Hilly Skiing is one of eight films to be offered during Rangeley’s 6th annual Maine Outdoor Film Festival, online, beginning September 4-6. Registration details at rangeleytrailtown.com Submitted photo


RANGELEY — Celebrate Rangeley’s great outdoors at the virtual 2020 Maine Outdoor Film Festival from September 4 through the 6. Suggested donation is $10 to $15 per household, part of which will support the 2021 Rangeley Trail Town Festival. Out of concern for everyone’s health, the Rangeley Trail Town Festival Committee has cancelled this year’s festival.

To view the films, please pre-register and pay at the Eventbrite link on this website: http://rangeleytrailtown.com. Eventbrite will send you an email with a viewing link and additional details at 6:00 p.m. on September 4. The link will be active from 7:00 p.m. on September 4 until noon on September 6th.

Through this year’s eight films, viewers will travel from England and Scotland across the ocean to Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, and then on to Utah and Montana.

Myrtle Simpson: A Life on Ice (34 min.) introduces Scottish trailblazer, pioneer, adventurer, mountain climber, polar explorer, writer, and mother, who was the first woman to cross the polar ice cap covering Greenland. From Spitzbergen to Greenland, from the North Pole to the Highlands of Scotland, from New Zealand to Peru, Myrtle has blazed her own, unique trail. She has written 13 books, collected specimens for museum botanical collections, and taken her four children along on her journeys. At 89, she competes in downhill ski races, hikes, bikes and swims and believes that more adventures await.

In Hilly Skiing (10 min.), two United Kingdom filmmakers follow the story of one remarkable Scottish skier – Helen ‘Hilly’ Rennie – who skied at least once a month for 120 months. The film reflects on life’s challenges, climate change, and her love of skiing in Scotland.


Charlie Leeds, a bouncer on the streets of Leeds, England, has become a legend in the United Kingdom’s outdoor world. The White Fox (7:29 min.) visits Charlie in his natural habitats and reveals how mountains have inspired him and shaped his life.

Filmed in Muscongus Bay by Sam Davies of Vermont, Taking Care: Episode One (5:45 min.) features John Connelly, a volunteer for the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA). Though little known, the Island Trail is also one of the most unique—America’s first recreational water trail. Stretching for 375 miles and connecting over 200 island and mainland campsites along the Maine coastline, the trail also symbolizes MITA’s commitment to coastal access and environmental stewardship.

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Lahout’s Ski Shop has remained open 365 days a year since 1920. While technology and conglomerates have stripped the country of local, independent retailers, this family of Lebanese immigrants has prevailed. Now, the patriarch of the family, Joe Lahout, Sr., is struggling with his health, and his grandson Anthony has returned home to help. As Anthony explores his grandfather’s lineage, he begins to ask questions about the true source of the store’s long success. North Country (20 min.) shares Anthony’s discoveries.

Created by Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Max Armstrong, One Wing in the Fire (13:40 min.) offers a portrait of Rob Bird, a benevolent, chain-smoking Trail Angel in Massachusetts who drives his white van, handing out candy and so much more to the hikers who have come to treasure him.

In Through the Breaks (9 min.), Jason Cajune, a boatbuilder from the mountains of Montana, takes his family on a river trip through the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument on their way to American Prairie Reserve. As they paddle, they fall in love with the prairie ecosystem and reflect on the immense history of the land.

What is lost when landscapes change? Focused on the ongoing conflict over the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, Desert Mourning (16:48 min.) investigates how individuals from neighboring communities grapple with boundaries and communities in flux. The film explores how the Monument’s 2017 reduction has affected the lives of three people: Harlan Featherhat, a Paiute man who helped determine the Monument’s original boundaries in 1996; Lonnie Pollock, a Mormon rancher and retired schoolteacher; and Megan Smith, a former backcountry ranger at the Monument. Desert Mourning also draws on generations of stories from the Southern Utah Oral History Project.

For more details on these films, visit the Rangeley Trail Town website listed above.

The Trail Town Committee hopes to be able to welcome everyone to next year’s Festival with many outdoor games and activities, including Gifford’s Ice Cream Eating Contest, as well as arts and crafts, exhibits, trail maps, a raffle, music, and more.

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