I’m so glad I found the Banff Mountain Film Festival UK, which was held in the beautiful Union Chapel in Islington from 21-24 February 2012 and various other locations around the UK as well. So how come a Canadian festival does screenings in the UK? BMFF has been inspiring adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts since 1975 and for the past few years the World Tour has screened the festival winners in 30 countries across the globe. Nell and Simon, both hailing from Australia, set up the UK tour in 2010 and it has been going strong ever since.
What is unique about Banff UK is that instead of showing individual movies at various times, you book a ticket for a whole evening of films of different lengths, which all won prizes at Banff. I helped out at two of the four nights with signing punters up for the free raffle and giving general information. I really loved ‘Obe and Ashima’, a docu about a 9-year old girl who is one of the new talents of the bouldering scene. Other films were about extreme mountain biking, slacklining across canyons without a net, a gruelling climb to the top of one of Pakistan’s 8000 metre peaks in freezing cold and a tragic but inspiring story of a cayaking trip in the Congo.
Even if you’re not that much into extreme sports, watching people fight so hard for their dreams can be a great motivation for anyone to succeed in their chosen field. For me Banff UK also brought back good memories of my first festival in Vancouver last year, the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival, which was just as much fun. Take a look at each festival website for some video clips that will make your jaw drop. Urban downhill skiing anyone?