OGDEN — The Lady Wild Film Fest returns this weekend, bringing with it plenty of snow.
The third annual event, presented by the Ogden-based women’s collective AndShesDopeToo, begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Browning Center’s Austad Auditorium at Weber State University. The evening will feature 10 short films celebrating strong female leads or characters in an outdoor-adventure setting.
Taylor Killian, chief creative director for both the festival and the company, said they had quite a few adventure films submitted this year. And although there’s been a noticeable lack of snow themes in the past, Killian says for some odd reason most of this year’s entries involved snow in one way or another.
“This year’s theme is big mountains and big snow,” he said. “Snowboarding, skiing, fat-bike riding — if you like snow, you’re going to love it this year.”
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and this year two bonus films will be shown to those who arrive early, beginning at 6 p.m.
“The two bonus films weren’t going to be in it, but they were so good we wanted to show them,” Killian said.
This year’s festival had submissions from 30-plus countries. Among the films accepted for the 2019 Lady Wild Film Fest:
“All In,” a 2018 ski film featuring women and men descending slopes all over the world.
“Full Moon,” a documentary about women’s snowboarding.
“In Perpetual Motion,” a vivid and ethereal look at the dreamscapes just below the surface of the ocean.
“Blue,” about a young girl who explores the mountains, glaciers and rivers of Valdez, Alaska, on a fat bike.
“Evolution of Dreams,” which looks at the journey of two women who discover another aspect of skiing — ski mountaineering.
“Layers, an Animated Short” tells the story of a weary traveler who must climb a steep mountain with only her failing strength and her magical layers, which store her life’s most vivid memories.
“5 Ways to Love in the Mountains” is about Jewell and Kyle offering advice for integrating outdoor adventure into a relationship.
“Edges,” a film about a 90-year-old woman who continues to ice skate.
Along with the 10 featured films, this year’s event will include brief remarks by former professional skier Jen Hudak. These days, Hudak — who lives in a cabin outside Park City with her husband, Chris — is an entrepreneur, writer, adventurer, podcaster, sports broadcaster and life coach who helps others “redefine their relationship with fear to create the life of their dreams,” according to the AndShesDopeToo.com website.
The night will also include music by 14-year-old Kyla Vine, a vocalist from Ogden Valley. A raffle and other prize giveaways will be held.
The Lady Wild Film Fest is organized by Killian and his wife, Jenn. The Roy couple created AndShesDopeToo, a women’s organization that encourages outdoor adventure and cooperation. The collective organizes retreats, rendezvous and other events aimed at building sisterhood among participants. Its mission statement is “to connect people and planet with perspective and purpose.”
The idea for the film festival came about in 2017, when the Killians were looking for a way to fund a film project that would eventually become the documentary “Moksha.” That documentary was shown at last year’s festival.
The 2018 festival attracted about 1,200 people to the Ogden High School Auditorium. This year, the event has been moved to Weber State University, and Killian says he’s hoping for a sellout of the 1,400 seats.
The eventual goal is to turn Lady Wild Film Fest into a full-blown, multi-day festival with after parties, panel discussions and the like.
“In the next five years we plan to grow this into a legit festival,” he said. “It’ll be a full-on fest, not just one night.”
All they lack to realize that dream, Killian said, is the right partners to help take the event to the next level. He says they’re looking for those partners to make LWFF “a premier destination festival.”
Killian said he and his wife believe in the strength of community, as well as the power of nature to heal.
“When you get someone in the outdoors, your chemistry changes,” he said. “You strip away everything and it’s as natural as it possibly can be. Spend time in nature, and your chemistry is actually different.”
Killian said the reason AndShesDopeToo celebrates women in the outdoors is that it’s traditionally been considered a “man’s space.”
“We want to show that this is a women’s space, too,” he said.
And while Lady Wild Film Fest celebrates women, Killian said the evening is also for men — and there will be plenty of them at this year’s screenings.
“This is for everyone, not just women,” he said. “We’re true feminists, meaning we believe in equality for all. This was never about excluding men, it’s about giving a platform for women in the outdoors.”
Killian said it’s also about supporting artists in the Ogden area.
“In addition to women and the outdoors, we’re interested in growing Ogden,” he said. “This festival, as much as it is a celebration of the outdoors and women, it also celebrates the spirit of Ogden.”
Tickets are $15 and $25, available through andshesdopetoo.com or at the door.