If you’re craving some serious outdoor adventure, go no further than Campbell Hall next week. The Best of the 30th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, a showcase of short independent adventure films, is coming to UCSB next Wednesday and Thursday night.
With a huge range of films about everything from base jumping to camel racing in Siberia, this festival has it all. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or not, the films will spark an undeniable passion for the beauty of nature and an appreciation for the insanity of extreme sports. The festival may inspire a sudden urge to jump out of a plane or scale the sides of Storke Tower, or it may leave with you a brand-new fear of heights. Regardless, the films will leave you with a great sense of respect for those who devote their lives to conquering the impossible.
“It’s definitely worth your time to see a cross section of some of the best independent outdoor films that new filmmakers have created in the last few years,” says Rod Tucknott of UCSB Adventure Programs, who sees the festival every year. “It gets us all charged up to go play in the outdoors, to attempt a new sport or to try something exciting. It’s outstanding.” The films focus on nature expeditions, explorations of remote cultures and personal stories. In “Harvest Moon,” a team of climbers make their way up the seemingly impossible side of a smooth-surfaced mountain, clinging to a tiny crack in the rock as clouds and snow swirl around them. The camera watches them from above, taking the viewers’ breath away as the striking distance to the ground becomes visible. In High Fly Summits,” risk takers drop out of a helicopter and literally fly down the slope of an enormous snow-covered mountain. Our eyes follow a speck of black with a tiny parachute, lost among the vast whiteness of the mountain. The scene is as terrifying as it is breathtakingly poetic. “Never Say Nevis Again” is “a Scottish creek boating adventure” in which kayakers glide through waterfalls and enormous rapids, while expertly steering around sharp rocks and flowing with the river water. “The Retrospective – Red Bull Rampage” may be the most insane of the lot. A group of twentysomethings take mountain biking to a whole new level, riding their bikes off dangerous cliffs, flipping over in the air, slamming hard onto the ground and getting back up to do it again.
With its stunning aerial views, extreme outdoor enthusiasts, and fascinating nature stories, the Best of the 30th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival will open your eyes to impossible feats and unimaginable places. It’s a must-see for bearded mountain people, college students and anyone else who can appreciate a good adventure.
The Best of the 30th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place March 1 and 2 in Campbell Hall. Screenings start at 7:30 both nights. Tickets are $10 for students.