2019 Trail Film Awards



This is the second year we’ve hosted the Trail Film Awards because we feel strongly that South African trail runners have remarkable stories to share. Start filming and editing your film in the Documentary, Event, and Shorts category for 2020’s Film Awards. We’ll open entries later this year. If you feel your film needs a different category, tell us.

The 2020/2021 Trail Film Awards are open for submissions.

We hope you enjoy the final entries into the second annual South African Trail Film Awards, in association with sponsors Saucony South Africa, First Ascent, and GoPro.

2019 Trail Film Awards full page advert in magazine issue T32


2019 Trail Film Submissions


Documentary winner The Middle Challenge [Pondoland] (12:52) by The Middle

Two Durbanite friends embark on an adventure along the Wild Coast. To start is easy, but life’s twists and turns shape us.

Our judge said: It was engaging to see life-long friends Travis and Garth take on their personal 100km challenge through beautiful Pondoland, with obstacles lurking around every turn. The Middle’s idea is quite philosophical, but pushing towards the practical. It is a joy to see the pair realise that their challenge would have been impossible without the kindness of friends and strangers along the way. It exemplifies the community spirit, and the togetherness South Africans are capable of. Warning: will cause wanderlust! I also appreciated not having to watch the pair eat breakfast and drive to the destination before the action starts.

Prize: First Ascent R5,000 hamper

MOUNTAIN MEN – CEDERBERG TV EPISODE 1 (4:26) by Christiaan Roux

Mates head to the Cederberg, plan a route, and share the views with us to a mellow soundtrack.

BREAKING THE RECORD_ Teboho Noosi (2:40) by Carl Houston McMillan

High production value documentary of Teboho Noosi, an athlete from Lesotho who dreams of breaking records.

Groendal (10:32) by UltraRunningSA

Exploration of beautiful wilderness area, with forest, mountains, fresh water pools, and a cave.

Explorerman 100 (22:39) by Philip Olckers

A self crafted challenge takes a trio of friends on a long difficult journey. Action footage interspersed with interviews.

Trail Film Awards 2019 banner 728x90 First Ascent Saucony GoPro

Event Films

Events winner WEAK AT THE KNEES (14:04) by Dean Oelschig

Self-deprecating documentary to prove that an average runner can finish Otter African Trail Run if they train hard enough and are tough enough.

Our judge said: It is well shot and edited, structurally sound, and they attempt to deal with some strong topics and motivations. This film and 100 Mile Grind are the only two films in this category that invested time into letting the viewer know more about the characters and the nature of the events.

Prize: Saucony Peregrine ISO x2 pair

Karkloof 100 (7:57) by Maureen van den Bergh

Filmmaker documents her son’s most painful and victorious moments at checkpoints throughout Katkloof 100 miler.

The 2019 Otter African Trail Run (8:32) by Jeff Ayliffe

The elites duke it out for victory at the Grail of Trail with a soundtrack and footage that feels like and action movie.

The 100 Mile Grind (18:58) by UltraRunningSA

Happy memories of Karkloof 100 Miler, and the inevitable pain that comes with that distance.

UTCT 65 2019 (5:02) by Jan-Hendrik de Villiers

A wordless summary of the beautiful experience, complete with statement moustaches and apt music choices.


Film Awards submissions in the two minute range.

Shorts winner Finding Peace on the Trail by Dawn Nunes

A creative portrayal of Durban physiotherapist and runner Dawn Nunes’ injury and recovery, with local band Habit To providing the rousing soundtrack.

Our judge said: The Shorts category was extremely competitive and took hours of thought and debate with other judges to decide on the winner. I felt that Finding Peace distinguished itself by showing more planning and thought with a strong central theme that runners relate to: injury. It also ended strongly with a clear message, that everything we do as trail runners (and really, as people) slots together in the end. I love the heel-click jump of joy at the end and the way it fades to black to indicate closure.

Prize: GoPro HERO8 Black camera

The HIGHS and LOWS of trail running by Roughing It With Ruth

A highly relatable collage of moments Ruth has experienced in her trail running journey in the past year.

Running Table Mountain by Samir Abdul 

Action footage from a solo trail run showing off the beauty of TM on a sunny day.

Salomon_CUT RunCappadocia2019 by Waheeb Slarmie

A wanderlust collage of clips and photos from the CT Rockjumpers crew at Cappadocia Ultra Trail with a piano soundtrack.

Shining a light on trail running by Geoffrey Hunt 

A humorous solution to the bane of South Africans: load shedding!

Running for Beer! by UltraRunningSA

Short, fun, upbeat film of a social run and the resultant celebration.

Trail Film Awards 2019 banner 728x90 First Ascent Saucony GoPro

How to enter

Entries are now closed.

  • Email your film’s URL on Youtube, Vimeo, or another online platform to us by 13 December. More entry details and rules below.
  • NB: One entry per filmmaker per category.

This year, we’re broadening the scope.

The 2019 Trail Film Awards will showcase trail running films produced by anyone, anywhere.

However, only non-professional South African citizens resident in SA are eligible for the sponsor prizes.

International filmmakers and professional filmmakers (local and international) are encouraged to submit their works into the international category, but are only eligible for Honorary Mentions, and not prizes.

For some background, scroll down to explore the 2018 Awards, with Saucony and Hi-Tec as its sponsors.

Rules and Dates


  • Films produced between 1 December 2018 and 13 December 2019 are eligible.
  • Submit one film entry per category.
  • You have to be the creator of each film submitted.
  • Only SA citizens resident in South Africa are eligible for sponsor prizes.
  • Professional SA filmmakers as well as regular international entries are eligible for Honorary Mentions in their respective classes, but only if more than four entries are received per category.
  • The winners will be chosen by a panel of South African trail running film experts.
  • Judge and voting decisions are final.
  • Prizes will be delivered to the winners by the brands in early February 2020.


  • Final submission date is midday, Friday 13 December 2019.
  • Winners announced Friday 7 February 2020.

Prizes for 2019

Winners from 2018

Chasing the Prodigal (6 min) by Lost in South Africa

Robertson Run (1:59) by Juan Scholtz

A truly South African affair

We are fans of the Trails in Motion Film Festival (which mostly screens international films) and the Cape Union Mart Adventure Film Challenge during the Banff Film Festival. The SA Trail Film Awards are in no way a replication of their good work, as the focus is quite different.

There are currently no other official Awards for South African trail running films that we know of, and our goal is to develop a vehicle to do that.

We think this kind of exposure for South African filmmakers should be encouraged and developed because this will boost creativity and pride in South Africa’s vibrant trail running scene.

We value feedback from fellow creatives who want to make a meaningful difference to the future of South Africa.

Stay in the loop with new film awards submissions by following TRAIL on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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