The lights dim, casting a wave of darkness and exhilaration over the audience. Anticipation is thick, building rapidly through the quiet. In a flash, brilliant visuals enmeshed with powerful music hit the screen, an awesome experience to behold. The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour makes its way to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts Civic Center on April 9th, 2014 for a night of action packed, invigorating clips of the extraordinary.
The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival occurs in Banff, Canada in November every year. Focusing on the environment, action sports, and culture, this event has given a stage to artists desiring to bring their work to a wider audience for 35 years. International film crews and writers, ranging from high school students to full fledged professionals, submit films and books for the competition. The nine day event includes film screenings, guest speakers, awards, craft shows, exhibits, and a trade show. Directly after the festival, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour begins, sharing their wealth of creativity and wonder across the globe. Host organizations choose a line-up that best fits their area, creating a unique experience for each audience.
For ten years, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has sponsored the showing in Jamestown, bringing a piece of the thrilling and exotic to downtown. An organization devoted to the passion-driven work of Roger Tory Peterson and the natural world, RTPI enhances the community through educational and vivid programming, such as the Banff Mountain Film Festival. “I just fell in love with it,” Bill Scherman, RTPI volunteer and organizer of the festival, confesses. Scherman took the festival under his wing four years ago, and hopes to continue its growth far into the future. “My wife, Tina, was working here…I told her ‘If they need someone to put on a film festival, Let ‘em know, I’ll volunteer to do it!'”
At the end of February, the “Friends of Banff” convene for a night of refreshment and film clips, voting on which films should be included in the festival. This year, the event was held in the Carnahan Theatre at Jamestown Community College, where thirty entries were viewed, and the line-up was voted on. “Anyone can come!” Scherman says with a grin. For a small fee, attendees are shown various film clips, invited to give their opinions, share a pleasant evening among likeminded folks and, most importantly, raise money for an essential organization. To join “Friends of Banff”, send Bill an email at email@example.com
Tim Smeal, Patron Services Manager at the Reg Lenna, is excited to see the event return. “It’s sort of where the head and heart of environmental living comes together,” he says of the festival. “It really is that connection between the inspiration of humans and what wacky things we do in connection to the Earth.” Smeal is eager for this year’s production, looking forward to what diverse content it has to offer. “It’s the world coming to Jamestown, NY…which is really nice.”
On the night of the festival, the doors to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts will open at 5 p.m., allowing festival goers to peruse the Chinese Auction and enjoy wine and beer before the show. At 7 p.m., the films begin, running about an hour or so, leading into a brief intermission. After a prize drawing done by one of Banff Mountain’s ‘Road Warriors, the films will resume. As the evening draws to a close, Bill Scherman himself will announce the winners of the Chinese Auctions, allowing winners to collect their prizes that evening. The festival holds something for everyone, from environmental films and gnarly kayaking videos to prize drawings and socializing…no one leaves with an empty heart.
Tickets are available to purchase online at: www.reglenna.com/events. Pick up at the Reg Lenna box office is required. For more information on the Banff Centre, the World Tour, or the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, please visit www.banffcentre.ca. Visit www.rtpi.org for a list of upcoming events, information, and more. “Everybody leaves smiling,” Scherman says. “You’ll walk away totally inspired to do something with your life.”
Plan the next adventure: pick up a ticket to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, and be moved.