Banff Mountain Film Festival in review

Woodland Theater exhibits 21 adventure films over three days

More stories from Stephanie Smith



The Banff Mountain Film Festival played on the big-screen in Woodland Theater from Sunday-Tuesday night.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival ignited viewers’ passion for adventure with amazing big-screen stories which took them on a journey to exotic locations, from paddling the wildest waters to climbing the highest peaks.
The 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour featured a collection of exhilarating films which explored life in the mountains. They highlighted remote cultures and intense expeditions into exotic landscapes and brought adrenaline-packed action sports into sharp focus.

A total of 21 films were shown over the three sold-out nights of the festival, which is in its fifth year, ranging between five to 30 minutes in length.

Sophomore communication sciences and disorders student Anna Selchow is a rock-climbing member at the Environmental Adventure Center (EAC) on campus and attended all three nights of the film festival. She even made sure she bought her ticket a month in advance.

“It’s a really cool opportunity to actually have this amazing, huge world-wide film festival come to little Eau Claire,” Selchow said. “It’s cool that the university put all this effort to bring it here to us.”

Each film had its own unique draw, each displaying determination and motivation between the subjects in the films.

A fan favorite was “Four Mums in a Boat,” a story about four ordinary moms from England at the average age of 50 who decided to join the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge and travel 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat.

The women overcame immense challenges for 67 days straight, but they pushed through and strived to meet their goal.

Another fan favorite was “Ace and the Desert Dog,” a story about Ace Kvale and his dog Genghis Khan (also known as the Desert Dawg) who set out on a 60 day off-trail backpacking trip for Ace’s 60th birthday.

The film celebrates the special bond between Ace and Genghis, emphasizing the beauty of canine friendships.

The sponsors and coordinators of the Banff Mountain Film Festival gave out raffle prizes relating to adventure or camping during intermission each night.

Those in the audience with the lucky ticket numbers won prizes such as a gift card for $100 off a pair of Treksta shoes and even a free ski pass to Lake Louise in Canada.

Sophomore English student Lindsey Kvern won the Treksta gift card. She said she originally came to the film festival for extra credit for her geography class but was pleasantly surprised by how exciting the films were.

Kvern came to the theater with her friend, sophomore Carly Morris, who said the festival was interesting.

“I’m really impressed with the films and the diversity in the lengths of the movies and how they can fit so much into just a five minute video,” Morris said. “I think that watching these films is great especially at this point in the semester when you’re trying to push through finals.”

Kvern agreed and said she found the films to be both motivational and inspiring.

“I can see myself possibly doing some of this stuff,” Morris said. “If they can do it, I can do it.”

Banff Mountain Film Festival will hopefully return to the Eau Claire campus next year.