OGDEN — The annual Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to town this weekend, bringing the best in short films centered on skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and countless other adventure sports.
The three-night festival runs Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, at Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd, in downtown Ogden. Screenings begin at 7 p.m. each day.
Janifer Larson, organizer of the festival, says Ogden is a perfect fit for the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
“I think, basically, the activities — the mountain sports we have here and the way the community is being built up with the trail system, the skiing and climbing and water sports — I just really think there’s no limits to what’s going on here in the area,” Larson said. “I think this is just the beginning of all the outdoor recreation development in and around Ogden.”
Each night will feature nine or 10 different films — from just a few minutes to the better part of an hour in length — centering on mountain and outdoor recreation. Larson said Saturday’s session is almost sold out, and Friday’s and Sunday’s are filling up fast.
A few of the featured films include:
• “Spectre Expedition: Mission Antarctica” — This 36-minute film tells the epic tale of three adventurers’ daring attempt to reach the summit of the most remote mountain on Earth, The Spectre, in Antarctica.
“It’s got kite-skiing and climbing in Antarctica,” Larson said. “The cinematography is awesome; it’s just a beautiful, strong film.”
• “Life of Pie” — Twenty years ago, when a lesbian couple moved to the tiny, conservative high-desert town of Fruita, Colorado, the community didn’t want to accept them. Today, after opening a pizza restaurant, they’re at the very heart of the community. It’s an 11-minute slice of life that Larson calls “a really likable movie.”
• “Into the Canyon” — Filmmaker/photographer Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko embark on a journey on foot through the length of the Grand Canyon that challenges them to their limits.
“This is probably one of my favorites of the whole three days,” Larson said. “It’s longer than most of the films — 45 minutes — but it feels a lot shorter. When it ended I thought, ‘Oh wow, is it over already?’”
• “Lhotse” — This 23-minute film tells the story of two skiers who completed the first ski descent of 27,940-foot-high Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world.
• “Hors Piste” — The official program describes this six-minute animated short as: “The two best mountain rescue workers of the region are ready for their new mission. Despite their professionalism and their determination, it will not go as planned …”
“It’s hilarious,” Larson says. “It gets the most laughs out of the evening.”
• “Home” — Adventurer Sarah Outen traverses the globe by bike, kayak and rowboat, and she faces a violent storm on the Pacific Ocean that pushes her to the physical and mental brink. 47 minutes.
Larson warns that some of the films feature strong language, so those with young ones should plan accordingly.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an annual fundraiser for the Snowbasin Sports Education Foundation. Now in its 20th year, the festival is put on by Larson each winter.
“It’s just been a lot of fun,” Larson said. “I’ve had a great time doing it and bringing it to Ogden, and I think it’s something that Ogden needs.”
Tickets are $20, available through smithstix.com or the Peery’s Egyptian Theater box office.
For more information, call 801-689-8700.