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

The Spectator

Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

Sold-out film festival marks its sixth year in Eau Claire

Tickets+for+the+Eau+Claire+stop+of+the+Banff+Mountain+Film+Festival%E2%80%99s+World+Tour+were+sold+out+two+weeks+in+advance.
Tickets for the Eau Claire stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s World Tour were sold out two weeks in advance.

Tickets for the Eau Claire stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s World Tour were sold out two weeks in advance.

Madeline Fuerstenberg

Madeline Fuerstenberg

Tickets for the Eau Claire stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s World Tour were sold out two weeks in advance.

Advertisement

Have you ever seen the world from the top of a mountain, spent days trekking through a dense rainforest or lived in a completely isolated arctic wasteland?

You may have never done these things, but the Banff Mountain Film Festival is dedicated to giving screen time to the stories of those who have.

This year’s Banff Film Festival was held Dec. 3 -5, at the Woodland Theater. Hundreds of spectators gathered in the student hub to witness the goosebump-inducing experience of Banff.

Harry Jol, a professor of geography at UW-Eau Claire, said he has attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival for about 10 years now. For the last six years, he has worked to bring the festival to Woodland Theater.

“I think the movies speak to a spectrum of humans,” said Jol. “Once you go here once, you go the rest of your life.”

The Banff Mountain Film Festival features short films that focus on outdoor enthusiasts, athletes and filmmakers from all over the world. Each film illustrates a powerful image of nature in its rawest form, while also showing the way extreme athletes become one with nature.

“Where the Wild Things Play” is a film that addresses the lack of female representation in adventure sports by showing clips of women accomplishing incredible feats. “Edges” profiles a 90-year-old woman who figure skated her whole life and never gave up the sport she loved. “Stumped” proves that no physical handicap is enough to slow a true athlete down.

These films, plus more, were shown at Banff this year.

“You need to be open-minded, and I think you should be willing to be challenged on how you’re living your life,” Jol said.

In order to allow for higher attendance, Jol and other Eau Claire supporters of Banff are looking to expand the festival to a larger venue in the future. This year’s tickets were sold out two weeks in advance.

“I think it’s a good way to understand things that you don’t really have the opportunity to do,” Tori Vouk said, a junior and film festival enthusiast. “We can do this. We can do all these rad things. Maybe not at their degree, but in smaller ways.”

Vouk said she admired the way Banff brought people of a common interest together and said the messages in each film are empowering.

“It kind of inspires you to learn new things and understand why people are passionate about them,” Vouk said.

For the fifth year, the Student Office of Sustainability (SOS) has subsidized student tickets for Banff, allowing students to purchase tickets at a lower fee.

Kristina Haideman, the SOS Student Director and Eau Claire senior, helped out at the event. After seeing the Banff films for the first time, Haideman was moved by the powerful messages and uplifting personal stories.

“It think the goal of Banff is to expose young people especially students on how to participate in the environment while also conserving it,” said Haideman. “The themes can really resonate with students.”

Dave Johnson, the Ruffed Grouse Society’s (RGS) Regional Director, was also present at the event. Banff enables non-profits like RGS to fundraise and build awareness for their cause. Johnson said RGS’s primary goal is to restore young forest habitat and the wildlife’s  population.

As a long-time fan of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Johnson said he supports the festival in Eau Claire in order to raise awareness for RGS in front of a “non-traditional” audience, while also keeping Banff closer to home.

“My dream is for young people to be inspired to see something besides a video game in the palm of their hand or a computer screen,” Johnson said. “I think there’s so much out there, even in the Midwest, where we think: ‘We don’t have mountains, we don’t have a lot of the physical features.’ What we do have, you just have to search out.”

Johnson said he hopes people leave the festival feeling stunned and inspired to do something out of the ordinary.

“There’s so many things in this world you can do,” Johnson said, “if you just have the commitment to do it.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

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. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. 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.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    Student leaders work on bringing bike share to Eau Claire

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    Currents

    Eyes of Eau Claire: Dawson Redenius

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    Serving students remains priority goal as merger moves forward

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    Currents

    Eyes of Eau Claire: Michelle Bolwerk

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    UW-Eau Claire student body vice president serves on UW System Steering Committee

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    Board of Regents passes UW System Restructuring proposal

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    First students walk through Confluence Arts Center

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    News

    Chancellor, student government prepare for UW System restructuring vote

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community

    Currents

    Eyes of Eau Claire: Jo Burke and Jody Balow

  • News

    Honoring Education Powwow

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Banff Mountain Film Festival attracts fans from around the community