Films chosen for this year’s Fernie Mountain Film Festival (FMFF) don’t shy away from the big issues and promise to be both thought-provoking, and inspiring.
FMFF returns to the Community Centre from February 22-23 for two nights of film and photography inspired by mountain cultures, the environment and adventure.
Friday’s feature film The Radicals is a documentary that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.
Several other films carry an environmental message, including Fall Adventures by Accelerate Kootenays, a clean transportation initiative, and The Kingdom – A Conservation Story, a short film by Matthew K. Firpo, which looks at climate change through the eyes of a forest caretaker in Bhutan.
FMFF Director Brian Bell said the selection committee strives to pick films that meet FMFF’s mandate to promote filmmakers who raise awareness of mountain cultures, fragile environments, and the passion and perseverance of global explorers.
“Many films are submitted to our selection committee but others we seek out and ask if we can show them,” he said.
“We try to select a range of films – some adrenaline-fueled for sure but also some thoughtful, inspiring, and films that portray true mountain culture.
“We like to highlight many mountain adventure sports as well – there are enough ski videos shown elsewhere.”
Also showing Friday are short films Unreal Speedflying in Europe, Home – Mountains Matter, RJ Ripper, Viacruxis, Refuge in the Rockies, 8000+ and The Shadow Campaign/Snowflake.
Audiences will be familiar with Saturday’s feature film, This Mountain Life.
Fernie woman Martina Halik stars in the documentary, which weaves together stories of people living and playing in the mountains of British Columbia.
Martina and her mom Tania completed a six-month ski traverse along the Coast Mountain Range in 2017, covering 2300 kilometres of treacherous terrain from Squamish to Skagway, Alaska..
Also showing on Saturday are Fall Adventures, Fledglings, The Kingdom – A Conservation Story, Expensive Membership and The A.O. – In the Zone.
There are several other East Kootenay links in this year’s FMFF line up.
Home – Mountains Matter was shot in the Crowsnest Pass and produced by local man Ben Campbell, while Refuge in the Rockies focuses on a refugee resettled in Kimberley, B.C., and his Paralympic dreams.
Local photographers will also shine at this year’s FMFF, which will feature a “story behind the image” segment on both nights.
Students completing the Mountain Adventure Skills Training program provide most of the manpower for FMFF every year and will serve up gourmet tacos for the Mountain Social from 6-7 p.m. both nights before the films start at 7 p.m.
Tickets to FMFF cost $15 per night or $25 for an all access pass, while children 15 and under are free.
They can be purchased at the College of the Rockies Fernie campus, online at Ferniefilmfestival.com or at the door.