Play Siskel and Ebert in the boating world at the National Paddling Film Festival (NPFF), to be held February 19-20, in Frankfort, Kentucky. In an event guaranteed to get your paddling juices flowing like the venue’s nearby rivers, the annual celebration highlights the year’s best paddling films while raising money for river conservation and access in the popcorn-eating process….

For 34 years NPFF has hosted a competition to determine the best in paddlesport videos and images. The event also supports American Whitewater and river stewardship.

Highlight films this year include Our Local Epic – The Dramatic History of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone, a newly released movie tracing the river's history from the flight of the Nez Perce to the adventures of modern day kayakers, leading to its conservation as Wyoming’s first Wild & Scenic River.

Last year's NPFF still photo winner. (Photo courtesy Samantha Ruppelt/NPFF).

Last year’s NPFF still photo winner. (Photo courtesy Samantha Ruppelt/NPFF).

Featured speakers this year include Lonnie Bedwell, the blind paddler who tackled the Grand Canyon, the Upper Gauley and this past year, the Zambezi; as well as longtime paddling superstars Steve Fisher and Pat Keller. The event will be held at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

"It's an awesome event, for a great cause," says Bluegrass Wildwater Association member Zina Merkin. "It's one of the best paddling get-togethers on the year."


For a taste of what's in store, peruse the below list of last year's winners:

Last year's winners

Best Professional Documentary (tie)
The Coast by Skip Armstrong
The Chelan Gorge – 2014 by Daniel Patrinellis

Best Professional Safety/Instruction (tie)
Top 10 Tips for Canoeing & Kayaking Safely by American Canoe Association
Top 10 Tips for Stand Up Paddleboarding Safely by American Canoe Association

Best Professional General Boating
DamNation by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel

Best Accomplished Documentary
Paddler’s Pilgrimage by James Roberts

Best Accomplished General Boating

Secesh/South Fork Salmon Idaho by Shawn Lono

Best Amateur General Boating
Wildcat Creek by Bradley E. Huie

Best Amateur Documentary
Paillalco: The Story of the Puesco River Valley by Kalob Grady

Best Still Image
Colorado Boof by Samantha Ruppelt

William Nealy Award
Don Spangler

Chili King
Austin Wilson

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