Gutsy girls

A scene from one of the films.

AN Aussie woman determined to be the first female to walk the length of the Earth is one of the “gutsy girls” featured in a new film festival coming to Perth.

The Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour has eight inspiring shorts from across the globe, including women longboarding in the French Alps, the uniquely French-Canadian sport of ice canoeing, and Sri Lanka’s first competitive female surfer.

Walk the Earth follows Lucy Barnard’s attempt to walk 30,000km from the southernmost point of South America to the highest point of Alaska, which will take her five years.

No woman has ever done the walk and it’s been 35 years since the last man completed it.

Three men have walked from Argentina to Alaska and about 10 have walked variations, but only one has finished at the remote polar region attempted by Barnard.

Three years on from making the doco, Barnard had walked the length of Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, but sadly had to return home in April last year because of covid restrictions.

She has vowed to still complete her journey and make history.

Another intrepid Aussie featured in the festival is adventurer Milly Young, who runs the full length of the Port Davey and south coast tracks in remote southwest Tasmania.

Muddiest Known Time documents her gruelling 160km run with 7000m of elevation, endless mud, obstacles, sleep deprivation and awful weather, pushing Young to her physical and mental limits. 

The brave adventurer draws on her connection with the beautiful surroundings to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Another inspiring film is We are Like Waves, which sees 18-year-old Sanu defy social and cultural expectations to become Sri Lanka’s first female competitive surfer.

Along the south coast of Sri Lanka, surfing is everywhere, yet only foreigners and local men are catching waves. Surfing is not seen as a sport for girls.

Young girls are expected to follow certain standards: be kind, look nice and smile. Attend school, get married and start a family. 

Be a housewife, cook and clean. Most importantly, stay at home and put family first. 

But when Sanu turned 18, she began working in the kitchen at a surf camp alongside her brother, a surf instructor, and her life changed forever. 

Festival founder Jemima Robinson says the films are about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. 

“They are simply ordinary people with a passion to do something extraordinary,” she says. 

“Each had an idea pop into their heads and the thing that is common amongst them all is that they decided to follow up on that idea and make it a reality. 

“That is the message we hope all who attend walk away with after attending a Gutsy Girls screening, that they too can have their own adventures, they just need to decide to go for it!”

The Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour is showing at the Perth State Theatre Centre on Saturday August 21

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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