Reel Wild and RunFest are bringing to Wellington some of the best trail running films out there, both international and NZ-made.

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

The Barkley Marathons

Directed by Annika Iltis & Timothy Kane

USA / 2015

Created as a mockery of a historic prison escape, in 25 years, only 10 people have finished The Barkley Marathons. Every year 40 runners come from around the world to a small town in Tennessee to test their limits at a cult­like, quirky, and virtually impossible trail race.

Through the competitors’ spectacular failures and unprecedented successes, this film contemplates the value of pain in a society that favors comfort.

Lazarus Lake (57), the co­founder of The Barkley has been running ultramarathons since the early 1970’s with his cigarette­-laden southern drawl and sardonic wit. As the mastermind of this race, his mission is to keep The Barkley at the absolute limit of human potential. For Laz, there is no point in presenting a challenge that does not include the possibility of failure.

Brett Maune (33), a physicist and past finisher, has his sights set on making history by beating the course’s speed record and becoming the first ever two­-time finisher. However, the arrival of unseasonably hot weather and Barkley “Virgin” Jared Campbell (32), an engineer and top ultrarunner, may ruin his plans.

An unknown average runner and glaciologist who winters in Antarctica, John Fegyveresi (35) wants to outrun his past. After a harrowing string of tragedies, he upended his former mundane life and has spent the last 5 years trying to push himself and live life to its fullest.

With a secret application process, unknown start time, and a course that changes every year, Laz places hurdles to challenge these non­traditional athletes mentally as well as physically. The Barkley consists of 5 loops. To finish, runners must traverse 130 miles, 120,000 feet of elevation change, all within 60 hours. With only a map and compass on the unmarked and un­aided course, runners navigate their way through treacherous terrain to find hidden books as proof of following the route.                                    


Co­Creator of The Barkley Marathons: Lazarus Lake
Editor: Mariana Blanco
Composer: Tyler Gibbons

Just Keep Running

Just Keep Running

Directed by Aaron Smart

New Zealand / 2014 / 10 mins

New Zealander Ruby Muir is one of the world’s most promising young trail-runners and a fearless, force of nature across broken terrain. In “Just Keep Running” Ruby shares her journey of love and loss and the inner struggles between the hippy ideals of her upbringing and how that conflicts with the competitive nature of elite sport.


Producer: Smart As Productions
Herself: Ruby Muir

In The High Country

Directed by Joel Wolpert

USA / 2014

In the High Country is an impressionistic mountain running film: a visual essay about a life in the mountains. It looks at running from a new perspective, both visually and in the style of running. This kind of movement blurs the lines between running and climbing, between human and mountain.

One way to learn our place in the world is through millions of accumulated steps: on gravel roads, glacial creeks, and over high mountain summits. Each stride imprints the terrain more deeply in the mind. The importance of any specific event falls away in the face of an ever-building accumulation of understanding.

In the High Country is the result of a year-long collaboration between filmmaker Joel Wolpert and mountain-runner Anton Krupicka. The film follows Krupicka’s evolution in running from his roots in Niobrara, Nebraska, to the Roost, his pickup truck home, and the miles in between; from itinerant shenanigans to speed soloing on the Flatirons.


Himself: Anton Krupicka, Ronnie Krupicka
Writer: Joel Wolpert, Anton Krupicka
Cinematography: Joel Wolpert
Producer: The Wolpertinger
Original Scores: Cusique, Peter Adams
Additional Music: Rim Of The Well, Log Across The Washer, Mason Jennings, Cusique
Motion Graphics: Coat of Arms
Lead Motion Designer: Ryan Butterworth

Kiwi Tracks

Kiwi Tracks

Directed by Joel Wolpert (A Schlarb-Wolf Production)

USA / 2015 / 28 mins

Jason Schlarb and Jeremy Wolf are well known names on the Ultra trail scene in the US and Europe (and Schlarb has run our very own Tarawera 100 in 2013). The duo’s latest adventure sees them undertake an epic roadie searching the South Island for some fine Kiwi trails.

The bromance sees them meeting up with some of the Kiwi greats – Anna Frost, Vajin Armstrong and Grant Guise along the way all acting as guides to some of the most beautiful trails in Aotearoa. Captured by the keen eye of director Joel Wolpert (In the High Country, Depressions) Kiwi Tracks is one not to be missed.

The African Attachment

The African Attachment

The African Attachment was established in 2006 by Producer, Greg Fell and Director, Dean Leslie. It was formed with the goal of creating independent films with a distinctive brand of visual storytelling.

Based in Cape Town, “TAA” offers a full production and post-production service solution to Producers and Clients both locally and abroad.

The African Attachment has been instrumental in the growth and production of global outdoor brand Salomon Sports’ Documentary Series, Salomon Running TV. Since launching this series in 2011, TAA has produced over 20 documentaries for Salomon and they are currently in post-production on Season 4 and moving into pre-production on Season 05.

To date, TAA have produced and filmed content on all 7 continents, have over 3 million hits across their online portfolio and have had their work feature at a host of local and international film festivals.

This young independent film company is continuously growing and pushing boundaries and is at the forefront of a new wave of commercial independent filmmaking.

We will be showing two incredible short films by The African Attachment, to be announced soon.

About Reel Wild

About Reel Wild

Reel Wild is a Mediocre Astronauts Production, co-organised by Steven Blackburn and Vera Alves, two avid trail runners who came together over some craft beers one evening and had an epiphany: to create an event that they would like to go to that captures the spirit of the post long run drinks. 

And so Reel Wild, New Zealand’s first film festival solely dedicated to trail running, was born. 

The idea is to create the laid back atmosphere of the post-run catch up with friends: get together with like-minded individuals, watch some amazing trail running films, drink some mighty fine beer, eat something delicious, and share the love for the sport in a relaxed manner. 

The festival had its first edition in Auckland in April 2015 and is now going on the road. RunFest in Wellington is the first stop of the Reel Wild Tour in 2016, with a fresh new concept: Reel Wild Nights – a shorter version of the full weekend festival, with all the goodness concentrated in one evening of amazingly inspiring trail running films shared with good mates over a beer or three. 

For more information and to find out about upcoming Reel Wild events, visit