Banff Mountain Film Festival brings extreme sports to Moab
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Feb 28, 2013 | 2327 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Dean Potter highlines above a deep canyon as the full moon rises in a scene from the film “Moonwalk.” The film is among those featured in the upcoming Banff Mountain Film Festival in Moab. Photo by Mikey Schaefer
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Eight films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival, including three shot on the Colorado Plateau, will be presented at the 10th annual screening in Moab.

Tickets for the Monday, March 11, show are now on sale for $10 in advance or $15 at the door, if still available at show time. Last year’s festival sold out quickly, said event organizer Dave Erley.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour plays in 30 countries, and features more than 550 screenings following the annual festival in Banff, Canada, each November.

The lineup for Moab includes films about climbing, canyoneering, highlining, kayaking, mountain biking, polar adventure, and a wildlife and environmental film.

“We have a pretty strong climbing community in Moab,” Erley said. “We are one of the destination locations for these extreme sports.”

The films to be shown in Moab are:

• “Lily Shreds Trailside,” featuring a Jack Russell terrier that goes mountain biking with her owners.

• “Reel Rock 7: Wide Boyz,” about off-width climbing in which climbers use larger than normal cracks to ascend by placing a leg or elbow in the rock opening. The film was shot in Utah’s canyon country.

• “Moonwalk,” features footage of well known highliner and rock climber Dean Potter walking on a rope stretched between two canyons. It, too, was filmed on the Colorado Plateau.

• “Crossing the Ice” takes viewers along on a trans-Antarctic trek in which adventurers on skis pull sleds packed with gear to be completely self-sustained.

• “Last Great Unknown” is about extreme canyoneering in the Grand Canyon.

• “Flow Hunters” is a short film about kayaking in New Zealand.

• “Highway Wilding,” shot in Canada, shows how that country’s government minimized the interaction between motorists and large animals.

• “Reel Rock 7: Honnold 3.0” focuses on American big wall free solo climber Alex Honnold in action.

The selection process for the Moab festival begins with Erley reviewing shorts of many of the films that played in Banff. He and his wife view them, then Erley goes online to see the feedback from audiences in other towns on the world tour schedule.

He puts together three or four potential film lists and sends them to a mountain film festival representative in Banff for more input. Erley said staff members know the flavor of each town on the world tour and offer hints on what might play well in Moab.

Erley sends Banff a final list of two or three scenarios and yet another Banff representative helps whittle the choices down to a final few.

“I never override them,” Erley said of the Banff personnel. “There’s a lot of responsibility in picking the list.”

This year’s Moab stop on the world tour will raise money for the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign. The Access Fund is a multi-million dollar revolving grant fund that helps local climbing groups across the U.S. acquire land and preserve it for climbing or climbing access, according to a news release.

The headlamp and climbing-gear manufacturer Petzl is sponsoring the Moab showing for the 10th year.

“These films are a celebration of the outdoor lifestyle and living life to the fullest,” John Evans, Petzl’s marketing director, said in the news release. “We really owe the success of the event to local organizer David Erley, his tech guy Miso [Tunks], and all the Moab sponsors. Without them, it wouldn’t happen.”

The showing will be in the Grand County High School auditorium, 608 S. 400 East. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the screenings begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at Back of Beyond Bookstore, 83 N. Main St.; Canyon Voyages Adventure Co., 211 N. Main St.; Pagan Mountaineering, 59 S. Main St.; and Poison Spider Bicycles, 497 N. Main St.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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