Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Independent Overland Movies

Over the last few months, the Adventure Film Fest has been offering movies based on various outdoor endeavours.  I managed to get a free ticket to the Endurance show screening in Henley, UK.  The show consisted of four independent movies relating to various endurance activities.  The topics varied from Marathon running, triathlon (London to Paris), Atlantic ocean rowing and a Trans-Africa journey from Cape Town to London.  I would recommend attending a show near you as they feature some of the best independent films.  In summary, these films show the reality of endurance events – nothing is staged for the camera!

The African Odyssey was a trip undertaken by four Kiwi chaps on a range of old motorbikes – each introduced personally by the rider!  The movie offers a real view of an overland journey. Having no support vehicle, or the latest bikes, the Kiwi’s add humour, adventure, drama and in their words, ‘In true African Odyssey style’ a sense of experiencing Africa, and overlanding.  The movie is enjoyable, has great music, and left me wondering why I was sitting in a movie house watching there trip instead of doing my own.

Here's the trailer:

More Independent Films
Heading home in my Land Rover on perfect tar roads, I began to ponder how many dusty overland trips have turned an independent adventure into a movie.  We all know of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman completing their Long Way Down but don’t often hear about the independent trips that have invested personal time and money in fulfilling a dream of producing a movie.

Here are a few that I know of…

Red Buggy – Tom and his girlfriend drove an old VW Buggy South from Europe to Cape Town.  Like the African Odyssey, Tom crossed the Sudan without taking the ferry!  His movie, in full raw emotion and honesty, highlights the personal side of a journey.  When the Buggy breaks, we get to experience the anger, frustration and turmoil that they go through.  Enjoyable honest, sometimes embarrassing but well worth the time to watch.  Here's a preview:

Explore Africa – Noel and Marica complete a full North to South and back home.  They have written a book and turned their trip into a DVD.  I have not watched this DVD yet so no personal review.  A YouTube trailer is available for watching (but not embedding as above).

RoamingYak – this DVD takes a different approach as it attempts to provide us with an overview of the Moroccan pistes.  Slightly more of a personal blog than a travel documentary, DJ does well to cover off 10 offroad pistes in his old Land Rover.   It’s an enjoyable watch whilst chilling out on a cold winter evening. More importantly, this DVD leaves you with a ‘get-up-and-go’ feeling.
Here's a preview:

Alternative Media - Podcasts:

One trip that I have been actively following is the adventure cycling trip of Huw and Bex. ‘Listen to Africa’ is a unique website focused on providing podcasts of their trip as they cycle South.  The podcasts vary from sound-scapes to cooking lessons.  The website has also been nominated as the UK Guardian Blog of the Month.  Impressive. The website has an excellent article on choosing the right sound equipment for a journey.

Video Clips
With the introduction of high speed internet, YouTube and other video hosting websites have given rise to plenty of short video clips.  Here's my current list of the most updated video clips - Overland Live Videos

Walkabout Worldtrack have created a YouTube documentary about their trip from The Netherlands to South Africa (via Zaire).