The Banff Mountain Film Festival has grown and grown since its inception in 1976 – and is one of the iconic series of events that the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are bringing to the UK across 2020.
The tour this year features two different collections of extraordinary films from the world’s best adventure film-makers, with super-human challenges, soulful journeys and spectacular cinematography from the wildest corners of the planet.
The tour’s films are chosen from hundreds of entries into the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is held every November in the Canadian Rockies. The UK and Ireland tour started in Pitlochry, Scotland, on Saturday 18 January, and finishes in Norwich on Tuesday 26 May, visiting 60 locations along the way.
The eagerly anticipated annual event touches down in the North of England on 6/7 February at Leeds Town Hall, before heading to Hebden Bridge Picture Houseon 12 Feb, Keswick Theatre by the Lake on 13/15 Feb, York Barbican on 21 Apr, then back to Hebden Bridge Picture House on 22 Apr. Whitley Bay 23/24 Apr, Yarm 25 April and then finally to Harrogate on 30 Apr.
Banff UK and Ireland tour director Nell Teasdale promises: “As well as exhilarating stories starring intrepid characters and pioneering journeys, an evening at Banff is a celebration of the great outdoors, with a vibrant atmosphere and a real sense of community. And we guarantee audiences will leave inspired to have an adventure of their own!”
THE RED PROGRAMME
Question: what do you get when you drop four top freeskiers and a world champion drone pilot at Chatter Creek, British Columbia, for a week and instruct them to charge as hard as they can, every day? Answer: unique footage of next level skiing from a world-class skiing area, with trees, chutes, steeps, flips and unlimited powder…
What drives us to step beyond the bounds of what we know, even when the stakes are so high they are possibly fatal? French Skydiver Remi Angeli faces his fears to explore new expressions of movement while BASE jumping in Mexico. On the other side of his fear he discovers life in its purest form.
Oxfordshire adventurer Sarah Outen embarks on a four-year, human-powered traverse of the globe, travelling by bike, kayak and rowing boat across Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and finally the Atlantic. The punishing elements, months of solitude and storms push Sarah to the mental and physical brink, and Home intimately and unflinchingly captures her 20,000-mile odyssey.
Images: Sarah Outen
The Ladakh Project
Join French athlete Nouria Newman as she embarks on a 375km solo kayaking expedition down the most remote and daunting rivers in the Indian Himalaya. With some hair-raising moments, Nouria is forced to push herself to the edge of her limits, saying “I felt really vulnerable. I had a proper look at what my guts were made of.”
Nouria Newman performs in the lower Indus river in the Himalayas, India on August 19, 2018
Images: Ali Bharmall/Red Bull Content Pool
Up To Speed
Until recently speed climbing was seen as an obscure sub-discipline of the sport, but with climbing’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, it’s about to be thrust on to the biggest athletic stage in the world. Self-proclaimed old-fashioned trad climber Zach Barr investigates this intriguing activity and meets the climbers who literally run up walls… with euphoric crowds cheering them on.
Images: Eddie Fowke
The Imaginary Line
During the longest government shutdown in American history, a team from Mexico and the USA assemble to establish a slackline that crosses the border between them. Risking grave consequences, they hope to spread a message about the importance coming together and using our passions to connect cultures. “We are people from different lands, but we are all one.”
Thabang Madiba lives in the South African township of Ga-Rankuwa, without a mountain in sight… nor a physio, chiro or dietician. But through hard work, dedication and passion, he became the first black South African to represent the country in trail running, and has won the South African Trail Running Championships multiple times. A hero in his community, Thabang is hoping to inspire a new generation of youth through the sport of trail running.
Images: Wandering Fever
Danny Day Care
In his latest film Danny MacAskill takes on childcare the only way he knows how… by taking them for a wee bike ride around Scotland. Babysitting his friend’s daughter Daisy, the pair tackle stunts over Scotland’s iconic mountain biking terrain. And remember… don’t try this at home!
Images: Dave Mackison/Cut Media
THE BLUE PROGRAMME
The High Road
Nina Williams is drawn to climbing the most beautiful lines… which also happen to be the tallest. Nina specialises in highball bouldering – climbing tall boulders of extreme difficulty, without a rope – which combines the physicality of bouldering with the mental discipline of free soloing. Watch in awe as she flexes her guns and tests her nerves well into the no-fall zone.
Images: Simon Moore/Brett Lowell
Spectre Expedition– Mission Antarctica
1,000 miles, 200+kg loads, 65 days, 3 mates, 1 mountain. Using snow-kites to travel great distances, with massive loads at speeds up to 60kmph, this is the epic tale of Leo Houlding, Jean Burgun and Mark Sedon’s daring dream to reach the summit of the most remote mountain on earth: The Spectre, Antarctica.
Images: Mark Sedon
The Running Pastor
As a shepherd’s son, Sverri Steinholm grew up chasing sheep around the dramatic, otherworldly Faroe Islands. Today he is a pastor of the Lutheran Church, the dominant religion on the islands. He is also a compulsive runner, finding solace and spiritual refuge from personal conflicts and the burdens of priesthood on rugged, exposed trails of his homeland.
Images: Will Saunders
Return To Earth
Combining epic riding with life’s big questions, Return to Earth stars mountain biking’s biggest athletes, unsung talents and up-and-coming youth as they shred gnarly trails from British Columbia to Utah, while proving that when we lose track of time, we can make the most of it. In these moments of clarity, there can be an entire lifetime worth remembering.
Images: Sterling Lorence
Jacques Houot, 82, may just have found the fountain of youth. The Colorado-based French ski racer, downhill mountain biker, road cyclist and incorrigible flirt is the embodiment of joie de vivre. Jaques has survived countless close calls, including avalanches, cancer, car accidents, a heart attack and even attempted murder. As a survivor, he tries to enjoy every day he has, ripping through the mountains with his signature catchphrase, “No problem!”
Images: Michelle Smith
The Long River Home
Three friends come together for a mission to guide blind Navy veteran Lonnie Bedwell on a 14-day river trip through the Grand Canyon. Battling powerful rapids including the daunting Lava Falls, this is a film about overcoming the residual impacts of war through kayaking – forming a team, kicking out in the current and finding a line through the chaos.
Images: Seth Dahl/Will Stauffer-Norris
A Nordic Skater
Nordic skating is the art of long-distance skating on natural ice and, on the spellbinding frozen fjords and lakes of Norway, Per Sollerman has found his calling. A former action sports fan, Per now uses all of his senses to journey safely over the ice and feel part of the landscape. An enticing portrayal of this little-known sport.