The outdoor experiences accessible to Western students are rarely caught on film but the Associated Students Outdoor Center has found a way to encourage students to document their outdoor excursions and adventures, and share the films with the campus community.
The second annual Bellingham Film Festival, BHAMFF, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18 in Fraser 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
“Last year, our marketing coordinator decided to put [the festival] on and try it out, and it was a really big success,” said Sierra Jacob, AS Outdoor Center marketing and resources coordinator. “We had a whole bunch of people come out and [received] a lot of positive reviews, so we decided to do it again, and hopefully make it kind of a tradition.”
The film festival will feature student-made films depicting outdoor recreation and activities such as backcountry skiing and snowboarding, kayaking, climbing and mountain biking, Jacob said.
The film festival also acts as a contest, Jacob said. Determined by a panel of judges, AS Outdoor Center employees and KVIK representatives, the first place film will receive $300 in cash. The audience, who will vote by submitting ballots during the film festival, will determine the second place film.
The second place winner will receive a free excursion of their choice from the AS Outdoor Center. Third place will receive $50 worth of AS Outdoor Center merchandise.
“Last year, we had first place determined by the audience,” Jacob said. “[This year] we wanted to have it not be [based] on who has the most friends [there].”
Fredrick Collins, AS Outdoor Center director, hopes that the film festival will bring more visibility to their office.
“A lot of people don’t know what the Outdoor Center does, or who it can help,” Collins said. “[The film festival is] an opportunity for people to know who we are, and maybe they’ll come down and do trips.”
The AS Outdoor Center, located on the bottom floor of the Viking Union, provides different outdoor-related activities and opportunities for Western students, staff and faculty. Excursions such as whitewater rafting on the Skagit River, ice climbing in Lillooet, British Columbia and backcountry skiing and snowboarding on Mount Baker are among the many offered through the AS Outdoor Center. They can cost as little as $35, and as much as $150.
Rentals for snow sport equipment, yard sport equipment, kayaks and canoes, hiking and camping equipment, climbing and mountaineering equipment and bikes are also available at the AS Outdoor Center. The rental costs vary on the equipment
The AS Outdoor Center film festival is a great end-of-the-year kick off, Jacob said. It will be a great time for everyone in the outdoor community and an opportunity for them to share their experiences with others.