Students watched in awe of a video clip showing the story of how five amputees climbed to the top of a 13,776-foot mountain. One member of the group, Vasu Sojitra, became the first person to ever summit the mountain on crutches.
This film was just one of the ten short films that were played last Saturday evening in Kemper Auditorium at the Explorer’s Club Adventure Film Festival. These ten films, ranging from three to 20 minutes each, were hand-selected by the Explorer’s Club, according to their poster, to “awe, stun, scare, and inspire their audience.”
Reed Findlay ’18, head of the Explorer’s Club, said in an interview with The Phillipian, “I resurrected the club. My older brother started the club last year, and I picked it up out of the cracks this year because I really wanted to introduce to campus this idea of getting kids outdoors and active.”
Findlay believes that students at Andover need to be educated in ways not typically offered in classroom environments or on sports teams.
“Here at Andover, everyone’s a great student, and some people are great athletes, but you don’t see that kind of outdoor activity as much. So I wanted to bring to campus a club that could bring people together and do a passion that is not here on campus that much,” said Findlay.
In order to make his goal a reality, Findlay applied for and received an Abbot Grant for Explorer’s Club activities.
“[The Abbot Grant] was for 1,450 dollars… We used a big chunk, 1,400 dollars, on renting films. The films are so expensive because that type of personal, inspiring adventure, they don’t just release it publicly. So 1,400 dollars went to renting the films… And 50 dollars just went towards marketing,” said Findlay.
Audience members were inspired by the personal stories and journeys portrayed in the films.
Isabelle Mead ’18 said, “It was really fascinating and enlightening to see all of the unique stories from all sorts of different people from multiple backgrounds and histories.”
Romulus Sottile ’19 said, “I had a lot of fun [at the film festival]. I’d say it really inspired me, because of the adventure, and what I really enjoyed the most were the personal stories and journeys that were displayed by the films. I found myself relating to a lot of them… I would definitely recommend that anyone attend future Explorer’s Club events.”
Findlay said, “In the future we really plan to do more student-inclusive trips, and also bring to campus more activities like this… I just hope, going forward, to provide an outlet for students to come together to go on trips off campus or participate in activities on campus, and learn in a different way than we do here at Andover.”