Banff Film Festival sells out for 17th year

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The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) hosted the sold-out Banff Mountain Film Festival for the 17th year on Feb. 14 -15 in the Raegan Theater.

“There is a huge mountain community [in Utah] and everyone seems to come together for those two nights,” said Kim Reynolds, OAC program coordinator. “The films are not full of high adrenaline moments. It’s more of original people going on amazing adventures.”

Professional or not, anyone can submit a 5- to 45-minute video to this Canadian film festival. The only requirement for submission is to include a mountain scene in the project, according to Reynolds and Evan Frost, OAC manager. The film festival takes place in November, then designated employees, known as road warriors, take the films all over the world. Dave Miller is a road warrior and his job is to tailor which films are shown in each location. This year, Miller is bringing films that have mountain biking, kayaking, rowing, mountain climbing, environmental views and mountain culture all over the world.

“It is great to get to see people’s creativity and see them do adventurous things,” said Reynolds.

For UVU, Miller has chosen the film series Iran: A Skier’s Journey, directed and narrated by Jordan Manley. The series is about two skiers – Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots – who travel all over the world. In the first episode, Sayers and Coots travel to Iran and are stunned by the beauty and culture. Besides meeting locals and learning new customs, Coots and Sayer ski on the Zagros Mountains just outside of the Iraq and Iran border.

“After watching the films, instead of being inspired to go big, you feel inspired to make an impact with the mountain culture and connect with them. There is something very inspiring and impactful about that,” said Frost.

Over the last 17 years, the Banff film festival has been beloved by community members and students. The Hansen family has been coming to the festival for two years now and is excited to see what this year’s festival has to offer.

“Some friends recommended it to us last year and we had a fabulous time,” said Sarah Hansen. “So, we came back again this year and brought our entire family.”

Sarah’s daughter, Becca Hansen, came to the festival because she heard her mom and dad’s positive experience at the festival and wanted to try it out for herself.

“I decided to come because my parents bought me a ticket,” said Katie Gren, a junior majoring in secondary education. “But I am excited to see what the festival is all about.”