The acclaimed film festival began 40 years ago in Banff, Canada.
The acclaimed film festival began 40 years ago in Banff, Canada.

Banff Mountain film fest world tour back on the Hill

By Tayzia Santiago ’20

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The Banff Mountain Film Festival, hosted by the Hamilton Outing Club, presented 11 films about the outdoors and adventures in the KJ Bradford Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which has been making Hamilton College one of its many stops since 2000, was founded 41 years ago by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Canada. Since then, it has grown into a hugely popular event sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face with 1,000 screenings around the world in 40 different countries, and 20,000 people attending the festival in Banff each year. 

Unsurprisingly, this worldwide event attracted a large crowd filled with not only students, but also faculty and non-Hamilton affiliated viewers. Although the films did match an overall adventurous and outdoorsy theme, each film carried its own unique and masterful approach to interacting with nature. For example, “Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out” was an enjoyable, light-hearted short film consisting of playful music and a trick-filled bike ride in beautiful, rural Scotland. The stunts were impressive, entertaining and called forth the affinity and love many have for nature; nothing in the film was serious or heart-wrenching by any means.

 On the other end of the spectrum, “Iran: A Skier’s Journey,” chronicled Iran’s culture through a lens of skiing. This created a unique and captivating perspective on Iranian culture, recreation, and religion, and how those three interact with one another, especially in a society with an overwhelming emphasis on religion. As you can probably guess, these two films’ tones were vastly different from one another. Overall, all the films were enjoyable and thought-provoking in their own unique way, and I genuinely enjoyed every single one. 

Besides the actual films, the atmosphere was warm and inviting. They even held a raffle, giving out high quality gear by many of their sponsors, including Cliff Bars. I personally won three freeze dried meals by Mountain House, so I’m calling the night a win. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a freeze dried breakfast skillet if I can’t make it to Commons one morning! 

As an Adirondack Adventure leader, outing club leader, and avid proponent for nature, I found that watching films that so artfully captured nature’s beauty and the magnificence of man’s relationship with nature rekindled my love for it and passion to explore every crevice of it. A common theme throughout many of the films was an emphasis on love: the importance of loving your family and friends, the value of loving a dog, and the fulfilment of loving nature. In fact, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time on Valentine’s Day.

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