free after her 2,620-mile barefoot run through Britain. As well as setting her feet free, she used to walk to inspire young women to have their own adventures. All of which might make Leon McCarron’s 1,000-mile walk seem a bit … pedestrian? But it took him through the heart of the Holy Land at a pace which allowed him to truly meet the people and understand the challenges of that region. With global tensions rising, his insights will seem all the more relevant today.

Stevie Christie, festival director, is excited by the personal nature of the films chosen for EMFF 2020, as well as the sheer spectacle of the action: “We have some very special films this year. The ones which stand out from the programme are awesome … but they won’t necessarily be your favourites. We’re privileged to watch the protagonists share personal insights, the highs and lows of doing what they love, and how that impacts them – as well as lots of incredibly skilled and daring antics! Meanwhile the speakers will each bring something different and are guaranteed to leave you entertained, enlightened and inspired.”

The festival, staged in association with Tiso and Mountain Equipment, expects big numbers from the climbing, cycling, snowsports, running, kayaking, adventure sports, outdoor photography and filmmaking communities; as well as those who love the outdoors, travel and mountain adventure.

From small beginnings in 2003, it has grown to be one of the most popular and dynamic events in Scotland’s outdoor adventure calendar, attracting in excess of 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts annually.

For full details of the festival and how to buy tickets go to:

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Official EMFF hashtag – #TheEMFF


Media contact:

For information on the 16th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, for images and to arrange interviews with festival director, Stevie Christie, or any of the guest speakers or filmmakers; or to arrange private viewings of selected films, please contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

Image attached – Dave MacLeod from the film, Undiscovered.

Images of both speakers and films from EMFF 20 can be downloaded here Please credit photographer where indicated.

EMFF 2020 promo video –

Notes for editors:

The 16th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival takes place from 15-16 February 2020. The festival is staged in the Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre (formerly known as the George Square Lecture Theatre) at Edinburgh University. Note: Some online searches are currently suggesting other dates for the festival – it is wrong!

Tickets cost from £5 – £17 and are available now from or on the door, subject to availability. Some sessions will sell out in advance.

The festival aims to promote mountain culture and provide a platform for adventure film-makers to showcase their work. In short, to entertain, enlighten and inspire. It also acts as a social gathering for Scotland’s vibrant outdoor scene. Finally, it raises funds for Mountain Rescue and the John Muir Trust, with over £20,000 raised since the EMFF began.

The festival features lectures by leading mountaineers, adventurers and explorers, many short films and various exhibitions. The guest speakers are as follows:

The Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival was first held in 2003. Previous winners of the ‘Best Film Award’ are:

  • 2003: ‘Pushing Winter’ – a snowboarding film by Paul Raistrick of Aviemore
  • 2004: ‘Never Say Nevis Again’ – a kayaking film by Steve Rogers of Fort William
  • 2005: ‘Cano-Bagging’ – a ski mountaineering film by Blair Aitken of Edinburgh
  • 2006: ‘E11’ – Dave MacLeod’s landmark climbing film by Paul Diffley
  • 2007: ‘Scottish Extremities’ – a sea-kayaking film by Patrick Winterton
  • 2008: ‘Echo Wall’ – Dave MacLeod’s climb on Ben Nevis by Claire MacLeod
  • 2009: ‘The Sharp End’ – a climbing film by Sender Films of Colorado
  • 2010: ‘Solo’ – a sea kayaking adventure by Jennifer Peedom of Australia
  • 2011: ‘Eastern Rises’ – a Kamchatka adventure by Felt Soul Media of Colorado
  • 2012: ‘Cold’ – a winter ascent of Annapurna, by Anson Fogel of Colorado
  • 2014: ‘Distilled’ – a biopic of mountaineer Andy Cave by Paul Diffley
  • 2015: ‘Valley Uprising’ – a movie about Yosemite by Sender Films of Colorado
  • 2016: ‘Operation Moffat’ – Britain’s first female mountain guide, Gwen Moffat
  • 2017: ‘Dodo’s Delight’ – a sailing and mountaineering adventure in Baffin Island
  • 2018: ‘The Frozen Road’ – a solo bike journey in Alaska in winter by Ben Page

The major sponsors of the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival 2020 are:

  • Tiso
  • Mountain Equipment

The festival is always keen to hear from companies or organisations who are interested in being a sponsor.

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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert