SB’s Banff Mountain Film Festival stop showcases 15 films

Damien Briguet (red helmet and James MacKinnon (white helmet) doing the first recorded descent of Monmouth Creek and Box Canyon near the town of Squamish, B.C. (From the film "Down the Line" / Photo by © Francois-Xavier De Ruydts.

Damien Briguet doing the first recorded descent of Monmouth Creek and Box Canyon near the town of Squamish, B.C. (From the film “Down the Line” / Photo by © Francois-Xavier De Ruydts)

The Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures makes its annual Santa Barbara stop at the Arlington Theatre on February 25th and 26th.

The two nights feature two totally different programs showing a combined 15 films. Tickets are $16 each day, or $13 per day for UC Santa Barbara students and youth under-18.

With eight films on Tuesday and seven films on Wednesday, some of this year’s highlights include the stories of two Norwegians who surf bone-chilling Arctic waters; high-flying skiers who paraglide to remote mountain slopes in France; a wingsuit pilot attempting a death-defying drop through a hole in the side of a Chinese mountain; and a blind adventurer who pushes his limits by taking on whitewater kayaking

The festival’s Grand Prize winner and People’s Choice Award recipient, North of the Sun,” is part of the program on Day 1.

Many of the films are edited down to 15 minutes or less. Only three exceed 35 minutes.

Find advanced ticket info HERE



DAY 1 – Tues., Feb. 25

Into the Mind (special edit)

Amazing skiing, stunning imagery and fabulous music are showcased in this high-energy excerpt from the feature film.

(Canada, 2013, 12 min. Filmmakers: Dave Mossop, Eric Crosland, JP Auclair and Malcolm Sangster.)

Keeper of the Mountains (special edit)

Elizabeth Hawley bucked the conventions of her time by settling alone in Kathmandu in 1960, where she began chronicling Himalayan expeditions for The Himalayan Database. Even as she turns 90, she continues to update these records with rigorous accuracy and dedication. (U.S., 2013, 16 min. Filmmakers: Allison Otto and Scott McElroy.)

*Special Jury Mention

Valhalla - Banff Mountain Film Festival

Skier Eliel Hindert pillow hunting in Whitewater, B.C. (From the film “Valhalla” / Photo by © Michael Brown)

North of the Sun

Tucked between the cold Atlantic Ocean and the rocky slopes of a remote, arctic island, two young Norwegian adventurers discover their own private playground. They build themselves a cabin out of flotsam while clearing the beach of debris, then spend the long winter skiing and surfing in the haunting low light. (Norway, 2012, 46 min. Filmmakers: Inge Wegge and Anne Bergseng.)

*Grand Prize winner, sponsored by MEC; People’s Choice Award, sponsored by TrekSta; and Dolby Audio Award

Sea of Rock

A bicycle found lodged on a climbing route in the Austrian Alps inspires two expert riders to follow in the treads of the early cyclists, down the über-gnarly slopes of the Sea of Rock. (Switzerland, 2012, 12 min. Filmmaker: Sebastian Doerk.)

Dubai – A Skier’s Journey

In the midst of a city dizzy with ambition, a dedicated community of desert-dwellers embraces the local ski hill. (Canada, 2012, 10 min. Filmmakers: Jordan Manley and Danny Irvine.)

Sensory Overload

Blind kayaker Erik Weihenmayer turns whitewater into a new form of braille. (U.S., 2013, 8 min. Filmmaker: Robert Raker.)

Spice Girl (Reel Rock 8)

The climbing scene in the United Kingdom is known for its strict traditional ethic, yielding super sketchy, dangerous routes and a competitive machismo. It’s the last place you’d expect to find a nice little blond girl putting all the lads to shame, but Hazel Findlay is doing just that. The first woman to climb the British grade of E9, Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear and big runouts. (U.S., 2013, 24 min. Filmmakers: Josh Lowell, Alex Lowther, Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen.)

Valhalla (special edit)

From naked chairlift riding to cliff airs wearing nothing more than an avalanche beacon and a smile, Valhalla’s naked snow segment sparks laughter from skiers and non-skiers alike. (U.S., 2013, 3 min. Filmmakers: Ben Sturgulewski, Nick Waggoner, Michael Brown and Zac Ramras.)

DAY 2 – Wed., Feb. 26

Flow: The Elements of Freeride

Follow geophysicist Rex Flake on a high-adrenaline mountain bike ride through the Cascade Mountains as he identifies the flora, fauna and geology of this cinematic region. Uniquely edited without the typical hard-core soundtrack, Flow uses creative graphics and sound design to bring the viewer uncomfortably close to the action. (U.S., 2013, 3 min. Filmmaker: Oly Mingo.)

Down the Line

None of these deep slot canyons and magnificent waterfalls have ever been explored – and once in, the only way out is down. (Canada, 2012, 22 min. Filmmaker: Francois-Xavier “Fix” De Ruydts.)

Heaven’s Gate

A group of wingsuit pilots gather at Tianmen Mountain in China, the birthplace of the dream of human flight, to attempt an intimidating feat – flying through the sacred site known as Heaven’s Gate, an archway carved out of the mountain. As Jeb Corliss drops from a helicopter and soars toward the opening, nearly a half-billion people hold their breath. (Finland, 2013, 48 min. Filmmakers: Iiro Seppanen and Nic Good.)

*Best Film – Mountain Sports, sponsored by Live Out There

NotBad (special edit)

Seven brave riders set out from the four corners of the globe for 30 days of outrageous fun and bicycle tomfoolery in New Zealand. (Canada, 2013, 10 min. Filmmakers: Darcy Wittenburg, Darren McCullough, Colin Jones and Ian Dunn.)

High Tension (Reel Rock 8)

Flying fists, obscenities and death threats at 23,000 feet? Is this the new Everest reality? This film takes a closer look at the 2013 incident at Camp II that made international headlines and had climbers Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith running for their lives. (USA, 2013, 36 min. Filmmakers: Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Zachary Barr and Josh Lowell.)

*Best Film – Mountain Culture, sponsored by National Geographic

Poor Man’s Heli

A group of skiers launch themselves across a valley via paragliders to the remote slopes. (2013, Canada, 2013, 6 min. Filmmaker: Mike Douglas.)


35 routes in one day to celebrate 35 years of life? Why not? Take the birthday challenge! (USA, 2013, 5 min. Filmmakers: Nasa Koski, Austin Siadak, Matthe Van Biene and Fitz Cahall.)

*Best Short Mountain Film, sponsored by The North Face

About the Banff Mountain Film Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. The “mothership” festival has been held at the start of November each year since 1975 in Banff in Alberta, Canada. Immediately after the festival ends in November, a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the U.S. and across the globe, from Scotland to South Africa, China to Antarctica and points in between. Each year, the films reach more than 390,000 people at more than 840 screenings in 40 countries.

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