A sold out theatre full of people gasped, laughed and exclaimed as the world’s top filmmakers and adventurers dashed across the screen at the Vogue Theatre on January 2.
This was the 26th year that the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has come to Fernie. The adventurous spirit of our mountain town was in line with the bold and courageous explorers featured on screen.
Ten films, out of a total of 94 from the festival, were on display at both an early and a late show.
The night began with a traditional ski film with a twist. Using some advanced camera technology, four of the world’s top freeskiers played around in Chatter Creek, British Columbia in Charge. After that, the pace slowed down a little with a story about a local pastor who runs and uses his time on the trails to work through personal and professional conflicts.
Next up was a crowd favourite, about a lesbian couple who open a pizza place in a deeply conservative town in Colorado. Life of Pie served up hilarity, delicious shots of pizza and a good deal of mountain biking.
The longest film of the night was Spectre Expedition, Mission Antartica in which three explorers use snow kites and skis to travel over 2,000 kilometres in order to summit one of the world’s most remote mountains in Antartica. Adrenaline in the crowd was running high as they watched adventurer Leo Houlding narrowly escape death when his sled fell into a deep and wide crevasse, pulling him back into the depths of snow and ice.
After a brief intermission and some prize give aways, the adventuring continued. With stories about nordic skaters, solo kayakers, and ice climbing in Kentucky, the crowd was certainly kept entertained and on the edge of their seats.
To round the night off, the animated film Hors Piste had spectators hooting with laughter as they watched two very inept search and rescue workers recover an injured skier from the top of a mountain.
With heartwarming stories of personal triumph, action sequences heart-pounding enough to inspire anyone to hit the trails and a good dose of hearty laughter, the film festival was a raging success.