The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Banff Film and Book Festival returns to the Pablo Center

Festival showcases outdoor-themed films from around the world
Photo by Wyatt Voelker
Banff Film Festival attendees get ready to watch the films.

The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival returned to Eau Claire on April 21 at the Pablo Center. The event showcased multiple outdoor-themed films about biking, skiing and even wind sailing at altitudes over 5000 meters.

As Banff Centre’s flagship program, the festival has been instrumental in promoting understanding and appreciation of mountain experiences, ideas and visions, according to Harry Jol, a geography and anthropology professor at UW-Eau Claire. 

Jol is deeply involved in bringing the festival to Eau Claire and the event serves as an avenue for inspiring outdoor adventure and environmental awareness.

“Involvement with the Banff Mountain Film Festival is a longstanding endeavor,” Jol said, underscoring the multi-year commitment to bringing this cultural event to the community.

Story continues below advertisement

“It allows a community like Eau Claire and the students here to see international work, films and different perspectives,” Jol said, highlighting the festival’s role in fostering cross-cultural exchange and environmental advocacy.

Carter Johnson, a community member and attendee of the event, also noted the involvement with the community this festival has. 

“It’s great to see a place where people like me, outdoors people, can come together and enjoy what we love,” Johnson said. “ And the organizations that get involved with this event really highlight some activities we have around the area such as the pure water paddlers and other organizations.”

This year’s Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour continues the tradition of bringing the best in mountain and adventure films to audiences worldwide. “The films curated for this year’s tour offer a diverse array of stories and perspectives,” Jol said.

Jol emphasizes the festival’s ability to captivate audiences with tales of human achievement, environmental stewardship, and the beauty of our planet’s mountain landscapes.

But the festival experience goes beyond just watching films. 

“It’s not just about the movies; it’s about the connections made and the conversations sparked,” Jol said, highlighting the interactive and communal nature of the event.

Jol exclaims the event is also aimed to get people outside as well as teach people about conservation within the environment. Jol noted that profits from the festival will also be used to enable habitat restoration and building from local wildlife such as grouse. 

“As a society, if we want to preserve the environment, we need to get outside and take a look at things,” Jol said, advocating for the importance of outdoor exploration and conservation efforts. 

“How do we motivate people to get outside? One way is to show them great films with a variety of perspectives on the outdoors,” Joel said.

Attendees have the opportunity to engage with outdoor enthusiasts, environmental advocates and filmmakers, sharing stories and insights that inspire action and connection to nature.

In addition to captivating films and engaging discussions, partnerships enhance the festival experience, offering attendees the chance to win exciting prizes. Audience members were awarded ski passes, game sets, coffee and other prizes. 

In the words of Jol, “The Banff Mountain Film Festival offers an inspiring and immersive experience for outdoor enthusiasts and environmental advocates alike. Join the global community in celebrating the spirit of adventure and the beauty of our planet’s mountain landscapes.”

Voelker can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *