Escape Route brings on the Best of Banff
What: The Best of the Banff Film Festival
Where: Myrtle Phillip Community Centre
When: Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec.1
The Cannes of the mountain world is making its way to Whistler. Its the Banff Film Festival World Tour. An international competition featuring the worlds best films and videos on mountain and adventure subjects.
The film festivals tour will touch down in Whistler for two days only before travelling to over 29 countries on every continent, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people.
This is the 10th year that the show has come to Whistler and local hosts, the Escape Route, are confident this years entries will amaze and inspire.
Escape Route owner James Retty has selected what he describes as "the best balance between small budget and big budget, to suit all outdoor enthusiasts interests."
There will be approximately 16 different offerings screened over two nights, ranging from the funny to the phenomenal.
"Theres the whole cross-section available," said Retty. "Some have a duration of two minutes and were made by an amateur hobbyist and some are million dollar cinema masterpieces."
The grand prize winner of this years Banff Film Festival, The Second Step , is expected to be a particular crowd-pleaser. The film follows Warren Macdonald who lost both his legs in a 1997 climbing accident on his epic 28-day trek to reach Federation Peak in Tasmania.
"This will definitely be on the program," said Retty. "Every one of us knows someone whos been debilitated, whether for a few weeks or for life, from injuring themselves in the sport they love. This film is truly inspirational as we watch Warren overcome his personal, physical hurdles."
Other entries that made the Whistler cut include Cannibals and Crampons about human flesh-eating tribes in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.
"Its a good-looking film, that we can relate to on one aspect with the mountains and jungle, but then theres this whole fascinating footage on a subject we know little about and cant possibly fathom," said Retty.
Also on the agenda is Jehovahs Wetness , a crazy kayaking film where a bunch of kamikazes explore the worlds wildest rivers, including The Mekong in Laos, the Congo and the Orinoco.
Whistler and Vancouver have had their fair share of entries in the Banff Film Festival and this year is no exception. Retty chuckled, "theres a two minute film called White Trax featuring an extreme unicyclist from North Vancouver, Kris Holms, who takes on moguls with one wheel."
Another exciting extreme video features a Norwegian kite skier.
One of the most surprising award winners at this years festival, was 15-year-old B.C. boy Daniel Kingsbury, of Roberts Creek. He walked away with the award for Best Film on Mountain Sports. Kingsburys film The Essence of Adolescence is described as "a celebration of the exuberance of youth, expressed through snowboarding, BMX biking and skateboarding." Retty said it not only shows his highlights but his lowlights, "making for an interesting, energetic and heartfelt mix of emotions."
In the more traditional mountain section, theres a mixed climbing video from the Canmore area plus a feature called A Matter Of Doubt .
"This film is amazing. A team of climbers traverse the east ridge of the Annapurna summit, which is a very complex climb 24,000 feet above sea level. Youll bite your nails watching this one," Retty said.
The collections aim is to not only stun the audience with spectacular scenery but should "make us question how easy life is here, and what we can do to better the planet and our own souls," said Retty.
The Escape Route recommends buying tickets before the show as seats are strictly limited. Tickets are $14 in advance, or $15 at the door. For those who want to attend both nights, there is a reduced rate of $25.
Doors at the Myrtle Philip Community Centre will open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m.
For more information visit the Escape Route in Marketplace, or call 604-938-3228.