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vimff days in the wild festival grand prize

500 Days in the Wild

Festival Grand Prize
124 mins |
Canada |
  • Adventure
  • Environment
  • Mountain Culture
  • Women
Dianne Whelan
LANGUAGE(S): English


Award-winning director and cinematographer Dianne Whelan is the only person to complete this epic journey of discovery—hiking, biking, paddling, snowshoeing and skiing across the country.

For a woman in her 50s who is not an extreme athlete, it was sometimes gruelling, occasionally harrowing, often exhilarating and always surprising. She started out alone, disillusioned with the state of the world and worried about climate change, to look for different ways of caring for the land and each other. She ended the journey a bit wiser, more hopeful, in love and with a passion to share this story

500 Days in the Wild is a feature documentary that weaves intimate moments of reflection with adventure and stories of the people and communities that she encountered along the way.

Playing at

This film was part of VIMFF 2024 and is no longer available for viewing.

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Jury Quote

Like the landscapes she travels in, Dianne Whelan’s film is vast and ever-changing, yet rooted in community and reconciliation. Despite the grand scale of the journey, Dianne’s successes and challenges are relatable, and inspire the viewer to seek out their own version of such an adventure. The tenacity to complete the full Trans-Canada Trail, and then make a full feature film about the journey, shines through in this documentary.

– Megan Cotterell, VIMFF 2024 Jury

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