Date: 13th November 2015
Photo: © Soren Rickards
The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival had been pencilled into my calendar for the best part of a year. It’s one of the biggest and most anticipated annual events in Banff and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Being a ‘local’ for this year’s event gave me the opportunity to get a little more involved than simply watching films. I signed up as part of the volunteer team for the festival, which was a really worthwhile experience. Volunteering brought a unique perspective; helping visitors, working behind the scenes, meeting festival staff, exhibitors, filmmakers and adventurers; really showed what goes into such a large-scale event.
Then of course there were the films; inspiration for the mind and soul. From a 5 minute short about a Welsh woman who swims naked in mountain lakes to 40 epic minutes of death-defying alpine climbing, this year’s line up included something for everyone.
I’ve previously sat for hours in cinemas, watching drivel that someone spent tens of millions producing, and here I am rejoicing at films that are more engaging, thought-provoking and potentially life-changing, produced by relatively unknown filmmakers, often on shoe-string budgets. I really cannot recommend this festival enough, so isn’t it great that they have a world tour bringing the best films to over 40 countries – make sure you check it out.
Intro video from the 2014/2015 World Tour
The films were the main draw of the festival, but there was a lot more on offer besides, including book signings, talks and debate, art exhibitions, presentations by Google and workshops hosted by National Geographic. Krystle Wright and Cory Richards also led a photo tour along the Bow River, accompanied by photo editors from the National Geographic Your Shot team.
The result of all this? A ton of great ideas, creative inspiration and who knows what next – this is my first post in six months, but hey, it’s a start!