Thompson Rivers University (TRU) student Brynn Weigelt organized and hosted No Man’s Land Film Festival screenings and raised over $1,300 for Y Women’s Emergency Shelter last month.
No Man’s Land Film Festival, based in Denver, Colorado, has been highlighting women in the adventure sports and film space since 2015 and uses film as a platform for progressive beliefs and actions in outdoor industries.
Weigelt screened some of the festival’s lineup on campus and said she chose Y Women’s Emergency Shelter because of the important space they provide.
“This festival is women-centred; I thought it was really important to give back to a woman-focused organization,” Weigelt told SPIN.
The festival wants to connect “like-minded individuals who are action-oriented,” according to its website.
Weigelt championed that ideal when she took action to bring the film festival to TRU. Weigelt has followed the festival for five years and decided to bring the films to the university after a professor mentioned students could host an event on campus. She is in the Adventure Studies program at TRU.
“Often, when women are shown in adventure films, they’re with a bunch of men. They’re just shown giggling or laughing in the background. They’re smiling at the camera, but you don’t get to see their story of how they got there, the work that they’ve put in and the adversity that they’ve overcome to get there,” she said.
When asked how these films are representative of diversity, Weigelt highlighted The Approach, a film that focuses on two young Black women in backcountry skiing and showed adaptive skiing. She noted that everyone enjoys the outdoors, but outdoor films don’t highlight everyone.
“Everybody recreates in the outdoors. But not everyone gets the spotlight … I think putting [women and diverse people] on display is great to let people know that you can look up to people who are like you.”
Weigelt said more than 100 people were at the festival over reading week. Movie-goers also received a raffle ticket for prizes for various brands, from Alder Apparel to Silverstar Mountain Resort.
Editor’s note, March 16, 2023: This article has been updated to correct the total amount raised for Y Women’s Emergency Shelter. The original article noted funds were $1,400, but the amount raised was $1,300.
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