A hard frost has set in across the hills, mist rolls through the glens, the fire rages beside me, and from the far north I hear stories of knee-deep snow. Winter has arrived, and now across Scotland farmers, adventurers, ecologists and thousands of others wait in anticipation, anxious to see what this new season brings. At Scotica we’ve already had our fair share of winter in Iceland and Norway, but are looking forward to what is sure to be an eventful few months spent closer to home.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before teasing what’s in the pipeline, here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to since the last update.
‘Hardangerfolk’ receives premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival and more
Scotica’s latest documentary ‘Hardangerfolk’, the story of an international expeditionary team attempting to recreate one of history’s most astounding adventure tales, crossing the Hardangervidda in winter, saw its international premiere at the UK’s Kendal Mountain Festival on November 18th. Director Gregor D Sinclair and producer Matthew Smith answered questions at the sold-out screening about the expedition, the original heroes, and what it feels like to ski in the footsteps of legends.
Outside of the festival, director Gregor appeared on BBC Scotland to discuss the making of the film (head over to our social pages to watch the full interview), following coverage in MSN and the Metro, Mirror and Scotsman newspapers. The film is scheduled to show at a number of other festivals across Europe and North and South America over the coming months, so keep an eye out for announcements coming soon!
A whisky with a Glacial Edge
Scotica’s series of commercials for Talisker whisky went live last month, and you can watch one of them right here! Producing this piece for Talisker and Parley saw Scotica head back into the mountains and glaciers to do what we do best: working in challenging conditions with a special product and a very special story to tell.
Grassroots environmental stories from across the UK
The last couple of months saw the release of two new films for our friends at Forest Carbon, telling the stories of small communities from across the country taking environmental restoration into their own hands for the benefit of people and the planet. Two more films have now been completed and we look forward to sharing them in the coming months. Watch the first of these films, ‘There Will be Leaves on the Mountain Again’, below.
In 2017, a farming community in the Black Mountains of South Wales, fed up of the rhetoric of the media and politicians around tree-planting, took it upon themselves to rewild the high commons of Bryn Arw. Keith Powell, a seventh-generation Black Mountain sheep farmer and passionate environmentalist, led this project to breathe new life into the mountain gathered publicity and momentum, inspiring a whole community of seed sewers, sapling planters, bracken beaters and of course livestock farmers.
To Rjukan and back again
Last month also saw the Scotica team head out to the Norwegian town of Rjukan, nestled at the foot of the Hardangervidda and buried within one of the darkest valleys in Europe, once again. This time, the team donned crampons, helmets and axes and took to the frozen falls of Gaustatoppen for some chilly ice-climbing action – keep an eye on our feeds as we will be releasing more information about this project when we can!