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Berghaus to help champion outdoor accessibility at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival

BERGHAUS has teamed up with COLDHOUSE COLLECTIVE and Danielle Sellwood to present a programme of accessible events at the 2023 SHEFFIELD ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL (ShAFF). ‘Access All Areas: Accessible Adventure Film’ will feature special film sessions, a workshop and a panel discussion, all designed to improve access to adventure film content for audiences who are d/Deaf or blind/partially sighted. The programme will run throughout ShAFF, from Friday 3 March – Sunday 5 March.

Now in its 18th year, ShAFF is an international film festival screening over 100 of the best new adventure films from around the world at Showroom cinema, Sheffield. During the festival, the film sessions ‘Best of ShAFF – Access All Areas’ and ‘Adventure Bites’ will be screened in accessible formats with open captions and audio description.

The programme will also include a free workshop to filmmakers on why and how to make adventure film content accessible, delivered by blind disability activist Poppy Levison, alongside Coldhouse Collective and Danielle Sellwood, an adventure filmmaker, accessibility campaigner and former international canoeist. In addition, there will be a free panel discussion during the festival, to explore what the industry needs to do to ensure that adventure films are made accessible to a wider audience.

l-r Tim Burton, Danielle Sellwood and Poppy Levison

The Berghaus support for the Access All Areas: Accessible Adventure Film programme at ShAFF builds on the brand’s sustained work to promote the message that the outdoors is for everyone, taking actions that help make that a reality. This commitment is reflected in the ambassadors, partnerships, campaigns and events that Berghaus now supports.

Among the team of Berghaus ambassadors are Zahrah Mahmood and Rhiane Fatinikun, both of whom are at the forefront of efforts to improve levels of diversity in the outdoors. The brand supports non-profit organisation the It’s Great Out There Coalition (#itsgreatoutthere), which promotes outdoor participation, and Millimetres 2 Mountains, a charity founded by quadriplegic adventurer Ed Jackson, that brings people facing mental health challenges together on mountain treks around the world.

At Kendal Mountain Festival in 2022, Berghaus collaborated with Adam Raja, Coldhouse and Ed Jackson on a series of events that celebrated and promoted diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. For ShAFF, Berghaus and Coldhouse are working with Danielle Sellwood to deliver a programme that further extends and expands the level of accessible content available for audiences.

Danielle Sellwood said, “Three years ago, I realised to my shame, that my films were not accessible to my own daughter who is blind, so, I set about learning everything I could about audio description and other access needs such as open captions. Armed with my ever-evolving knowledge I set about finding ways to educate other filmmakers and offer my services to help make festivals accessible. I’m hugely grateful to Tim Burton and the team at Coldhouse who have helped super-charge this project through support from Berghaus. I am delighted to be collaborating with them again alongside the team at SHAFF to reach both disabled audiences and filmmakers.”

Tim Burton of Coldhouse Collective added, “We started making a film about a Deaf climber in 2022 and realised that none of the films we’d ever made in 10 years at the forefront of adventure filmmaking were accessible to her community. This made our hearts sink and we wanted to not just fix the problem at Coldhouse, but kickstart a movement with Danielle to change the industry. We’re hugely grateful to the team at ShAFF for joining forces to roll out the project this March.”

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