Last weekend the Banff Mountain Film Festival made its annual visit to Bozeman, and on Saturday the Coldsmoke People’s Choice Awards went down at the Cat’s Paw, and the difference in atmosphere was substantial.
“Where else can you do s—t like this? Watch movies and throw free s—t at the crowd,” the emcee said as he just missed hitting this reporter in the head with a tin of ski wax.
The Coldsmoke Awards have grown in popularity on the web, with over 50 films submitted this year, but the event itself may have lost some of its steam. The Cat’s Paw is not be the best place for a film festival, given the array of displays with divisions between screens, but the availability of alcohol at a snow-film festival has a way of overcoming certain inadequacies.
“Two years ago, when I worked here, it was way busier,” said former Cat’s Paw employee Sarah Elliott, but longtime fan David Elsea remembers when there were just eight films submitted that were all shot in Bozeman.
This year’s finalists included a film about snow-surfing and another by Sashimi featuring massive, Japanese-powder face shots to a dramatic drumline. Elsea’s favorite film, however, kept with Coldsmoke tradition. A local film, Alpine Air, by Bozeman Paragliding received a huge response from the crowd. “It was three minutes long, easy to pay attention to, there were flips in the air, and people flying down mountains,” Elsea said. “I don’t know what could be better.”
During the short intermission the bar was packed. Then a Big Sky brewing representative travelled through the crowd and filled our cups for free.
Films resumed after lift tickets and gear were given away.
The film festival concluded with another local favorite, Going Down, by the Radbots, which may have received the biggest ovation of the night. The steep cliffs and deep powder of Bridger Bowl received cheers and a giant back flip off a cliff got an awesome reaction from the crowd. The audience slowly filtered out of the bar after they joined in prayer for snow at the request of the emcee. It snowed that night.