Lady Wild Film Fest returns with focus on women of the outdoors

Lady Wild Film Fest returns with focus on women of the outdoors

Back for a fourth year, this time around the Lady Wild Film Fest is looking to go a bit deeper with its stories of women in the great outdoors.

The festival, presented by the Ogden-based women’s collective AndShesDopeToo, has always highlighted short films that feature strong female leads or characters. But this year’s event promises to take a closer look at those women.

“In years past, people have said they want to get to know these characters, to hear their real-life stories,” said Jenn Killian, who with husband Taylor founded both the collective and the annual film festival. “We really took that to heart.”

The event begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. at Ogden High School, 2828 Harrison Blvd. The screenings begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at

Although there will still be plenty of in-your-face outdoor action in the films featured, Killian said this year’s offerings will go beyond that.

“The theme for this year definitely is ‘Story,’” she said. “In years past it’s been high adventure and powder shots in the face, but now we want to show the diversity of women in general, not just in outdoor sports.”

The evening will feature a number of short films, ranging in length from two to 20 minutes. This year’s festival attracted more than 170 submissions from 30-plus countries around the world, according to Killian.

One of Killian’s favorite films in this year’s festival is a powerful six-minute short called “Speak to Me Softly,” featuring climber Jenny Abegg’s ascent of Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park. The film talks about the voices in our heads, and how they affect our accomplishments.

“We do it with all sports, thinking, ‘Oh, this is so hard.’ ‘Did I train enough?’ ‘I can’t do this.’ ‘I’m not adequate.’ ‘I shouldn’t be here,’” Killian said. “The filmmaker really makes you feel her sweaty palms — she’s so high up there. So you’re seeing her, but you’re also hearing the thoughts in her head.”

Another powerful film, according to Killian, is “Dead Last: One Paraclimber’s Journey to Worlds,” about a climber from Colorado with a healthy attitude about coming in last place in the International Federation of Sport Climbing World Championship.

In the film, the climber declares: “My name is Kaitlin Heatherly, I placed last in the world championship, and I’m f—ing stoked about it.”

Killian said the annual film festival is a great time.

“This is our fourth one, and it gets more fun every year,” Killian said.

In addition to the films, Lady Wild will feature food, a raffle, live music and dancing, spoken word.

Speakers will include Kalen Thorien, a four-season athlete, motorcyclist, writer and photographer; as well as Melody Forsyth, “a nurse by night and a hiker and mom by day” who has been chronicling her family’s adventures with Ruby, their youngest child who has Down syndrome.

The festival will also include a performance by Tawna Halbert, a dance therapist from Ogden.

The evening will again be emceed by Alicia Washington, co-founder of Good Company Theatre in Ogden.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Daily Rise Coffee, Thai Curry Kitchen and Beehive Cheese Co.

Killian said the event is appropriate for all ages.

“We get a little over a thousand people at each film festival,” Killian said. “We’ll have a little something for everyone, and we encourage people to come early for the social hour.”

Killian said they’re also inviting adult attendees to join the after-party at Roosters B Street Brewery, at 2325 B Ave. in Ogden.

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