The Banff Mountain Film Festival

Brighton Dome, Friday 15 April


There was excitement in the air at this year’s film festival, as we settled in the plush interior of the Brighton Dome. I was part of an incredibly enthusiastic crowd who, it seemed, returned every year for this thought-provoking program of films. The list of films shown were as follows:


A line across the sky



Home Free

Pretty Faces




The place was packed and with good reason, as well as expectation of an enthralling showcase of films from around the world there were prizes to be won and it all began with a genial welcome from the host from Banff who gave an introduction to each film.


In past years I’ve found that these films can’t help but encourage your spirit of adventure; they urged me on to experience the world, leave behind the iPad and camera phones, virtual worlds and the daily drudge.  There are not many things that can do that for me, in each landscape whether it was the Canadian Rockies, Alaska or Patagonia, the people in each and every film demonstrated courage, vast skill and perseverance. It’s more than admirable – the films were a jaw-dropping viewing at times.


The best films helped us judge decisions based on the risk and life choices that our adventurers were making. For example in A line across the sky in climbing a range of mountains in Patagonia, Tommy was putting his life at very real risk, despite his obvious world class training and experience it was the unquantifiable risk he faced and the resulting affect this would have on his child and partner that were a significant burden for him. It was a real-life adventure that is directed well and left me thinking where my backpack was.


I was glad the lights were dimmed for the eight minute film Denali. The opening of the film of a serene beach, brightly lit, and the film was the interweaving parallel narrative which placed the puppy growing alongside his owner, the ups and downs of life and the inevitable ending which you really don’t want to call. There were tears on my part. Hollywood rarely manages to so carefully and purposefully a relationship and adventure framed around companionship. It was superb. I wish there was an easier way for the general public to access these films.


Another brilliant line up and I will be back for the early Autumn showing of ocean-themed films.

The Verse Staff

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