Victoria Jelinek

The Origin and Intent of the Adventure Film Festival
August 11, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Press releases | Tags: , , ,

The Adventure Film Festival got started in Chamonix when American mountaineer Jonny Copp came here, as many of us do, to enjoy the great outdoors and some of the best mountains in the world. Once here, he proposed to his friends in Boulder – another outdoorsy, naturalistic area – that they extend their film festival to Chamonix. He argued that there are a lot of similar people out here – adventurers, artists, activists – who believe in the power of story, especially the narrative of awakening to change, portraying the world we want to live in, abiding by a respect for nature and practicing conservation, always. The festival’s slogan of ‘Making Your Own Legends’ is not only about epic challenges, it’s also about the daily challenges all of us face as we try to build a healthy, positive world to live in: we create our own stories of risking, losing and winning–or simply surviving and prevailing!

It didn’t take long to convince the group in Boulder to extend the festival idea to Chamonix, as the vision had always been about developing a ‘world community.’ When Jonny died in a climbing accident, friend and fellow climber Zoe Hart took over as Director of the festival in Chamonix. “His vision was to grow it (the festival), like a seedling in the garden, and pass it on to the local community to grow into whatever it would become with Chamonix sun, water, love and care,” says Zoe. Today, Zoe and festival volunteers – with nationalities ranging from French and British, Canadian, American, German, Swiss, Finnish, Swedish, Australian, Norwegian, Flemish – are working together to make the festival a permanent international event based in Chamonix.

Alliances such as the one involving the Adventure Film Festival organisers, volunteers, town officials and local merchants, are established because of a shared cause. Let’s hope this alliance, now in its second year, grows over the years to come, not only because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, but also because we need to encourage and nurture all the culture we can get in Chamonix.

The 2nd annual Adventure Film Festival will be taking place again this year on August 20, 21st & 22nd at the Bicentennaire, Chamonix-Mont Blanc. For tickets, schedules and further details of films and events, please visit or contact Zoe Hart at

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