Popular Banff film festival returns for 16th year

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Jan 17, 2014 - 2:40 PM |
The Canadian extreme skiing film Into The Mind is among the movies being screened at the 16th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival at Laurentian University Jan. 24. Supplied photo.

The Canadian extreme skiing film Into The Mind is among the movies being screened at the 16th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival at Laurentian University Jan. 24. Supplied photo.

Given that Sudburians only need to drive 15 minutes to access the wilderness, we're mostly an outdoorsy bunch, according to the program co-ordinator of Laurentian University Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program.

Jim Little said he thinks this shared quality is one of the reasons behind Sudburians' habitually strong support of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is visiting the city for the 16th time this year.

Because the adventure film festival tour always reaches the Nickel City in January, it also inspires Sudburians to get out and enjoy the abundant snow, he said.

“I think these films sort of stimulate that passion for our adventure,” Little said.

This year's Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place at Laurentian's Fraser Auditorium Jan. 24.

It's a fundraiser which supports the yearly canoe trip by Little's third-year Outdoor Adventure Leadership students. This year, they'll be paddling down the Partridge River near the James Bay coast.

Organizers were able to choose 10 films from those screened at the main Banff festival, which took place in Alberta in November.

Little said this year's Banff festival will feature movies ranging in length from three minutes to three-quarters of an hour and featuring activities such as climbing, biking, paddling and snow sports.

Anchoring the 2014 edition of the festival is “North of the Sun” (Nordfor Sola) by Norweigian filmmakers Inge Wegge and Anne Bergseng.

The 46-minute-long film features two young Norwegian adventurers who discover their own private playground “tucked between the cold Atlantic Ocean and the rocky slopes of a remote, arctic island,” the film's description said.

They build themselves a cabin out of flotsam while clearing the beach of debris, then spend the long winter skiing and surfing in the haunting low light.

Among the other films being screened are “Spice Girl” by British filmmaker Hazel Findlay, which features female rock climbers, and “Into the Mind” by Canadian directors Eric Crosland and Dave Mossop, about extreme skiing.

As an avid paddler, however, Little said he always looks forward the films about kayaking and canoeing the most. This year's paddling film, “Cascada”, is just eight minutes long.

Little said he intentionally chose a shorter paddling film.

“Sometimes you get these high-adrenaline ones where you can watch kayakers or paddlers go off of waterfalls for too long, so I think the short ones are well received,” he said.

Doors to the festival open at 5:30 p.m., and the films start at 7 p.m. A trade show featuring outdoor adventure services will be set up in the lobby at Fraser Auditorium.

Refreshments such as pizza and pop are available for purchase.

Tickets, which cost $15 each, are being sold in advance at Ramakko's, The Outside Store, 84 Station and Laurentian's Active Living department, as well as online at https://reservations.sudburytourism.ca/English/Tk_Select_Ticket_single.asp?SelTicket=Banff62.

Little suggests people buy their tickets in advance, as they're selling quickly this year, and may not be available at the door.

Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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