BY KIRSTEN BOLTON
Since 1976, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival has been an international industry leader in showcasing outstanding adventure, exploration and mountain culture speakers, films, books and photographs. Each year, the festival attracts more than 400 entries from around the world.
Following the nine-day fall festival in Banff, its annual World Tour reaches more than 40 countries on seven continents, making it the largest adventure film tour on the planet. Now for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 15, ArtSpring presents a curated line-up of some of the top award-winning films and audience favourites from the 2022/2023 festival — and two of the eight films are stories from Southern Vancouver Island and North Vancouver. The event runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
With stunning cinematography and gripping storytelling, films range from the daring self-exploratory solo journeys of climbers, skiers and adventurers, to communities coming together to protect natural spaces, to films that celebrate — after two years of isolation — we can get out and have some good clean fun in the wild.
Two B.C.-based films to anticipate include Before They Fall, a decades-long battle to protect old-growth forest that escalates when conservation groups, First Nations, scientists and land defenders block a logging company from accessing the last unprotected watershed on southern Vancouver Island.
For some feel-good motivation, there’s North Shore Betty, which is about Betty Birrell who picked up mountain biking at age 45 and continues the sport in the misty forests above North Vancouver, after a career as a mountaineer and professional windsurfer. Three decades later, she’s still hitting the trails and proving you’re never too old!
The Sunday event, which includes an intermission, will be heightened by door prizes, including a three-day trip to Lake Louise and a generous offer from sponsor Mouat’s Home Hardware to all ticket holders. ArtSpring has partnered to support Salt Spring Island’s Search and Rescue, who will be present with information tables and providing tours of its brand new state-of-the-art command vehicle.
ArtSpring’s executive and artistic director Howard Jang had first-hand knowledge of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival from his time working there.
“I knew it offered a phenomenal and lasting experience to audiences, and I couldn’t wait to share that with our community,” said Jang.
Alta – 2022, Switzerland, 5 mins | A team of high-performance riders travels to Alta, Utah for a spring freeskiing session that delivers all styles and conditions of skiing.
REEL ROCK 16: Bridge Boys – 2022, USA, 28 mins | A horizontal big-wall adventure on the longest, most ridiculous crack climb ever attempted.
Continuum – 2021, Canada, 2 mins | Everything is connected. Each ride is an extension of the one before and each re-entry is a transition to the next launch. Each experience builds towards a flow state of endless progression.
Before They Fall – 2021, Canada, 40 mins | See description in story.
A Baffin Vacation – 2022, Canada, 12 mins | Erik Boomer and Sarah McNair-Landry set off on a 45-day expedition through Baffin Island in search of stunning cliffs to climb and unexplored rivers to kayak.
Wood Hood – 2021, USA, 16 mins | DeVaughn (15) from New York City craves a “quiet place” to escape the chaos of his home, the city and kids that steal from him. On a weekend-long group camping trip, we witness the joy and growth that is possible when kids have an opportunity to find that “quiet place.”
Doo Sar – A Karakoram Ski Expedition Film – 2021, Poland, 20 mins | Andrzej Bargiel and Jedrek Baranowski set off to the Karakoram for an adventure full of passion and love that has them freeriding at over 6,000 meters about sea level.
North Shore Betty – 2021, USA & Canada, 12 mins | See description in story.
Tickets are available through ArtSpring here.