For the 5th time, trailpeak.com was at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Banff as the book and film finalists are judged. You've been to the world tour screenings in your town, but if you take that energy, and multiply it by 10, that's what it's like to be at the finale weekend -- Nov 6, 7, and 8th this year -- of the festival in Banff where the best films in their categories are crowned. |
If you think what the adventurers on-screen do is tough, (it is), attending the show for 3 solid days with AM and PM and evening screenings, mountain mixers with film makers and athletes, book festival signings, trade show, after parties, panel talks, and just the buzz of crowded hallways full of outdoor enthusiasts -- yes -- you will be taxed to your limits, but, you will be happy. Staying in at the Banff Centre is even better -- the main theatre is just a small walk downhill, and town is an easy walk.
This was a special year, celebrating 40 years of the festival, and, Banff certainly is the epi-centre, where the visual feast includes feature length films, adrenalin snow sport action, BASE jumping, and cultural films that just can't be packed into the world tour. But enough of the pump, what about this year.
Well, there is Alex Honnold (the festival is always big on climbing, and he's one of the biggest free climb rock stars), Chasing Niagara (film), Antarctica: On the Edge (film), Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (film), K2: Touching the sky, Kayaking the Aleutians, The Last Dragons, Mountain BIkers and Bothy Nights, and what looks to be a fascinating film, The Rocky Mountain Traverse (film - sold out!), a world premiere.
I think I listed just a small fraction of this year's finalists, it's always hard deciding what to watch in Banff, and, what's fun is there is a good chance you'll run into the film maker or star (maybe not if it's a Yak or Snow Leopard). If you love the outdoors, what a great way to absorb this energy and re-affirm your own values. Life gets busy, but when you see the world's great rivers, mountains, forests and plains being traversed in different ways, with a mix of culture, and laughter, you just feel great. In the words of the Banff folks themselves, here's a bit more on the festival.
"This year’s Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival showcases nine days of the best in mountain adventure films and books including the World Premiere of The Rockies Traverse, featuring paragliders Will Gadd and Gavin McClurg; the films Meru, A Line Across the Sky and Hadwin’s Judgement; in person appearances by Kit Deslauriers - the first person to ski the Seven Summits; alpinist writers Kelly Cordes and Simone Moro; and Lydia Bradey, the first woman to climb Mt Everest without supplementary oxygen. Climber and filmmaker Cedar Wright will also make his debut as emcee presenting the action-packed adrenaline show Radical Reels."
Everyone loves Radical Reels, that's your mountain bike, BASE jumping, snow extravaganza of extreme. Better hit the after party after that, because you won't be able to sleep.
2015 Banff Mountain Film Festival Finalists.
So here's the trailpeak report (Sunday AM before the final judging)
A Day and a Half at the Banff Film Festival
From the giant inflatable mammoth (Mammut), outdoor selfie photobooth (Helly Hansen), to the happy hour with commemorative beer steins (ACC/Highline Magazine), this year’s Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival truly was a celebration of its #40epicyears.
The BMFF had something for everyone on any budget with free events and learning opportunities such as National Geographic photography workshops, mountain art and craft sales, Google Cardboard virtual reality giveaways, and of course an assortment of outdoor adventure films.
In a day and a half, we were lucky to watch 17 films ranging from 4 to 105 minutes in length. Spoiler alert: they were all fantastic! Here are 5 highlights (Rockies Traverse was sold out!):
This viral video has made its way to the top with almost 2 Million views on YouTube. Nature RX is a spoof of the typical medicinal commercials while promoting going outside. If you love a good laugh, this short film is for you! (it's on youtube).
Kayaking The Aleutians
Two women go on an adventure of a lifetime and paddle over 2,500 kilometers in one of the most remote places on earth. The film not only displays beautiful scenery, wildlife, and moments of utter frustration, Kayaking The Aleutians does a phenomenal job at exposing the harsh reality of the concept “mind over matter”.
Whether you’re a fan of mountain biking or not, this film is a treat for the eyes. This short film (6 min.) follows three skilled mountain bikers at night as they ride down paths that are lit in an array of colors.
Across The Ice
Get your blanket and hot tea ready because this one will give you the chills. Two men go on a mission to cross a 2,300 kilometer Greenland ice sheet in 40 days while attempting to break a new record for the longest distance traveled in a 24-hour period on skis with the help of their kites.
Unbranded was by far the most entertaining film we’ve seen this year at the BFF. This film follows a group of young men and their wild mustangs as they travel over 5,000 kilometers from Mexico to Canada. While there are plenty of laughs, a few tears and mishaps, Unbranded also sheds light on the debate of overpopulation of wild horses.
You can see the trailers for all these, and all the films, by clicking the finalist link above.
Trailpeak Team in Banff