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Countdown to Banff

Article Published: Mar. 17, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Countdown to Banff

A scene from 'Last Paradise,' to be screened Saturday, April 2, at the Banff Mountain Film Festival's stop at ASU. Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre

Only two weeks until the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour arrives in Boone.

"It's a pretty unique couple of nights for sure," Rich Campbell, associate director of ASU Outdoor Programs, said. "I really enjoy all the different characters that you meet and all the different places you travel to."

Places like Kamchatka Peninsula in Eastern Russia for fly fishing or the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan for backcountry skiing.

The adventures shown are as diverse as the regions and characters explored in the films.

In "The Longest Way," a five-minute time lapse on Saturday night, a man walks across China, from Beijing to Urumqi, as his beard grows over the course of a year.

Of the 257 films submitted to the festival, only 28 made it on the world tour. Of those 28, 14 were handpicked for the two-night screening at Farthing Auditorium on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2.

ASU Outdoors Program works with the staff at The Banff Centre in Canada to organize the two nights of movie screenings.

"We try to incorporate some environment, some culture, some adventure," Campbell said. "We work really closely with folks at Banff to create a balance. They know the films. They make recommendations, such as these films work really well together because of content or style."

On Friday, the festival opens with "WhiteWater," a kayaking and rafting movie shot in Ecuador, Colorado, Idaho and the Grand Canyon. The film features challenging kayaking, but it isn't ego driven.

"It's a meditation," Anson Fogel, director of "WhiteWater," said. "It's essentially me writing a love letter to whitewater. Rivers have done a lot for me, and I'm trying to return the favor. We are just trying to get to the essence of what running rivers is about and put that on film."

After the festival is over and the film credits have rolled, don't climb the rafters to exit Farthing Auditorium. After last year's film festival, one psyched member of the audience posted a message on festival's Facebook page: "Kind of makes me feel like rappelling off the top tier of the theatre to get out! LOL."

Farthing hosts the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2. The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Get your tickets early, because it usually sells out. Tickets are on sale at Footsloggers in downtown Boone and at Farthing Auditorium.

Deadline for Outdoor Programs' A4 nomination submissions is March 18.

For more information about the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour or to nominate someone for the A4, click to

For the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition, voting for the eighth annual Footsloggers People's Choice Award began on Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m. and ends on Friday, April 1, at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Visit the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts to view photos and click to to vote on your favorite.

Friday Lineup

WildWater: A stunning feast for the senses, "WildWater" is a journey into the mind and soul of white-water and an exploration of places only river-runners can go - places of discovery, solitude and risk.

Chimæra: "Chimæra" refers to a mythological fusion of forms or a foolish fantasy. Shot with a unique camera system capable of shooting more than 1,000 frames per second, "Chimæra" generates an experience that blurs the borders between the real and the imaginary. By slowing our perception of reality, "Chimæra" offers an unprecedented look at a skier's life.

Eastern Rises: The stunning "Eastern Rises" poetically represents the enormously wild landscape of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Swarming with bugs and bears and threaded with rivers full of massive mouse-eating trout, fishermen risk life and limb in decommissioned Cold War helicopters to explore rivers that have never been fished before. Best Film on Mountain Sports


Life Cycles: Filmed in Ultra HD, "Life Cycles" provides some of the most visually stunning images the mountain sports world has ever seen. With thought-provoking narration, it's a beautiful celebration of the mountain bike - and a tribute to the culture of mountain biking.

Still Motion: Compiled from the highlights of a whole year of wildlife research, still images from motion-triggered wildlife cameras create an intricately sequenced movie-like production of Alberta's amazing wildlife. In "Still Motion," playful fawns, stalking cougars and curious elk take center stage.

AZADI: Freedom: "AZADI: Freedom" takes a look at Kashmir in the wake of the violent militant insurgence of the '90s and the prospects for young Kashmiri today as they venture into the backcountry on skis. Few would ever guess that the highest skiable gondola sits amid the most militarized region in the world and that skiing is drawing foreigners back to this former Shangri-La.
The Swiss Machine: Ueli Steck may be the greatest speed alpinist the world has ever seen.

Accompanied by stunning aerial footage that captures him racing up 2,500-metre alpine faces, The Swiss Machine tells of Steck's record-breaking ascents in the Alps and of his one-man alpine speed game which takes him to some of the largest, highest walls in the world.

Saturday Lineup

Kranked Kids - Just Down the Road: A coming-of-age mountain bike parody, "Kranked-Kids: Just Down the Road" is an immersion in sweet comic relief over the span four minutes.

Khumbu Climbing School: Through the beautifully crafted film, "Khumbu Climbing School," we learn how one school has contributed to the safety of Nepali climbers, Sherpas, and high-altitude support workers as they learn proper techniques for knot-tying, belaying and ice climbing from world-class mountaineers.

A Life Ascending: Living with his wife and two young daughters on a remote glacier in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Ruedi Beglinger has built a reputation as one of the top mountaineering guides in the world. "A Life Ascending" follows his family's unique life in the mountains and their journey in the years following a massive avalanche that killed seven people. Best Film on Mountain Culture & People's Choice Award


Dream Result: River expeditions into the wilderness of Argentina, cold water paddling in Norway, and a quest for the highest waterfall drop yet, are all on the agenda for a group of top athletes and friends in "Dream Result." Winner of People's Choice Award, Radical Reels Night.

As it Happens: In "As It Happens," a uniquely creative and cinematically striking film, Renan Ozturk and Corey Richards 'go rogue' and file timely video dispatches from their attempt of the first ascent of Nepal's 6,000 meter Tawoche Himal.

Last Paradise: Through 45 years of stunning original footage, "The Last Paradise" relives the ground-breaking journey of a maverick bunch of kids who became legendary extreme sports pioneers in the remote wilderness of New Zealand.

The Longest Way: "The Longest Way" is a highly entertaining time-lapse of a 1-year-walk from Beijing to Urumqi. Time and distance travelled are charmingly demonstrated by the growth of a beard in this five-minute short. Best Short Mountain Film.

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