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Hope Valley Adventure Film Festival - Saturday 25 March

Published on 21/03/23

What makes HVAFF one of the best events of its kind?

Dreamed up by Neil and Sue McAdie, former parents of HVC students 11 years ago, it is an event really like no other. Neil’s background was in marketing for major outdoor brand Rab Equipment. He had experience of the Kendal Mountain Festival, the biggest such festival in the world, but more importantly, he had ties much closer to home with the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. 

If you don’t know what a film festival actually is don’t worry, you’re not alone. Whilst the likes of Kendal and, Banff over in Canada, attract tens of thousands of down-jacket-clad visitors every Autumn, ShAFF is a more grass-roots affair, known for its friendliness and top-notch film curation. Film is the lifeblood of these festivals, specifically films about adventure, travel and some fascinating people. The films are generally short - 5 to 25 mins long, meaning a programme will comprise a number of them chosen to complement each other and provide a range of entertainment. Think of them like a book of short stories told back to back. 

Although film is the key ingredient, just like any good recipe there’s a good list of high quality additions including yoga, loads of adventurous activities to test your orienteering, climbing, caving and mountain biking skills, as well as home-cooked food, a bar from local brewery Intrepid, and live music from the school’s talented students. In the evening, local ultra-running legend, a beef farmer from Glossop, Nicky Spinks will share stories of her trip just last week to Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee, where she took part in the world’s craziest race, the Barkley Marathons. Inspired in 1986 by a famous prison escape, the race now has a cult following, and has seen only 17 finishers, ever! She will be accompanied by Audax cyclist Nathan Willet. The pair will entertain whilst a mega raffle with over £1,000 worth of prizes is drawn, and winners of the short film competition for HVC students are announced.

Returning to the original question, HVAFF is so, so good, because it is run by parents and students from the college so has a genuine community feel to it. There are just two objectives: raise money for the school, and make sure that every person who comes has a good time. Tickets, which are vastly more affordable than commercial events, are available in advance via the festival website or on the day. Films are certified U or 12a due to a little coarse language, but with nothing gratuitous. There are activities for really young children in the library. Fresh food is served all day. 

If your children go to HVC and you have some time to spare on Saturday, it’s a fantastic way to see the school being used in such a great way and we promise you won’t leave disappointed.