Last week I had my first experience attending the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. A showing of the Red Films programme happened to coincide with my first week in a new job, and it seemed like a good idea to book something fun to do to help me switch off from all the new (which I have discovered is really rather exhausting!). The tour has come to the UK for nine years, and this time around showcases 16 films from the full event.
I didn’t really know what to expect other than great adventure stories told with the help of some great footage. Each of the seven films included in the Red Films programme was different, incorporating different sports, different techniques, different styles. There was everything from vlog style handy cam footage to stuff that clearly had big budgets and large crews. But I have to say the stand out thing for me about the evening was the quality of the story telling. Without it people would have been shuffling in their seats willing the interval to come along, but with it we had our eyes glued on the screen and collectively oohed and aahed, groaned and laughed at appropriate moments.
During the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite film to win the People’s Choice Award. With that in mind I thought I’d give you an idea of what I thought of each film in the order that I watched them…
Imagination: Tom Wallisch
The concept here was brilliant, and drew me in. I was that kid sat in the back of the car, looking out of the window, using my imagination as we drove through town and country to visit family or go on holiday. Actually forget “was”… Iam that kid in the car. (But I also wish I was that skier!)
Keep doing what you love, every day if you can, because that is where life’s riches come from. This film really touched me, I admit I needed a tissue towards the end. Stuff like this should be on the National Curriculum, truly inspiring and motivating. I hope I can live up to Yvonne Dowlen’s legacy when I’m 90.
Intersection: Micayla Gatto
Like to spend time doing more than one thing? Art and Sport? Yes! Okay so I’m not very good at either, but I like both and hate the idea of choosing. I very much enjoyed the intertwining of the two seemingly separate hobbies in this short film. I really should get those paints out again.
Into Twin Galaxies
The feature film for the red programme featured a trio of adventurers heading out onto the Ice Cap in Greenland, something that has been on my bucket list since I was a child. I mean, I have no intention of carrying my kayak or kite skiing my way across likes these intrepid explorers, but I was totally drawn in to this story. The cinematography is simply stunning, it totally helped me dream about being there even more than I do already; I guess this is what happens when three incredibly talented adventuring film makers come together.
Planet Earth II: Mountain Ibex
A short featuring Mountain Ibex from the BBC’s Planet Earth II programme was included in our version of the red programme, a slight change from the films mentioned in the magazine. Fellow GetOutside Champion Emma Brennand directed this part of the documentary, and it was so good to see it again. Even having seen it before, my heart was still in my mouth!
The Frozen Road
I’ve been following Ben’s adventure on social media and enjoyed seeing this part of his story in film. The scene with Ben laying in his tent, shivering, eyes wide, staring at the camera with wolves howling in the background did make me shudder. And maybe chuckle just a little bit. I know, I’m sorry. Oh, and I loved the ice beard.
I’m no climber. I’ve no idea how hard a 5.12 route is. But the sheer determination depicted in his documentary style film was utterly amazing. The slightly comical storytelling, and all the cake, made it an easy watch that I could have quite happily sat through for another 25 minutes. Maureen Beck you are awesome. But of course it wasn’t inspiring, oh no, I’m definitely not inspired by it, not one bit…
And my People’s Choice Award? From the Red Films programme, Stumped gets my vote. For the simple reason that the film had everything I wanted; great story telling, awesome footage, real life, and a little bit of comedy.
In all the seven films lasted 2.5 hours in total (plus a prize draw – well done Katy), so it’s a decent length evening out for the £14 ticket price (plus booking fee, of course, I still don’t know why theatres do that, just make admin part of the ticket!).
The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour continues to run in theatres all over the UK until mid-May. If you like film, stories and/or adventure, you’d do well to get yourself to a showing near you. I am now super excited to see the Blue Films programme next month!