The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns to the UK and Ireland this year, with more screenings and more action than ever before. This celebration of human endeavour and exhilarating adventure films kicks off at Brighton Dome on Weds 25 Jan, returning with a different programme on Thurs 20 April. Running until May, it presents nearly 100 screenings at over 50 venues across the British Isles.
Starring some of the world’s top adventurers, the films and documentaries look at incredible journeys in awe-inspiring destinations, collecting the best entries from the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival. Held in the Canadian Rockies each year, this prestigious event is akin to the Cannes Film Festival – only with mountain and adventure shorts at its core. After the overwhelming response to last year’s Brighton leg, a second set of screenings have been added. “It’s fantastic to be back with our biggest tour yet – a reflection of the enormous appetite for adventure that UK and Irish audiences have,” says tour director Nell Teasdale. “The Banff Tour is more than a series of exhilarating film nights.” The UK & Ireland strand is part of the wider Banff World Tour that travels the globe each year, visiting nearly 50 countries and reaching more than 400,000 people worldwide.
One of the standout offerings is the incredible Four Mums In A Boat, which looks at the epic exploits of four, ostensibly normal, working mums. All in their 40s and 50s, when the ladies announced an intention to row the Atlantic Ocean their families thought they had lost their minds, however the epic 3,000-mile expedition they embarked upon would change their lives forever. Another unmissable presentation is the intrepid and moving Doing It Scared. 18 years after a terrible accident left him partially paralysed, British climber Paul Pritchard returns to finish the climb. Left with a permanent brain injury and no movement in the right side of his body, this inspirational figure faces up to the Totem Pole – an imposing 65m rocky spike in Tasmania. Also on hand to amaze are high-wire stunt team the Flying Frenchies in Metronomic, and Give Me Five – a thrilling film about ski paragliding and BASE jumping.
Each evening is a collection of about six films, ranging in length from two minutes to a maximum of around 40 minutes long. Also returning is the event’s infamous prize draw, which every night gives away outdoors kit donated by the festival’s supporters, including energy bars, rucksacks, and hiking boots. “Each screening offers a real sense of community, bringing together people with a wide range of outdoor passions,” says Teasdale. “And we guarantee that viewers will leave with new enthusiasm and inspiration for their own adventures too!” Packed with diversity, moving narratives and stunning photography, the tour brings some of the greatest human achievements to the screen. You don’t have to be a sports enthusiast, adrenaline junkie or film buff to enjoy these evenings, although there’s every chance these thought-provoking films will inspire you to look at life in a whole new way.
Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Brighton Dome on Weds 25 Jan and Thurs 20 April, touring the UK & Ireland until May.