Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adventures on screen promote mountain life

Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

The film “Life Cycles” was shot in Ultra High Definition and will screen at the Banff Mountain Film Festival at the nexStage Theatre on Friday, Feb. 4. Photo by

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is one of the many events included in the Sun Valley Nordic Festival. In conjunction with the Friends of the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center, the films will be shown at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum on Friday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. with films screening at 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the avalanche center and the Satipo Kids Project, which funds schooling for 38 children in Peru. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, available at Backwoods Mountain Sports, The Elephants Perch and Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an inspiring international film competition featuring the world's best footage on mountain subjects. The original festival, which began in 1976, is held annually on the first weekend in November in Banff, Alberta. In 1986, the Banff Mountain Film Festival began an outreach program to bring the festival to other communities, touring to a total of three cities across Canada. The World Tour now travels to hundreds of cities worldwide, and provides a quality film experience in Ketchum for those who cannot make an annual trek to the Canadian Rockies. This year will mark the tour's 11th visit to the Wood River Valley.

As in years past, the Banff Mountain Film Festival photo tour contest winners will be on display at the nexStage Theatre each night. In addition, the avalanche center will host its 14th annual fundraising event at the theater with a raffle each night. The Grand Prize will be a day of heli skiing with Sun Valley Helicopter Ski Guides.

Fourteen films will be shown over two nights. They will include skiing, humor, climbing, mountain biking and fly fishing, along with great human interest stories on adventure and culture.

Showing off one of the valley's own, Sun Valley ski patrolman and kayaker Ryan Casey is featured in the film "WildWater," which will screen on Saturday. The film won the People's Choice Award for the Radical Reels Night. It explores people's passion for whitewater adventure.

Included this year is "A Life Ascending," which was voted the "Best Film on Mountain Culture" and screened at the Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival. "A Life Ascending" follows Ruedi Beglinger, who has built a reputation as one of the top ski mountaineering guides in the world. The documentary peers into the unique mountain life of Beglinger, his wife and two daughters in the remote Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia.

< Also screening is the film "Crossing the Ditch," which won the Best Film on Exploration and Adventure. "Crossing the Ditch" is a powerful story of two young Australians who kayak the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand, battling massive storms, strong currents and towering waves.

Another film screening, will be "Eastern Rises," which won the Best Film on Mountain Sports. "Eastern Rises" is a humorous cultural film on fly fishing in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, where maybe even the elusive Bigfoot lurks.

For information on the subjects of the other films, visit For details on the nextStage Theatre showings, call the avalanche center at 721-1791 or e-mail

Film schedule

Friday, Feb. 4

- "The Longest Way" won Best Short Mountain Film, Germany

- "Life Cycles," U.S.

- "AZADI: Freedom," Canada

- "Khumbu Climbing School," U.S.

- "Crossing the Ditch," Australia

- "The Swiss Machine," U.S.

- "Parking Garage: Beyond the Limit," U.S.

- "Rush Hour Dream," Germany

Saturday, Feb. 5

- "A Life Ascending," won Best Film on Mountain Culture, U.S.

- "Into Darkness," U.S.

- "Chimera," Canada

- "Kranked Kids-Just Down the Road," Canada

- "Eastern Rises," U.S.

- "WildWater," U.S.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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