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Documentaries

as a tool for social change

Telling a story has always been compelling to the masses but telling a story that can become a tool for social change is revolutionary. Project Wild Women is one such example that pushed the boundaries and stigmas attached to women practising extreme and gravity sports in India. And we look forward to bringing more stories that will give you a reason to think and act.

My main feeling, while I was watching Project Wild Women, was how proud it made me feel of each individual, but also it made me feel part of this awesome crew of badass women, despite having only ever met Prerna year's ago! But I did feel a deeper connection as having an Indian mum, it made me more aware of her background and culture. It really opened my eyes to how much more of a challenge it is to get into these more adventurous sports as a woman in India, and how much courage it must have taken each of the women featured to start. Here in the UK, we still have a bit of a way to go for women to feel truly accepted within the outdoor/adventure sports communities, but it is socially acceptable and not outside of the norms, which does mean we have half the challenge.

 

It really made me want to do something to help encourage more women and young women into adventure sports, particularly climbing as that is my background. At the company I work for as an outdoor instructor, I am heading up a project to give more young people, particularly women, from ethnic minorities the opportunity to experience these sports in the Highlands of Scotland. We are hoping to work with a variety of groups, including refugees, Muslim, and Asian communities once we can resume after the pandemic- Kirsty Pallas

I watched it, it just makes me choke up (with tears) with pride and admiration for these lovely women, doing what feels good, despite the barriers imposed by society. It seems as if you opened the floodgates with your interviews. It's a marvellous film and a really important part of it is confronting the viewer with their prejudices - what they see when they see someone in a sari or a headscarf or with a bhindi or praying. While over here in the UK we do not have anywhere near the number of social barriers you have experienced in India (nowhere near!) when I took up mountain biking in my forties I did experience some very strange reactions, some of the worst from nearest and dearest: " at your age!" from my father; "are you sure you want to ride this trail, love, it's a bit technical?" from a lot of male riders and it felt quite lonely but mostly I felt as if an amazing world of fun had been kept concealed from me and I just wanted to get on and enjoy it, regardless of judgement, appearance or ability! I think when we were small kids here we were more equal and it seemed high school /puberty divided the "sporty" (clean white socks for netball) from the non-sporty (who would probably have loved some of these cool sports!). The work you have been inspired to do is great - I think in particular of the mental health crisis sweeping young people over here and how they could do with a large dose. In terms of actions what I can do is share your film widely (tick!) hope it wins the people's choice award at Banff and ride my bike - if I think of anything else I will be in touch - maybe will find some volunteers to send out to you! An equal playground for everyone!- Marian Gray

I enjoyed watching Project Wild Women via the London Mountain Film Festival on Saturday. I’m a 32-year-old female amateur climber from the U.K. I watched it with my friend who is also a female climber. We’ve only been climbing for about a year and a half but it’s helped us in so many ways. We feel like we’ve found ‘our place’. We don’t need to ‘dress up’, or ‘be feminine’ or ‘hope that a boyfriend will make us feel complete’ like so many girls we know. Climbing has empowered us in many ways - strong sports aren’t just for men! We love it so much and we love supporting each other to get strong, achieve new goals and go on outdoor adventures. 

However, we do feel the pressure of compromise. Particularly physically. As we get stronger, our bodies look less ‘feminine’ and we sometimes feel apologetic for that, especially when dating. And being in our 30s there is a societal pressure to settle and have children. But we want to climb and see the world right now! 

It was so inspiring to watch Project Wild Women - to see women break boundaries, ignore society’s rules and support each other in their passion for outdoor sports made us feel even more empowered. In particular, it made us so happy to see women in Asia doing this - in countries that are more conservative than our own, with regards to women- Laura Williams 

THE BASALT QUEENS

Young girls from the age of 8 to 20 from different walks of life and diverse region of Maharashtra have come together to live under one roof to learn the ropes of rock climbing. In this project, they will learn and develop all the skills of rock climbing in such a way that they become completely self-reliant to lead climb the multi-pitch sports routes.

A story of not just climbing a big mountain but one that of friendship and support, one that of sharing dreams and achieving them, and with all that also a story of overcoming personal inhibitions. Climbing a big wall is more than just physical achievement, it takes a journey of years, multiple failed attempts and a supporting team to summit such a daunting "Kada".

KOKANKADA- A DREAM CLIMB

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PROJECT WILD WOMEN

The filmmaker, 26, born and raised in a small village, wanted to escape the stifling surroundings of her orthodox family. She thought to herself if she is the only one fighting to keep her passion for sports alive or are there other girls like her.

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