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Banff Mountain Films to Take Viewers to Kyrgyzstan, Greenland and Other Spots Around the Globe
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Katie Veteto learns to “drive sweep” down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the film “Driving Sweep.”
   
Monday, January 29, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Following in the footsteps of Kyrgyzstan’s nomadic people and the ancient Silk Road, three explorers embark on an adventure to the Kokshaal-Too Mountains—one of the most remote and still unexplored places in Asia. They find themselves in a world where time and space appear to stand still and they’ve encapsulated it in the film titled “Chronoception.”

Bend, Ore., skier Mallory Duncan throws out the rulebook on standard ski movies as he mixes backcountry freeskiing with his lifelong passion for jazz in “The Backcountry Journal.” And Northern Idaho native Jessica Baker, shows what happens when you combine a renewable energy sailboat with an arctic ski expedition in Greenland for the first time in “Going Greenland.”

These films and more will be part of the 25th year of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Sun Valley.

 
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North Idaho native Jessica Baker, who now lives in Jackson, Wyo., stars in “Going Greenland.”
 

The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be shown for three nights—Friday through Sunday, Feb. 2-4, at The Argyros in Ketchum. Doors open at 6 p.m. with films starting at 7.

Advance tickets are $25, available at https://theargyros.org/calendar. Tickets sold at the door are $29.

Three nights of films encompassing nearly all the films sent out on tour each year is unusual, as most venues show only one night of films, said Michael Boge, the Sandpoint man who brought the tour to Ketchum and Sun Valley 25 years ago. Boge fought to have two nights of films at the beginning, and expanded it shortly afterwards because of the enthusiastic response here.

This year’s films were curated from hundreds of films submitted and shown at the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival in November 2023. Films selected for the World Tour are shown to more than 550,000 audience members through more than 1,100 screenings in 500 locations in 40 countries, including Antarctica.

“The films are great and each year I find them a good motivator to take on more of life in an aggressive way!” said Boge.

The Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center will sell raffle tickets for great prizes each night, with ticket sales benefitting local avalanche forecasting and educational classes. And Daniel Brown and The Redside Foundation will be onsite to discuss the program’s efforts to help outfitters and guides needing mental health or substance use help in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 FILMS:

CROSS COUNTRIES, France. From the roots of mountain biking in the USA, to the dense Canadian forests and rock slabs of British Columbia, mountain biker Kilian Bron goes on another tour, this time on some of the most beautiful North American trails.

THE ASCENSION SERIES: MORAG SKELTON, United Kingdom. Morag, who doesn’t let being deaf limit what’s possible on the mountainside, believes that nothing should come between anyone and getting out there in nature. As a deaf climber constantly pushing the limits of possible, she lives that belief.

SCHOOL OF FISH ***BEST SHORT FILM*** USA. Indigenous people and salmon have been intertwined for thousands of years in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The knowledge of harvesting, preserving, and sharing fish is as important here as any lesson in a book.

CHRONOCEPTION, France. On the trail of nomadic peoples and the ancient Silk Roads, Thomas Delfino, accompanied by Léa Klaue and Aurélien Lardy, embark on an expedition to reach one of the most remote places on the continent.

TO BE FRANK, USA. Frank Paine is a 73-year-old South Bay icon and humble local legend whose life orbits around a two-block stretch of beach.

GOING GREENLAND, USA. What happens when you combine a renewable energy sailboat with an arctic ski expedition in Greenland for the first time ever? Athletes Rachael Burks and Jessica Baker put the idea to test, and endure a both harrowing and inspiring journey along Greenland’s West coast fjords and towering mountains

WELL WORN LIFE WITH DANI REYES-ACOSTA, USA. Meet Dani Reyes-Acosta, a mountain athlete, land cultivator, and storyteller whose path consistently seeks the limits of her possibility, ticking off climbs and splitboard lines across South America.

Reel Rock: DNA, USA. French sport climber Seb Bouin has been quietly working his way through the elite grades, culminating in his attempt to establish a long pitch through an overhanging cave in the Verdon Gorge of France.

SATURDAY, FEB 3 FILMS:

FUEGO, France. An ode to escape and adventure travel, Fuego is a new mountain biking masterpiece. From Guatemala to Peru via Bolivia, the team scoured the most beautiful spots for two months bringing back breathtaking images.

THE BEST SKIER YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF, Sweden. Adrien Grabinski needed a change. After a successful ski racing career that took him from the Alberta team to the Canadian national team, he then ventured further west. He discovered his true calling at Shames Mountain, a remote little co-op non-profit ski area near Terrace, B.C. The mountains, the snow, and the big lines first captivated him, but the local ski community truly stole his heart.

ONE DEGREE° #PERU, France. ONE DEGREE is kitesurfing adventure at the crossroads of outdoor sport and activism showcasing the changes our environment is currently experiencing. Embark on this journey looking for places to ride on some of the highest alpine lakes in the world in the Andes.

SUBTERRANEAN***BEST FILM: ADVENTURE, Canada. In a remarkable year, two gritty teams of hobbyist cavers are poised to break records for the longest and deepest caves in Canada. After discovering a flooded underground chamber, Katie, a daytime accountant, becomes obsessed with returning to the Bisaro Anima cave in the Rockies to push the caving depth record. At the same time, a passionate Vancouver Island team is attempting to link two tunnel systems to create the longest known cave in the country.

MUSTAFA CEYLAN, Switzerland. This is the story of a young Turkish immigrant, destined to play football and take over his parents’ kebab restaurant. But one day, fate put a pair of skis in his way.

DRIVING SWEEP, USA. Few river guides ever get the chance to drive Idaho’s Iconic sweep boat. Driving Sweep follows Katie Veteto as she learns how to “drive sweep” down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. She’s learned the rapids and the river. Now she learns to drive 4,000 pounds down steep rocky rapids.

RANGE RIDER, USA. As wolves repopulate Washington State, conflict is heating up with rural ranching communities. Range rider Daniel Curry's job is to patrol wild areas on horseback, creating a buffer between wolves and the cattle herds that graze on public lands.

TWO POINT FOUR, United Kingdom. Not your typical family holiday, but this is not your typical family. Leo Houlding, his wife Jess, their two children Freya, 9, and Jackson, 5, climb Norway's national mountain via a 2,000-foot big wall.

SUNDAY, Feb. 4, FILMS:

DESERT WINGS, USA. Para motoring is a niche, largely undocumented, and little-known flying sport. Desert Wings highlights some of the most dramatic desert landscapes in the American Southwest.

SOUNDSCAPE***CREATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARD, USA. Soundscape shares the sightless experience of climbing a mountain via echo location, touch and imagination. Soundscape features Erik Weihenmayer, a global adventure athlete and author who is fully blind, as he ascends a massive alpine rock face deep in the Sierra Nevada.

THE BLACKCOUNTRY JOURNAL***BEST FILM: SNOW SPORTS, USA. A skier contemplates his connection to skiing and the mountains. As he hurries through the streets of L.A., his path takes a turn after bumping into a jazz musician who helps him discover the correlation between jazz and skiing—an expression of art, skiing, and black culture.

GEORGIA ASTLE: FLIP THE SWITCH, Canada. If you don’t have role models to look up to, it’s harder to progress as a rider. Georgia Astle grew up chasing her older brother. “If he could do it, I could do it” she figured. She got comfortable “flipping the switch” and pushing against the clock. Watch Georgia Astle explore some of British Columbia’s most striking landscapes, on a search for terrain to push her riding, inspired by a rising tide of female free riders around the world.

Canada Vertical, Canada. After years of preparation, a team of highly motivated Quebeckers set out on one of the longest wilderness expeditions ever documented. Stage one involves skiing in relentless polar conditions from Ellesmere Island to the Northwest Passage where the challenge was reaching the mainland. Cue canoes for a 2,000-kilometer journey across Nunavut and the Northwest Territories until they reach the first dirt road available where bikes are waiting to be pedaled 4,000 kilometers to Point Pelee in Ontario.

LEO & CHESTER ***BEST FILM: MOUNTAIN CULTURE, Canada. Leo, a sought-after rock star with a promising career, turns his back on the industry to pursue a life on the land with a herd of buffalo.

NEAR THE RIVER, USA. In the tourism town of Livingston, Zambia, a group of local men who make their living portaging kayaks aspire to become safety kayakers on the Zambezi River.

EL GAVILÁN, USA. Rising out of the arid Mexican Desert lies a 900-foot ship’s prow of elegant limestone sporting a 9-pitch 5.13 established in the 1990s by Jeff Jackson. A cutting-edge big wall free climb at the time, this route shut down hard men for years.

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