In an age where everyone is constantly glued to their phones, this past Friday’s BANFF Mountain Film Festival at the Lucas Theatre for Arts was a refreshing reminder just how fun the great outdoors can be.
Half Moon Outfitters hosted the event, making Savannah one of 450 privileged communities to enjoy the competing films. In its 41 year, the BANFF tour will visit 40 countries and allow proceeds to benefit local organizations like our Savannah Bicycle Campaign and Georgia Conservancy.
Beginning at 7 p.m., nine short films captivated audiences, so much so that the majority of attendees failed to even move during intermission.
“Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out” kicked off the show with the cyclist’s jaw-dropping bike tricks throughout rural Scotland. The Divine Comedy’s upbeat “National Express” played in the background, perfectly syncing to MacAskill using a hay bale as a unicycle and jumping over obstacles like cottages.
“Dog Power” followed, documenting the connection between human athletes and pups within the dog-powered sports community.
The third film, “The Perfect Flight,” introduced audiences to Shawn Hayes, a man dedicated to falconry and educating others on the subject.
The tear-jerker of the night, “Four Mums in a Boat,” was a documentary about four Yorkshire mothers crossing the Atlantic Ocean with little experience. Cameras capture every moment during the 3,000 nautical-mile-long journey from La Gomera to Antigua. Although not the first to finish, the women went on to break a world record as the oldest, all-women team to complete the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
During intermission, fifteen prizes were awards to guests’ whose ticket numbers were drawn. With prizes ranging from an ENO hammock to a Marmot sleeping bag, guests were pleasantly surprised they didn’t have to spend extra money on raffles to still win big. Of course, the raffle prizes were even bigger; take the brand new road bike that one lucky guest rolled home for example!
“Fast Forward” brought Lael Wilcox’s story to the screen. As one of the fastest ultra-long-distance bike packers, Wilcox lets the audience witness her emotional decision to give up a race for her health after catching a bad cold.
“Iran: A Skier’s Journey” captures breath-taking shots of mosques and the snow covered backcountry of Iran. Offering a glimpse into the Middle Eastern country’s culture and scenic land, the movie attempts to bridge the gap of misunderstanding Americans typically have towards this country.
Winning the People’s Choice Award at the festival, “Young Guns” follows 15-year-old Ashima Shirashi and 16-year-old Kai Lightner tackle European cave climbs that have proven too difficult for skilled climbers double their age.
The Best Short Mountain Film was given to “Northbound.” Four skaters visit the cold Norwegian coast about the Arctic Circle to play on the frozen sand.
The final film, “Metronomic,” takes place high above France’s Gorge du Verdon. The band named Flying Frenchies combined their passion for music with acrobatics in a risk-fueled performance.
If you missed this year’s festival, you can watch some of the films online, but we strongly suggest you nab a seat at next year’s event.