Olivia Page by Simon Bischoff

TACKLING MOUTAINS OF DREAMS

It turns out passion projects take a lot more than passion to bring them to life….

The film Kakapo Crest that features in the 2020 Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour took over two years from conception to its premiere on the big screen! If the audience response has been anything to go by, it has been well worth the time, money and endless hours in the editing suite.

The brainchild of Victorian Olivia Page, Kakapo Crest was the recipient of Australia’s first Female Adventure Filmmakers Grant wholly funded by the Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour.

In addition to being a talented photographer and filmmaker, Page is a committed rock climber who spends all her free time at the crag.  “I started climbing as a gym-rat over a decade ago but quickly moved to real rock, as my love for being in nature took priority over most things in my life” says Page.

Her shared love of climbing and exploring the wilderness inspired her pitch – to take a crew of female climbers to remote Fiordland in New Zealand on an exploratory trip to hopefully set some never before climbed routes.  Success was not guaranteed, in fact it was a remote possibility, but this was to be a journey of pushing boundaries and exploration.  “Our objective is to hike in with all supplies, climbing gear and camera equipment, traversing the many lakes and rivers in the area with the aim of exploring unclimbed mountain peaks and establishing new climbing routes,” explains Page.

Page is not only passionate about climbing she is also a passionate advocate for making women more visible in the climbing and adventure sport scene.  “If I could wish one thing it would be: that I had more female mentors growing up. I wish I’d known that I could have been the hero and not the damsel in distress, that it was okay to get dirty, to fall over and to follow my inner-explorer” says Page.

Having been involved with a team who had a film which toured with a previous Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, Page wanted her next adventure film to feature more women in front of the camera.  “Increasing the visual presence of females in the outdoors increases future female mentors: their encouragement, knowledge and inspiration then fuels the next generation of explorers, thinkers, adventurers and activists. I hope that one day we will speak of first ascents, not of first female ascents, but until then we must create an environment that encourages females to dream bigger and push limits. Basically, I would like to see, and be inspired by, more women kicking butt” shares Page.

After being awarded the Gutsy Girls funded Female Adventure Filmmakers Grant in early 2018, Page then had her work set out for her, raising the remainder of the funds required to make the trip and the film come to life, as well as recruiting and pulling together the team, crafting the story line, mountains of logistics, the uncertainty of the terrain and the weather and then editing the hours of footage to create the final film being shared in the 2020 Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour.  Then just as the film was finished COVID restrictions delayed the premier by months.  Lucky for us, Page has as much stamina as she does passion and talent.

Photo credit

First image: Simon Bischoff

Second image: Shaun Currey

Third & Fourth images: Olivia Page