Once a year we crowd into one of Berlin’s biggest cinemas along with several hundred other mountain lovers and get treated to the best of the best from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. This year’s programme showcased a varied range of sports combined with stunning film work, humour, engaging storytelling, incredible athletes and a whole world of adventure. We watched 9 films in total and they were all different and inspiring in their own way. For this post, I’ve picked my three favourite films from the evening, but you can find more details about the whole programme on the festival website.
The Rocky Mountains Traverse
A ground-breaking 800km paragliding journey along the Rocky Mountains with jaw-dropping scenery that makes me want to a) try paragliding and b) pack up and go to Canada. What a way to see the mountains!
This film follows three athletes at the iconic Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and whilst the “Curiosity” frame is perhaps a little forced, this film is more than worth it just to see Rory Bosio singing and dancing in a frog shower cap. Not only is the two-time UTMB winner incredibly talented and delightfully kooky, but she also says “The minute you start stressing about your training, you’re doing it wrong,” so yeah, she’s basically my hero.
Showdown at Horseshoe Hell
On paper, the 24 hour rock climbing competition “Horseshoe Hell” does sound horrendous, but on film it looks awesome – what could be more fun than climbing as hard as you can for 24 hours in a silly costume?! I loved the humour of this film – all these guys are clearly incredible athletes, but it was less about showing off their feats and more about showing how a sport can build a community and how much fun you can have doing the stuff you love with other people who love it just as much.
Need some inspiration to get outdoors? Check out the Banff Mountain Film Festival website to find out more about the other films and see when the tour will be coming near you.
Sarah is a freelance translator living in Berlin. She loves a good old adventure, from dog sledding in Sweden to cycling Britain, from running a marathon to exploring abandoned buildings and from watching the sun rise from atop Ben Nevis to pedaloing from Prague to Berlin.