Much to the excitement of mountain film lovers across the world, the annual Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival will take place at the Banff Centre from October 30 to November 7 2010.
The first weekend October 30 and 31 will see the feature length film screenings in the Eric Harvie Theatre at 12 noon, 3.30pm and 7.30pm each day, with all tickets costing $9. These feature length movies are typically of a very high quality and often produce some award winners.
One of the highlights of the first weekend is the showing of A Life Ascending which follows the life of Ruedi Beglinger, a mountain guide and founder/owner of Selkirk Mountain Experience, which operates lodges in the backcountry ski mecca of the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. Preceded by Expedition Grizzly which features the grizzly bear population in Yellowstone, and a 6 minute short film Morocco, Saturday’s noon show is not to be missed.
Of interest in Saturday’s 3.30pm screening is the film Mi Chacra which follows a year in the life of a porter on the Inca Trail in Peru. The Inca Trail is a multi day hike/backpack from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, which, like our own Mountain Parks, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the landscape shots promise to be very impressive.
Also of particular local interest is the 7.30pm screening on Saturday when La Vie de Guy Lacelle will honour the life of world famous ice climber Guy Lacelle, a friend to many in the Banff/Canmore area, who was killed by an avalanche while climbing in 2009, followed by Nanga Parbat about the fateful climb of the Messner brothers in 1970.
Sunday starts strong with the main film in the noon screening being Rosso 70 Storie E Memorie De 70 Anni Di Alpinismo, an Italian film featuring the 70 year history of the Dolomites based Cortina d’Ampezzo Climbing Club, Scoiattoli de Cortina. Fans of mountaineering literature will have seen this club mentioned and revered in Harrer’s classic White Spider.
Monday November 1 there is a free screening of five Canadian shorts produced by young filmmakers in conjunction with Parks Canada, followed by America’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail.
7.30pm Max Bell Auditorium, FREE.
Tuesday November 2 is the ever popular high-octane Radical Reels, showing the fastest and gnarliest of mountain sports at 7.30pm in the Eric Harvie Theatre, $20.
On Wednesday November 3 the Snow Show will feature adrenalin and powder filled movies to get you pumped for the upcoming ski and snowboard season. Rev: A Buried Treasure has a local flavour, being a documentary style film about the town of Revelstoke, BC. Located close to Roger’s Pass, Revelstoke has always been a backcoutry skiers dream town and now with a new world class ski resort on their doorstep, Revelstoke is getting more attention than ever before. It will be interesting to see how the filmmakers depict this once sleepy mountain town. Eric Harvie Theatre 7.30pm, $20.
Thursday November 4 the Banff Mountain Book Festival starts, featuring various speakers at individual events at 10am, 12.30pm, and 2.00pm, each costing $13, with the evening show featuring John Vaillant, Sasha Snow and Jonathan Waterman at 7.30pm in the Eric Harvie Theatre, costing $25.
In recent years as a book festival attendee you had to commit to the full day’s events, so it’s nice to have the flexibility to pick and choose presentations this year, especially if you live locally and you are working the same day! Hopefully this flexibility will result in greater attendance.
Our vote for Thursday goes to the 10am slot when Alastair Lee will be presenting English mountain scenery at its best in his new photography book Lake District: Mountain Landscape, and Andrew Skurka will be making a presentation about his solo 4700 mile 6 month Alaska-Yukon Expedition.
Friday November 5 is day 2 of the Book Festival featuring various speakers at individual events at 10am, 12.30pm, and 2.00pm, each costing $13.
Of particular interest is the Interview with Greg Child, whose tales of climbing and mountaineering are sure to entertain.
Friday evening (Nov 5) sees the start of the main weekend of the Film Festival with Greg Mortenson speaking to a sell-out audience in the Eric Harvie Theatre at 8.00pm, with a simulcast in the Margaret Greenham Theatre which is also sold out.
Greg Mortenson is responsible for bringing education to children in some of the most sensitive areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he shared those stories with the world in his popular books Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools and will be interviewed on stage by Losang Rabgey.
Following the interview, the films The Longest Way and The Asgard Project will be shown in the Eric Harvie Theatre, while viewers in the Margaret Greenham Theatre will see AZADI: Freedom, Sea to Peak and Song of the Forest.
Also on Friday evening the Baffin Babes will be speaking about their 1200km 80 day ski expedition across Baffin Island, followed by festival films. 8pm, Max Bell Auditorium, $32.
As usual Saturday and Sunday (Nov 6&7) will each host full day screenings of Film Festival films in various venues, with viewers being able to choose between Program A and Program B with each day costing $45.
The lucky viewers who are attending both Programs will have 21 fantastic films to enjoy over the 2 day period. From Program A we particularly like the sound of Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom about one of the Rockies’ toughest and most mysterious inhabitants, Scottish Ice Trip: Looking for Nessie in which Ueli Steck, who impressed us with his presentation in last year’s Banff Mountain Festival, flashes the hardest climb on Ben Nevis, and Mountains: Life in Thin Air in which the BBC show how millions of people across the world cope with life in the mountain environment.
Program B has its own share of highlights with Last Paradise taking a historical look at extreme sport in New Zealand, A Cry from the Top of the World documenting the 2008 disaster on K2 which was fervently discussed in a riveting noon-hour seminar during the 2008 Festival, and Le Monde de Gaston Rébuffat about the well known French mountain guide and poet and the first man to climb all 6 of the great north faces of the Alps.
Saturday evening November 6 sees accomplished free climber Alex Honnold in conversation with Peter Croft and Timmy O’Neill followed by films in competition. Eric Harvie and Margaret Greenham Theatres, $32.
On Sunday evening November 7, the Best of the Festival will show the presentation of awards to the winning film makers and Peter Fuhrmann will be presented with the 2010 Summit of Excellence Award. Screenings of a selection of award winning films will follow. Eric Harvie Theatre, $25.
For further information about the 2010 Banff Mountain Festival and for the full event schedule visit the Official Festival Website.
For special Film Festival rates at Banff hotels, click here.
To see a list of the award winning films from the 2010 Banff Mountain Festival, click here.
If you are planning to go skiing or snowboarding while you are in Banff, be sure to check out the latest Banff ski deals.