Banff Mountain Film Festival 2011, Sneak Peak & Review

20 Jan

Mix visually ethereal mind blowing-ness, with humour, a dash of shiver up the spine, and lump-in-the throat inspiration and you get the Banff Mountain Film Festival. It is a beautiful rendition of the human spirit to explore. To defy limits. Some imagery, of climbers suspended over vast chasms, free of harness, had my entire body tense and palms damp with sweat! We’re not talking Die Hard 3 here. These are depictions of real people, some who are doing real crazy things.

This year was the first time I’ve attended the Film Festival. It was hosted by Sojourn’s, an outdoor adventure store in Barrie, where my wife and I bought a few of our travel items for our trip to Ecuador. Aired on the big screen at the Orillia Opera House, it was a sold out crowd.

Small town Orillia aside, The Banff Mountain Film Festival 2011 is touring over 700 locations across the globe. It features independent films surrounding the great outdoors – and the extraordinary individuals who continually push their human limitations to conquer it’s elements.

The showing runs approximately 3 hours in length (with an intermission), and shows a number of films from a diverse selection of outdoor adventurers. Each film has a unique approach to story. Some are filmed in absolutely stunning HD, slow motion tastiness. And some with a bare-bones video set-up, showing incredibly tense, raw subject matter.

I couldn’t help but think, while watching a young man climb to 8,000 meters (One of the three first to ever return both alive, and victors of this expedition), how all of the things discovered in this world were done by people who simply had to see what was beyond. What was possible. I’m not sure anyone could explain in words why. But even if we’re not the ones doing these things, we are all inspired to see others doing so. As though we’re saying “Yes! Hah! One of us has defied the fear of falling!” Of course it’s crazy. But it’s human. It’s wonderful.

There might still be a chance for you to attend the festival. And I have included a link to the (Canadian) schedule for upcoming shows. This is well worth your $20, and well worth driving (or snowshoeing? Skiing?) to see.

If/when you have seen the festival, I’d love to hear your feedback. Post your thoughts in the comments section below!

This tasty trailer should be enough to get you to the tickets page. And if not, at least get you outside a little more this winter.

Thanks for reading!

Finally, if this video leaves you hungry for more, you can always check out the archives from previous entries to the festival. All kinds of wonderful cinematography and photography on the archives section of the Banff Mountain Film Festival website.

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