Outside Voices

Outside Voices has been on my watch list for a very long time. In fact over a year. I’ve watched it numerous times. It picks me up, stirs my love for the trails and makes me wonder what running in America is like (the only time I’ve been to America was when I was 13 and my parents insisted we spent every waking hour in Disneyland – I wasn’t impressed).

Outside voices documents Jenn Shelton’s summer, around the mountains in the American West. From track sessions to trail runs, crewing aid stations and taking part in an ultra, its every trail runners dream. Throw in the fact Jenn travels solo in her Ford Transit Connect, owning only what can comfortably fit inside, its a inward look at a nomadic life, fuelled by an unrivalled passion for the trails and mountain culture.

Jean’s known for being outspoken and her outside voice is clear for everyone to hear. It’s a refreshing change from the whispers we have been moulded to speak in the backcountry over generations and her energy is infectious.

Shot in black and white, or converted to monochrome in post, it perfectly mirror the action as it unfolds. I’ve somehow come to the conclusion that colour would detract from the surroundings, the moments along the way and ultimately Jenn. Given Jenn’s passion, I feel this format perfectly complements the filmmakers subject, by taking away any distractions. The voice and intricate facial expressions become key to the plot.

Outside Voices for me is one of my favourite trail running films. It does away with the flashy races or highly produced multi crew shorts we are used to seeing, and instead delivers a feature length glimpse into the life on one of the sports most outspoken and potentially misunderstood characters.

I implore you to watch Outside Voices if you have a passion for trail running, journey’s, strong personalities or alternate thinking. I know it’s made me personally re-evaluate what I have come to know as my passion and look deeper into what makes me happy.

If you would like to see Outside Voices, you can see it on the big screens at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival in the Running Sessions between 17th-19th March, or alternatively rent or purchase the film on Vimeo