Banff Film Festival Returns to Boone for 2010

Article Published: Mar. 18, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Banff Film Festival Returns to Boone for 2010

Take a Seat is one of many films to be screened at this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival, held March 26-27 at ASU. Photo courtesy of the Banff Centre

The outdoors are returning indoors, when the Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Appalachian State University Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, at Farthing Auditorium.

The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture hosted the first Banff Film festival more than 34 years ago in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Since its humble beginnings, the Banff Centre has offered workshops, environmental summits, photography competitions and book events. The film festival is only an extension of the Banff experience.

This year, there were nearly 400 films representing at least 30 countries shown from the end of October through the first of November. A panel watches the array of films and whittles the number down to 50 or less. These films take a world tour to nearly 285 locations. There is even a screening in Antarctica at the McMurdo Station research center.

"People just enjoy mountain culture," said Richard Campbell, associate director of outdoor programs at Appalachian State. "You know we have great mountain culture, mountain art and music here, as well. That's really what is reflected in all of these films."

The festival has been coming to Boone for almost 14 years. And while here, the screenings of the Banff films has grown into one of the largest in North America. Boone goes toe to toe with larger cities, such as Salt Lake City, Utah, Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colo.

"We, at least, hope to max out Farthing (Auditorium)," Campbell said. "We've been lucky enough to do that the last couple of years, and we look on track to doing that again."

Tickets for the film festival have typically sold out quickly.

"Mountain themes really resonate with everyone here in the High Country," Campbell said. "It's a great way for us to connect with our own community ... Through the festival itself, you can then connect with other cultures and other mountain communities that are all over the globe and get to see what they are up to."

One of the full-length award winning films chronicles the journey of Dominic Gill, as he cycles from the southernmost point in South America to the northernmost point of North America. The film, titled Take a Seat, documents Gill's entire trip on a tandem bike, which he shares with strangers willing to join in his journey.

"It's really a story about the human spirit and kindness," Campbell said. "And the way he refers to it as the manifestation of one of the most striking forms of kindness, which is kindness to strangers."

Gill will be in Boone on Friday, and there may be opportunities to hear his experiences outside the film.

On Friday night, a shorter-length climbing film will be presented, which "underscores the true adventure of climbing and the friendship and camaraderie that being on a big climb or expedition can bring," Campbell said.

The film documents four friends who are working a new route on the Trango Pulpit in India.

On Saturday night, the full-length film, Finding Farley, will be screened. It portrays a family that follows the literary footsteps of environmental writer Farley Mowat over a 5,000-kilometer trip across Canada.

One film focuses on kayaking in Madagascar, while another chronicles the trip of one woman who paddles solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

"We serve the university community primarily," Campbell said. "But one thing that is great about the film festival is that we can broaden our reach and bring ... all that this festival represents to the greater High Country community."

Tickets are being sold at Footsloggers, 139 S. Depot St. in Boone, and at Farthing Auditorium, 733 Rivers St. in Boone. Student tickets are $7, and all others are $9. You can also order tickets online by visiting and searching for the Banff Film Festival.

Screenings take place Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, both starting at 7:30 p.m.

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