by Simon Capstick-Dale

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2012

World's best in extreme sports and mountain culture

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2012
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2012

The BANFF Centre, based in the town of Banff, within the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, consists of over 6000 artists, creators and thinkers from across the world. With the slogan 'Inspiring Creativity', these artists participate in the Centre's programmes every year by commissioning, supporting and producing various creative works. BANFF also provides training and professional development in more than a dozen art forms including aboriginal arts, music, theatre, dance, opera, literature, ceramics, print-making, painting, papermaking, photography, sculpture, audio engineering, digital film and new media. 

One of BANFF's babies, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour showcases the efforts and talents of the world's finest mountain culture filmmakers. Every year the Centre receives hundreds of hopeful entries which are narrowed down until only the very best films on extreme sports and mountain culture are singled out and showcased to the world.  

In 1986, the Banff Centre began an outreach programme to bring the tour to other communities across the globe and so the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour was born.

Twenty years later, in 2006, Cape Union Mart first brought the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to Cape Town, South Africa. 2012 heralds the seventh year of Cape Union Mart's partnership with the tour and it certainly delivered the goods once again. 

In nine short films shot all over the world by a cultural diversity of videographers, the show in Cape Town offers the world's best in alpine skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, slack and highlining, bobtrack downhill skateboarding and more. 

Highly personalised interviews and a rocking soundtrack help to transport the viewer right into the hearts, minds and souls of some of the craziest adrenaline junkies on the planet doing what they do best – being just plain nuts.   

There's different strokes for different folks but Andy Lewis's slack and highlining left a pleasant kind of knot in my stomach and the really touching story of Ashima Shiraishi, a nine-year-old Japanese girl from New York City who is taking the bouldering world by storm, really impressed me too. There was even a fantastically neat satirical film about one man's quest to revolutionise the world of animal avalanche rescue with a cat. Yes, a cat. 

On top of the edge-of-your-seat action, the film will also give you the opportunity to see some of the world 's most remote cultures in some of the world's last remaining wild places.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2012 will be screening from 26 October until 1 November at Ster Kinekor cinemas nationwide. 

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