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Banff Mountain Film Festival returns for third year

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The Banff Mountain Film Festival is celebrating its third year at Countryfest Community Cinema and co-ordinator Clayton Swanton is thrilled with the line up for Jan. 30 and 31.
“As per what people are used to, if they’ve been before, it’s not all just hard-hitting action, crazy people doing stuff films. It’s sometimes just people out doing inspiring things,” he said.
“I think one of the big ones this year will be a mother and daughter who went through the BC coast mountains, took four months and traversed the entire mountain range together. You know its inspiring stories like that, it’s not necessarily hard-hitting surfing or skiing videos.”
Over the two nights the festival will offer 21 films of various lengths, with 10 the first night and 11 films the second night.
With a catalogue of up to 35 films to choose from, Swanton feels Dauphin is fortunate to see a majority of them, as many other communities only view a smaller sampling in one night.
“So just to give you an idea of one night, the films will go from a skiing film to a photography/surfing film, to a running/human story film. There’s a bike packing film, some environmental stuff, some mountain culture stuff, climbing and skiing again. And the other night, it’s got stuff that maybe is a little different. There is some mountain biking stuff in there, mountain sports and stuff like that,” he said, noting a bike film has caught his interest.
“It’s called Divided. This guy does the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race from Banff to Mexico. He rides all the way down that ridgeline like a bunch of people do, but this one is a female version of it. It’s pretty ridiculous that you bike from Banff to Mexico.”
Half the films on Wednesday are female-focused, he said, noting My Mom Vala is about fishing, The Beaver Believers is about a hairdresser/certified live beaver trapper and Reel Rock 12: Break On Through is about a 19 year old climber.
The annual film festival is a fund-raiser for the Countryfest Community Cinema, Swanton explained, which is brought in by the Dauphin Rotary Clubs’ Manitoba MudRun.
The event receives support from four local businesses, with Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy and Prairie Supply Co. sponsoring the Wednesday event and Nutters Everyday Naturals and Tourism Dauphin sponsoring Thursday.
“So they are supporting the program along with the Rotary Club to bring it in at zero cost to the theatre. So the theatre doesn’t have to pay anything to bring this event in and all proceeds from ticket sales and beer sales go directly to the theatre’s bottom line,” he said.
The licensed event is in partnership with Farmery Estate Brewery.
“And it’s kind of nice to be able to sit back and drink a tall, strong beer while you watch some films on a cold winter night,” Swanton added.
As usual, he said, there will be some good door prizes, because the festival is sponsored by Clif Bar and Kicking Horse Coffee.
Locally, 9 Finger Ranch in Rossburn is offering a gift certificate for a two-night stay in its guest house for 10 people, or a half-day guided adventure on horseback for two into Riding Mountain National Park, worth $350.
“And they offer horseback riding, guided horseback tours into Riding Mountain National Park. They’ve got cross-country ski trails on their property,” Swanton added.
Tickets are $25 each for assigned seating. Patrons must purchase tickets at the cinema and pick a seat, so Swanton encourages buying tickets early, to get the best choice.
“It’s important to emphasize that the Wednesday and the Thursday are two different sets of programming, so if you go Wednesday, you haven’t seen it all and you can come out again on Thursday,” he encouraged.
Patrons may visit banffcentre.ca/2018-19-world-tour-films for descriptions of the films to be screened at the festival.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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