It has been a rollercoaster of a ride since the beginning of 2020, but that hasn’t stopped South African trail runners from getting into the outdoors – and filming their trail runs.
You can join the fun in 2022, but in the meanwhile, enjoy watching a variety of films in the Documentary, Event, and Shorts category in 2021’s Trail Film Awards below. And then view the 2018 and 2019 submissions for more stoke.
Winners of the three Saucony Haul Lite Hydration Packs valued at R2,599 each are announced below.
Congrats to you and to all who took the time to create films of great value to the South African trail running fraternity.
2021 Trail Film Awards Winners
Winner: Short Film
Backyard Runners During the COVID19 Pandemic (2:02) by Roughing It With Ruth
Hilarious mockumentary about the Garden Running mania which hit South Africans during hard lockdown.
Winner: Event Film
Ultra Trail Drakensberg 2021 – 100km by Pete Calitz
See parts of Pete’s run at the 2021 Ultra Trail Drakensberg 100km. “Tough, as any trail ultra should be, but so beautiful”, he says.
LOST but FOUND – The Haelkop Traverse (in 4K) by Wouter van den Heever
Witness Wouter’s spectacular technical traverse of Haelkop via Swartboskloof, Sossyskloof Ridge and Stellenbosch mountain with friends Leon Cronje and Jaco van der Westhuizen, with footage from his camera that was lost for two days.
Enjoy our other 2021 Trail Film Awards entries!
Free State Trail Run, South Africa, Episode 1 by Gold Gazer
Explore Imla Guest Farm in the Free State with Geckoleaf Adventures.
Eastern Cape Trail Run, South Africa, Episode 5 by Gold Gazer
Gold Gazer is on a mission to run in every province of South Africa. She’s running a BigO Sports event in the Eastern Cape for her third province, and shares the highs and lows of solo travel and running adventures.
George 6 Peaks FKT 1 May 2021 by Gary Britz
Follow Gary and his merry band of adventurers as they climb six of the peaks around the town of George in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Victoria Piek – Jonkershoek mission by Charl Cronje
A fast-paced, breathtaking run to one of the highest peaks in the Jonkershoek area, unfortunately cut short by an icy wind carrying mist on its back.
Seven-day, 180km Wildcoast Run 2021 by Neal Markham
Nine trail runners enjoy seven days and 180km of unsupported Wild Coast adventures through the northern Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
Fully VK and 10km workout by Mike Nash
Saffa abroad Mike is inspired by Kilian Jornet’s workout of a vertical kilometre followed by a 10km on the flat, as fast as he can go!
Klipspringer Trail Run 2021 by Arno Lourens
See Arno’s non-narrated footage from the Augrabies Klipspringer Trail Run he ran in May 2021. It was a two-day run with around 20km each day.
Trails of Travelling Toes: Zululami Trails by Travelling Toes
Go on a morning adventure with intrepid filmmaker Tarryn Jolly as she races rivals and hangs onto the heels of friend Johan.
How to train your viking (6:40) by Dawn Nunes
Dawn Nunes and Michelle Lipke take their time at the Viking Run in Shongweni, dressing up properly and playing the part.
Sunrise run Stellenbosch mountain (3:05) by Wouter van den Heever
Three friends (and a dog) enjoy banter and Stellenbosch trails on a chilly morning, with an upbeat soundtrack.
Drakensberg Northern Trail 2020 (1:59) by Dawn Nunes
Short film of the 2020 DNT in summer.
Exploring the trails of George (2:43) by Driaan de Clercq
Visual exploration of forests and mountains, with sweeping landscapes and beautiful details.
Oppit with 13 Peaks (4:54) by Grant Carelse
Slideshow of 13 Peaks Challenge scenes, interspersed with clips of the achievement, set to dramatic music.
D’Aria Winery 10km Trail Run – Wine Farm Running (2:02) by Laura Jane Martinus
Short film with running footage and an jazzy soundtrack, showing the fun which can be had at trail events in the time of the pandemic.
Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks Review (3:04) by Laura Jane Martinus
Laura speaks to camera from the trail, explaining the features of the sock, with some running footage. Not a paid sponsorship.
Lion 500 Open Games (11:39) by Dawn Nunes
A documentary of Dawn’s four-month running around South Africa while fundraising for the Inanda Trail Running Club.
Rooiberg and Wolfberg trail – Gary’s Trails (5:45) by Gary Britz
Gary gives a rundown of his favourite Cederberg trails, with friendly voiceover and upbeat soundtrack.
Enter and you could win one of three Saucony Haul Lite Hydration Packs valued at R2,599 each.
- Email your film’s URL on Youtube, Vimeo, or another online platform to us by 30 June 2021. More entry details and rules below.
- NB: One entry per filmmaker per category.
The 2020/2021 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.
Trail Film Awards Categories
- Documentary: Factual insights into a run, runner, club, or aspect of trail running. No time limit.
- Event: Documenting a trail running event. No time limit.
- Short: A film two minutes long, or shorter, on any trail running genre or topic.
- Animation: Create an animated film featuring trail running. No time limit.
- Fiction: Invent and perform a comedy, mystery, drama, or horror. No time limit.
Rules and Dates
- Films produced between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 are eligible.
- Submit one film entry per category.
- You have to be the creator of each film submitted.
- TRAIL reserves the right to classify films into any of the above if necessary.
- TRAIL also reserves the right to declare a category non-competitive should insufficient entries be received for that category.
- 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.
- Final submission date is midday on Wednesday 30 June 2021.
- Winners announced 8am Friday 30 July 2021.
Winners from the 2019 Trail Film Awards
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.
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.
Shorts winner Finding Peace on the Trail (2:10) 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.