Rock climbing fanatics, mountain biking gurus, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, now is the time to experience what is happening in the world of outdoor films. Grab your gear, grab a friend, and grab a seat at this year’s Banff Mountain Film Festival presented by ASP Films on November 28 in the PAC.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival occurs once a year in Banff, Alberta, Canada during the first weekend in November. Following the festival in Banff, a selection of the best films travel across the country. The organizers of each site— in Western’s case Colin Laursen and Ben Paplow of ASP Films— get to choose what films to show and what films best fit the interest of the community. At Western there will be five to six short films, a midrange film, and one feature length film.
“Bellingham is a big outdoor community and there are a few different interests here, so we wanted to be sure to represent those interests,” says Laursen
This year, festival attendees can look forward to seeing breathtaking shots of picturesque mountains, watching rock climbers attempt the unthinkable in Thailand, base jumpers praying their shoots will open, radical skiers dropped from helicopters and starting avalanches, and a selection of other films pulled from this year’s traveling festival.
According to Seana Strain, world tour coordinator, Banff has been shown at Western since 1998 where every year community members attend in droves. Roughly 800 to 1,000 attended last year. What makes the festival such a treat besides the uniqueness of the content is that Western is one of only eight places in Washington to show this festival.
“Some locations have a great sense of community, spirit, and vibe to them,” says Strain.
“I think the show at Western is one of those events…our staff comment on the energy and enthusiasm of the Bellingham crowd. It is much more exciting to experience the films with a lively audience. It has become a favorite for our staff.”
Students on campus are also excited to have Banff back on campus for another screening. Eric Bortel and Kyle Hermansen are both ready to get some viewing kicks in of films that often are rarely heard of in Hollywood. As each of them pondered whether they would be in attendance, a slight smile appeared slowly across each of their faces with the recollection of past festivals.
With Banff making its way to campus very soon, the question remains what else is there to do on November 28, but be in attendance at Banff, the largest event ASP Films organizes all year.
“The films tend to inspire people, either because of the cultures they see in the films, the spirit of being in the mountains captured in the films or the sheer adventure portrayed,” says Strain. “The films also introduce viewers to different parts of the world, different ways of thinking, different ways of dealing with adversity. These films aren’t often shown in mainstream venues, so it’s a chance to see an international collection of films that are not commonly broadcast of presented.”
What’s the evening of November 28 looking like now? Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for the general public and are available at the PAC box office, the Co-op, and Village Books.