The NZ Mountain Film and Book festival has been running since 2002, and FMC has been a proud supporter since 2017.

The Festival presents a wide range of films, guest speakers, workshops and presentations from inspirational adventurers from within NZ and around the world. These films and books tell stories of adventure sports, foreign cultures, remote travel and environmental issues. The festival runs for 9 days in Central Otago in late June. After the main festival, a series of films are screened around the country on the National Tour.

These National Tour screenings are a fantastic way of fundraising for your club, as well as a chance to promote your club locally.  The NZMFF website has all the information you need to register to host a National Tour screening.

Megan Sety from the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club wrote the following article, after hosting a National Tour screening. We hope that her words of encouragement and advice will inspire you to get a show up and running in town, through your club.

Bring the NZ Mountain Film Festival to you

By Megan Sety – Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club

I’ve always wanted to go to the festival in Wanaka, but there was always an excuse – couldn’t get the time off work, couldn’t afford the flights or just simply missed the dates. Last year, I’d heard that the best of the festival films were touring the country so I sent off a quick email to Mark Sedon, the Festival Director, excitedly asking when the films would be in Wellington. Mark promptly replied that they were still looking for a Wellington host and would I like to be that person? Well, why not? So instead of going to the festival, I was going to bring the festival to me!

As a member of the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club (WTMC), I thought they might be keen to support the event and I figured two clubs would be better than one. I was a little reluctant to take the financial risk of the event costs myself, so I asked both WTMC and the Tararua Tramping Club if they would like to sponsor the event. They agreed to pay the costs, such as the film licence fee and theatre fee, and in return any funds raised from the profits would be donated back to the clubs.

And so it was that the Best of the NZ Mountain Film Festival arrived for one night in Wellington. It was a raging success. With just $10 spent on advertising, more than 300 people filled the theatre. In the end, the film licence fees and theatre fees were paid well after the screening, and we raised over $3000 for the tramping clubs. However the best reward was getting to see films either made in New Zealand or made by New Zealanders that otherwise we’d never have heard of.

The whole thing was surprisingly easy to do. Mark the festival director provides a flyer, logos, images and information for advertising. The rest is really about finding a venue and then starting the word-of- mouth buzz. This year, the FMC is helping the festival reach further by sponsoring free screenings at local schools. It’s easy-as to bring the festival to you.

Here are a few of my top tips:

  1. Contact the festival organisers to see if you can host the films locally. Or if someone else is already hosting the films locally, see if you can work together. Research local venues. Try independent theatres as well as universities and schools. Ask about cost, what the technical needs are and if they provide technical support on the night.
  2. Test the films well in advance so you can work out technical glitches. Get a copy of the films a few weeks in advance and watch them all the way through. Test run the films in the venue on the equipment you will use.
  3. You’ll need about 6 to 8 weeks to promote the event – leave plenty of time to get the word out.
  4. Flyers at key places can be useful, but there’s nothing better than getting information into local club newsletters and spread through social media. Contact other clubs and sports groups who might be interested – ask them to include a blurb in their newsletter and social media sites. Be creative – a lot of people love the outdoors, so think outside your circle to walking, kayaking, running, swimming, climbing groups and more.

Then sit back and enjoy the films!

Megan’s article was orginially published in the June 2017 issue of Backcountry Magazine. Images courtesy of the NZ Mountain Film Festival.  If there’s any broken links or out of date information, please get in touch with us at FMC.