There are myriad ways to experience the mountains. You can BASE jump off a cliff, walk a highline or climb El Capitan first-hand by being there, or you can experience these activities through the eyes of someone who is just as enthusiastic about outdoor sports. With filmmakers all around the world, it is possible to see these adventures up close. Every year, the Banff Center in Banff, Canada holds a film festival of 60 films, the themes and subjects of which range from celebrated sports around the world to stylistic ways films can be shot.
Of the 60 films that premiered at the festival in the fall of 2017, 25 of the more dynamic and admired were chosen to go on tour. Those 25 films were taken to over 300 cities around the world, including Bozeman. The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour made their stop in Bozeman from Jan. 19 to 21 as part of their 2018 tour. Outdoor enthusiasts gathered at Willson Auditorium on Main Street to celebrate the intricacies of these films. Of the three days of screenings, two were sold out. The festival concluded after the showings of 25 short films and documentaries.
The first day started with the presentation of “Where the Wild Things Play,” a four minute tribute to the hardcore women of the outdoors. It shouts the idea that in the male-dominated world of sports, women don’t wait around for adventures to happen. Then, the three-day festival concluded with a showing of “Stumped,” the story of Maureen Beck, an acclaimed climber born without a left hand. To her followers, Beck is an inspiration, but to herself, she doesn’t consider herself to be exceptional or even remarkable, because why would she let her disadvantage stop her from climbing?
As the Banff tour continues around the world, the outdoors and sports don’t become any less obsolete. Today is as good a day as any to start living the adventures yourself. The festival’s Bozeman stop was sponsored by Mountain Hot Tub, the Community Food Co-op and Magpie Guest House. All proceeds went toward the Bridger Ski Foundation, a local nonprofit ski foundation.