Saturday 11th February 2012 saw me bound on a train for Stockport Plaza to see a number of adventure films shown at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival in Banff Canada in November 2011. Some 300+ films featured in the Festival and the very best of these films have been selected to feature in the Tour which will be seen across 7 continents, 35 countries and 700 other audiences.
Over 900 people turned up (a record number in the UK) and there was a buzz and exciting ambiance in this unique venue as the first film was shown on the BIG screen with magic clarity and excellent sound effects. Thousands of people have become “hooked” on the exploration, courage and at times the foolhardiness featured in these amazing films. Having been at the Kendal Mountain Festival last year I well knew the passion for adventure that is experienced during a screening and vivid memories will always remain. I was excited as to what was to be shown and all being AWARD films, I well knew we would be in for a special treat – I was not disappointed.
I want to comment on three films that I thought were very special:-
• Cold On Feb 2nd 2011 three climbers made a winter summit of Gasherbrum11 (the world’s 13th highest peak), one of Pakistan’s 8,000 metre peaks for the first time. The immediacy of the footage and the ferocity of the climb are totally inspiring. Just wonderful. I was with the climbers all the way to the top (half way) and back down again!
• Kadoma This was a kayak journey (some two months) through Central Africa by three kayakers that had me sitting on the edge of my seat though the entire 42 minutes. I have never seen so many and such large, terrifying and fast rapids. Dangerous wildlife was always around as well as unpredictable soldiers. Alas “Hendri” Coetzee, the leader, got into trouble with his kayak and was attacked and killed by a crocodile. The cinema was in total silence as the audience grasped the horror of what had happened so quickly.
• Obe & Ashima Guided by her bouldering coach Obe, 9 year old Ashima from New York has got a unique ability to climb and at such a tender age it was totally amazing what she can do. Anyone interested in climbing should watch the film.
Roll on next year. Order your ticket early or you will miss the show.
14th February 2012