November 9, 2023
The 48th Annual Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival happened from October 28th- November 5th, 2023. If you are a local, you are likely already accustomed to what it entails. If you are not local, the film festival is a international festival which accepts entries from numerous topics showcasing Mountain adventures and tales from around the world. This year we managed to sneak in a few of the shows, and we are excited to share our experience.
Waking up on a Saturday Morning at 9:00am to watch a movie is not the first choice for the majority of people. Feeling slow moving and sleepy, with a overflowing thermos of coffee, we excitedly ventured to the Banff Center. Parking was an easy feat with multiple options, there is also a free bus from the town of Banff and walking up to the Banff center from town is an extremely realistic option.
The mixed Morning films included a variety of short films encompassing different cultures, adventures and environments. The energy in the auditorium was palpable. Mutters of what to expect filled the room. The 3 hour screening journeyed us thorough multiple experiences and stories, the allure of each clip grasps you with awe. The variance of the movies shown in this three hour time slot truly pulls on all your heart strings. From a Dallas based non profit community resilience hub rooted in Skate culture to rock climbing to fight a lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis in Sardinia in Italy you immediately feel like you are part of something bigger. It gives you an appreciation of the world we live in, the boundary's we as humans have pushed and the ability the mind play's in reaching our goals.
Vertical Canada: The closing movie was a 45 minute adventure documenting Canada's first ever North to South human crossing. Starting in Ellesmere Island a group of Quebecoise took on the challenge. They expertly convey the challenges, successes, little wins and hardships along the way. This inspirational movie was the perfect way to end the show. It left the audience feeling exhilarated for the upcoming winter season.
The snow show is one of the most anticipated shows of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. It Showcases a mix of snow sports over a varying terrain. This show is a highly anticipated kick off to the winter season. While waiting for the show to start the muffled chitchat of the upcoming winter season fills the room. The contagious anticipatory energy sets the tone for what's to come.
It was inspiring to see a submission from Adrian Grabinski, a Canmore local. 'The Best Skier you've Never Heard of' follows the story of Adrian who after his successful ski racing career on the Junior Canadian Team, decided to venture West. He shares his truly remarkable journey that led him to realize that the captivating mountains would not be the only thing to steal his heart in a small non profit ski hill near Terrace, B.C.
A favorite pick from this show was 'How Did we Get Here'. The story of The Blonde's, three ladies who wanted to Sled but could only afford one sled. You cannot help but reminisce on your own childhood and the many fun adventures you had playing on sleds. The ladies certainly know how to navigate any terrain on their skis and have no fear of being off the ground. The movie is portrayed through brilliant cinematography. A must see for any adventure seeker.
Comedian Katie Burrell hosted a brilliant night interviewing Jess Kimura about her career in snowboarding. Throughout the evening the audience indulged in tears of happiness and joy. Jess Kimura has not gained her success easily. Through many trials and tribulations she persevered to being one of the top female snowboarders worldwide. From being disregarded by the snowboarding community to loosing her partner in a biking accident, she truly has overcome some of life's hardest lessons.
What separates Jess from the mainstream professional athlete's is her commitment to bringing other people along with her success. She produced a all female snowboarding movie, The Uninvited, showcasing some of the up and coming boarders in the industry. With the intention of giving the girls the opportunity to demonstrate their skills while also giving the viewers encouragement to keep on going.
The Banff Mountain Film Fest exhibits some of the worlds best adventure movies. The submissions for the Film Festival open in April 2024. If adventure videography is something your interested you should considering entering a video into the competition. If you are more of a observer, the Banff Mountain Film Festival happens in the last week of October/ Early November annually. It is the perfect way to kick off the winter season. If you are interested in watching the movies for the Banff Mountain Film Festival 2023 , Click Here to see if the shows world tour comes to a town near you.
Whether you want to get hyped for the upcoming season/adventure or learn about some inspiring people, you cannot go wrong by checking out a show at the Banff Film Festival. The festival truly embraces the strength and resilience of humans. The exhilarating movies will have you inspired to get out there and chase your dreams..
For more about skiing in the Bow Valley: Click Here