Thursday, April 28, 2011

Banff Tour Wraps in Portland

The final night of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour's Portland run was tonight. The lineup went a little something like this. (Approximate running times in parentheses)

Dream Result (16:00) - Kayak film that won a People's Choice award on Banff's Radical Reels tour. Includes some Norwegian boating, a wreck reel and a world record waterfall drop attempt. A good mix, but I don't know enough about the sport to know whether some of the things they do are intentional.

Parking Garage: Beyond the Limit (5:00) - A parody of the Everest: Beyond the Limit TV show. For those who find themselves out of breath after a flight of stairs. Sir Edmund Hilarity.

Crossing the Ditch (1:15:00) - Won the Best of Exploration and Adventure award at the festival. Two novice kayakers decide to paddle across the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. Thousands of kilometers, months of travel. They encounter rough seas, sharks and yachtsman. Will they make it? Will they encounter the Blair Witch as per their photography? This one got my girlfriend to swear never to touch a kayak. (She left open the possibility of using parking garages, though.)

Salt (26:00) - Winner of the Creative Excellence award at the festival. By the way, it's not this one. Salt documents a photographer's multi-year journey into Australia's dry Lake Eyre to capture images and battle personal demons. Emotional story, amazing time-lapse landscapes.

Rush Hour Dream (5:00) - German businessman falls asleep on the bus, wakes up paragliding.

Last Paradise (26:00) - Tells the story of a group of Kiwi action sports pioneers. Great old-school footage of surfing, snowboarding, skiing, hang gliding and proto-wakeboarding.

Not a bad group of films this year. I like how they changed the lineup every day, instead of repeating some as they did in years past. I'd have liked to see more snow sports. If they think it's the wrong time of year for that, they're wrong (judging by all the kayaking movies, that might be the case).

Check the Banff Centre site for tour stops near you and get tickets as soon as they go on sale. These shows sell out in days in Portland. Unless you live in Banff, the tour is your only chance.

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