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She is Extreme

Seeking new adventures is fundamental human nature; we thrive off new experiences and nowa these days many of us crave the adrenaline rush in extreme sports. Extreme sports have long been dominated by men. ‘This is a man’s world‘ is a famous quote from the  “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown, but for too many women out there it’s more than just a lyrical passage. Women are starting thrive in increasingly popular activities as surfing, snowboarding, hiking, free running, kitesurfing and many more. Such women pave the way for future generations (professional) female athletes and thus deserve to be celebrated. Luckily, snowboarder, surfer and climber Ruth Farrar has decided to do something about it. Dr. Farrar is an active filmmaker, founder of and director of the world’s first film festival for women in extreme sports and adventure:


When did you start to become this active filmmaker?

While studying at Trinity College, Dublin, aged 18 I joined a filmmakers’ society. We spent countless weekends making short films. It was a magic, open creative time resulting in long-lasting friendships. There was a tangible sense of support as we cheered each other on collectively figuring out how to film, record sound and edit for the first time.

We didn’t take ourselves too seriously which freed us up to make lots of filmmaking mistakes and most importantly, laugh and learn from them. Many of this group has gone on to inspiring international careers in media. I’m still grateful to this day for such a fun introduction to filmmaking.

Award-winning adventure filmmaker Hannah Maia: Film Tutor at our festival’s Shextreme Film School // Photo credit: Maia Media

What was your intention to start Shextreme Film Festival?

Shextreme Film Festival was born out of a frustration of attending many adventure and mountain film festivals and realising often only 5% of the film line up featured a ‘token’ women’s film, despite the audience being 50% men and 50% women.

What was being represented on the big screen didn’t reflect reality for me. When I went surfing, snowboarding or my local climbing centre, there were equal numbers of men and women participating there too. So, I decided to be the change I want to see. I created Shextreme Film Festival as a supportive creative home to celebrate and empower women in extreme sports and adventure.

From the making of WAY EAST / Photo credit: Aaron Jamieson

Shextreme will held her second year….will there be a big differences in the program as last year?

After last year’s sell out success, we are back with a bang! We have secured an amazing line up of UK film premieres including the hotly anticipated snowboarding feature Full Moon, an inspiring line up of panel speakers for our group discussion including Olympic-winning Jenny Jones, creative pop up shops and delectable DJs.

In keeping with our aims of celebrating female creativity, we’re very excited this year to add an official festival artist: you! Chanti, we’re really looking forward to seeing your lush live surf art on the night!

Also after listening to our awesome audience responses, this year I’m delighted to announce our newly added Shextreme Film School.

Olympic-winning pro snowboarder Jenny Jones: Panel Speaker atShextreme Film Festival’s Screening // Photo credit: Mikey Corker

What is the purpose of your film school?

We learned from meeting everyone at last year’s festival, there’s clearly no shortage of inspiring women doing amazing adventures. However, there is a lack of filmmakers documenting their stories on the big screen. So this year, we are excited to launch Shextreme Film School. From the director of Europe’s first female skate film Jenna Selby to award-wining adventure filmmkar Hannah Maia, we’ve cherry-picked six leading experts in the field for our one day workshop: How to Film Your Adventure on the 20th of October. All abilities welcome.

Why is this festival held in Bristol and not for example in Newquay or London? And what is special about Bristol? – I’ve heard it is a very creative and open-minded vibrant city to live, isn’t it?

 Bristol is the perfect city for Shextreme Film Festival. From its’ abundance of climbing centres like brilliant Bloc to awesome adventure groups such as Explorer’s Connect, there is an active community of extreme sports enthusiasts living here in Bristol. Home to Banksy, Massive Attack and many more artists, the city really nurtures independent creativity. Finally, why not hold the festival in friendly Bristol: officially voted U.K’s happiest city!

Are men also welcome at the festival?

Yes of course! Over a third of our festival audience last year was men. Shextreme promotes equality in extreme sports, which means every gender is warmly welcome.

For those who are not into extreme sports yet are interested, tell in one phrase why they should come to the shextreme festival?

Come take a climb, ski and walk on the wild side to spark your very own sense of adventure…

More info and program about this inspiring festival check:

Get ready for the return of Shextreme Film Festival this October 21st and meet me there!


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