Free youth programmes new feature of Mountain Film Festival

A new line-up of free youth programmes will feature at this year's New Zealand Mountain Film Festival in Queenstown and Wanaka.

The charitable trust which runs the annual festival was focused on encouraging people, especially young people, to enjoy safe outdoor adventures, festival director Mark Sedon said.

''Offering youth an insight into the possibilities of adventure lies at the heart of the festival's mandate. The youth programme ensures that the festival is accessible and affordable for everyone ... and that we ... inspire the next generation of Kiwi adventurers.''

In Wanaka, under-18-year-olds can take part in a free photography competition, a free two-and-a-half-hour show on Monday, July 7, featuring a talk and films, and a scholarship programme - open to Otago high school pupils - for the two-day Adventure Film School.

The same show will feature on Friday, July 11, in Queenstown.

Mr Sedon is seeking donations of items for the festival auction, which raises money for a grant scheme. The grants will help fund youth in film-making courses and adventure skills training, local environmental projects and sporting equipment for people with disabilities.