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Pushing the limits: The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Montreal

The 27th edition of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour came to Montreal this year from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21, offering a selection of films from jaw-dropping to heartbreaking. 

Tickets were completely sold out, as people were excited for the festival to be back in-person.

Out of a record submission rate of 453 films, the festival chose ten. 

Every film ranged from five to 45 minutes. The whole evening lasted for three hours. 

The first film, Colors of Mexico by Kilian Bron, featured a mountain biker riding the vibrant streets. The filmmaker played with shapes through architectural angles,  accentuating the beauty of the scenery and the danger of the sport. 

Doo Sar: A Karakoram Ski Expedition film showcased breathtaking footage from the Karakoram mountain range, located in the Kashmir region, featuring Polish duo Andrzej Bargiel and Jędrek Baranowski, who ice climbed to the peak in 12 hours, to then descend in 90 minutes. 

The short Walking on Clouds showed record-breaking highline athlete Rafael Bridi walking between two hot air balloons. The elegance of his movements and the perfect balance of his core seemed almost inconceivable. 

The film was poetic and stress-inducing enough to have the audience sitting on the edge of their seats as the highline trembled under Bridi’s weight. 

The 45-minute-long To the Hills and Back – Know Before You Go proposed a preventative approach to ultimate sports, narrating two storylines of adventurers having lost their loved ones in avalanches. 

The fast-paced editing did not leave much to the imagination, as the audience was propelled into the story. It warns that accidents are frequent. 

The Process, drenched in irony, follows mountaineer Tom Randall, seeking to complete a mountain running challenge over 42 peaks and across 142 kilometers in less than 24 hours. He humors taking on the challenge as a non-runner. 

Flow, follows skier Sam Favret, who decided to hike up a French Alpine resort during confinement, to enjoy the bare slopes. The ungraded slopes permitted breathtaking footage. 

Clean Mountains counts the tourist pollution on Everest from a Sherpa’s perspective, as one woman decides to climb Everest and while descending clears the mountain of tourist waste. 

Her father had lost his fingers helping a client tie his ice crampons, impeding him from continuing to work. His experience burdened the family and exposed the harm of unprepared tourists on Everest. 

North Shore Betty teaches the possibility of starting a new sport at any age. At 45, Betty took up mountain biking. On screen, she was 73. 

A Baffin Vacation trailered a couple on the struggles of ultimate sports on the body and mind. They comically preface their story by ridiculing their experience on the brawling effects of canoeing and mountain climbing. 

The light short Do a Wheelie concluded the festival positively, showing that ultimate sports weave communities together. 

The international documentary festival will tour around the province until the end of March.

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