Review: Banff Film Festival @ St David's Hall
This is the first time I went to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival on its world tour, and I have to say now I know exactly what they mean when they say that there are two parts to life: before Banff and after Banff.
The festival has started in Canada seven years ago and ever since has been attracting the world's most accomplished writers, photographers and filmmakers to submit their works and celebrate the outdoors culture together.
Most of the films presented at Banff screenings tell the audience stories about extreme sports and outdoors adventures: mountain ultra marathon through the valleys du Mont Blanc, skiing in Alaska, and concurring the highest peaks of Patagonia.
In my opinion what makes Banff movies special is the way the audience can relate to almost every story told. It's not just beautiful shots of snow-covered mountains and stormy oceans, it's the way you see a human life change after being put into extreme circumstances and challenging situations. A good example of that could be this year's Banff Award: People's choice award-winning movie "Unbranded". Four Texas horsemen ride wild horses across some of the wildest terrain in Western America all the way to the Canadian border - sounds pretty impressive, doesn't it? Nevertheless, what made this movie great for me were not the mountains or stunning shots of landscapes - it was the story of four friends, who decided that they could do more with their lives than others; four people who took risks to achieve something that's never been done before. Watching their journey is so inspiring it makes you think about your life priorities and what you've achieved on your journey through life so far.
However, not all of the Banff stories take place in high altitudes: Denali (a short film that made the audience tear up) the story of a great friendship between Ben and his dog. They both stood by one another's side in the darkest times of their lives, and when the time came for them to part Ben decided to take his dog to all the favourite places they've been to one more time. You only see a short 8-minute version of the film at Banff screenings, but it's enough to reach the deepest corners of your soul and make you think about the things that truly matter in life.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival UK tour continues throughout the spring 2016, finishing with the red programme screening in Kilkenny on the 28th of May. Click here for more locations and tickets. Don't miss an opportunity to get some inspiration and maybe even ideas for future travels!
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Image from: National Geographic
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