Death-defying mountain athletics will steal the screen during the second day of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures 35th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival.
The two-day event debuted last night and will conclude tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Arlington Theatre with the presentation of seven films. Tickets cost $11 for UCSB students and $14 for the general public.
The festival’s 13 flicks address a wide range of subjects ranging from adrenaline junkies and extreme sports to wildlife and culture.
According to Roman Baratiak, Arts & Lectures associate director, the town of Banff, Canada sponsors an annual mountain photography contest and film festival. The best selections are chosen from the Canadian festival to screen in over 250 cities internationally. The festival broadcasts different films at each location based on the projected local interests.
Jim Baker, Banff Mountain Film Festival’s world tour manager, said the festival’s enthralling adventure stories motivates people around the world.
“The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is a global program that connects and inspires people on all seven continents,” Baker said. “Films that showcase some of the world’s most amazing places and adventures are entered in the festival in Banff each fall and then the tour brings these extraordinary stories of sport, culture and environment to audiences all around the globe.”
Seana Strain, the festival’s world tour coordinator, said the long-running event will attract anyone who has an appreciation for the outdoors.
“Last year we had entries from 32 different countries and the range of stories that are told are quite diverse, with lots of adventure and beautiful locations,” Strain said. “It is something that appeals to people who love to get outdoors.”
In addition to collaborating with local coordinators, Banff has a Facebook page to help determine what types of films are most positively received at each leg of the tour. This assessment process helps event-organizers personalize the lineup for the following year.
“We have lots of ways for people to send us feedback of the films we screen,” Strain said. “We have a Facebook page so that people can send us comments after the festival and we can see what films don’t receive as much positive feedback in a certain region. We also have an online contest where people can vote for what their favorite films were.”
The event — traditionally located at Campbell Hall — has generated so much popularity over the years that it has been relocated downtown to the Arlington Theatre to accommodate a greater audience capacity. The venue can seat up to 2,000 people.
This evening’s films include The Longest Way, a time-lapse of a one-year walk from Beijing to Urumiqi, China condensed into a five-minute short film. Also screening are Last Paradise, which includes 45 years of footage of New Zealand’s extreme sports pioneers, and Into Darkness, which depicts cavers who burrow deep into the earth’s underground caves to explore its last remaining frontiers.