A revisit to the 2013 Banff Mountain Film Festival – Australian Program 2013 movies via YouTube.
Crossing The Ice
Australia, 2012, 44 minutes
AWARD WINNER: FESTIVAL GRAND PRIZE, PEOPLE’S CHOICE & BEST FILM ON EXPLORATION & ADVENTURE
Aussie adventurers James Castrission and Justin Jones embark upon a perilous 2275km journey across Antarctica in a race to become the first people to man-haul their way from the icy continent’s rim to the South Pole and back, completely unassisted. In the past, a handful of hopefuls have attempted the feat, but none have succeeded. Dragging their food and supplies across the unforgiving landscape, in temperatures as low as -40°C, the pair experiences the peaks and troughs of being alone and unsupported in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their journey heats up when they discover their record attempt is in jeopardy; there’s a Norwegian on the ice. He’s more experienced, he’s tackling same route, and he has a head start. This inspiring, not-to-be-missed film won the festival’s grand prize. It took out the people’s choice award and won best film in the ‘exploration and adventure’ category.
The Gimp Monkeys
USA, 2012, 8 minutes
With only four legs and five arms between them, three ambitious climbers have their sights set on achieving the first all-disabled ascent of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park’s iconic 900m-high vertical wall. Brought together by the shared experience of missing a limb, the trio shares an unyielding passion for climbing.
‘We are climbers first, disabled second,’ says Arc’teryx athlete Craig DeMartino. ‘If you’re a climber, you want to climb El Cap.’ Gimp Monkeys follows DeMartino, Jarem Frye and Pete Davis’ successful ascent of Zodiac, a 1,800-foot route on the Southeast Face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.
USA, 2012, 5 minutes
Ernest Wilkinson, from Colorado, is one of the last remaining members of a vanishing breed of mountain men. This endearing film pays homage to Ernest, now in his late eighties, whose down-to-earth stories and old-school survival advice will capture both your heart and imagination.
Flow Hunters (special festival edit)
New Zealand, 2012, 9 minutes
A group of the world’s best paddlers explores some of the most dangerous and extreme white-water flows in New Zealand. Featuring stunning cinematography, scenic footage of big river runs and heart-stopping adventure sequences, this film follows Ben Brown, Jared Meehan, Rush Sturges and Rafa Ortiz as they journey deep into unchartered territory in the Southern Alps and South Otago, on the South Island.
Spain, 2012, 4 minutes
In August 2011, an international crew of seven female longboard riders set out on a 15-day, 4,300km road trip through Spain with filmmaker Juan Rayos. Female skating culture is growing worldwide, with the Longboard Girls Crew at its forefront. This special edit captures the spirit of the crew as these girls chase fast runs, freedom and friendship, while shredding the fine line between flawless precision and sheer insanity.
Last of the Great Unknown
USA, 2012, 23 minutes
One of the last places in the American West left to be explored, the Grand Canyon is an immense landscape filled with sweeping vistas. Almost unfathomable in scale, its vast wilderness is home to a labyrinth of concealed tributaries that hide some of the region’s most remarkable formations. Led by Richard Rudow, who has clocked up some 70 first descents in the Grand Canyon, a team of seasoned canyoners ventures deep inside these slots to locations where no humans have set foot before.
Lily Shreds Trailside
USA, 2011, 4 minutes
Every serious mountain-bike rider needs a mascot, and Lily the Jack Russell Terrier is on the road to becoming just that. As the star of this film, Lily leaves only dust behind her as she does what she loves best: chasing bikes. Hot on the tail of a rider carving out new lines in Utah, USA, Lily clears a double jump, attempts a wall ride and ultimately, proves that downhill mountain-bike trails were not only made for wheels; paws can do the trick as well.
USA, 2012, 6 minutes
Last year, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel headed to Japan on a quest to find the mythical Hokkaido Unicorn. The elusive creature proved too difficult to capture on film, so they focused their lenses on the local snow-surfing community instead. The result is a sublime piece of visual poetry. Mesmerising footage of surreal landscapes filled with snow-loaded trees is sliced with beautifully shot sequences of traditional Taiko drumming.
Reel Rock 7: Honnold 3.0
USA, 2012, 33 minutes
AWARD WINNER: BEST FILM, CLIMBING
One of the boldest solo climbers alive today, Alex Honnold, sets out on his biggest adventure yet: the Yosemite Triple Crown. Within a 24-hour timeframe, he plans to make the first ever solo link up of Mt Watkins, El Capitan and Half Dome. Armed only with a harness, two daisy chains, six or seven cams and a sling, he sets out to conquer Yosemite’s three iconic walls back-to-back, without rope. Known for his first ascents, speed-climbing records and massive free solos, the legendary climber is accustomed to life on the edge. This adrenalin-inducing film will leave you on the edge of your seat.
TWO MYSTERY MOVIES ANNOUNCED ON THE NIGHT: (1 mountain biking)
UK, 2011, 5 minutes
Using an abandoned ironworks as a playground, Scottish trials rider Danny MacAskill demonstrates his bike handling ability as he leaps onto shipping containers, hops across rusted train carriages and glides along disused railway lines. Beautifully shot, this film is packed full of awe-inspiring trials sequences that are a testament to Danny’s skill and experience.
On Thin Sea Ice 2
Norway, 2011, 2 minutes
With only a thin sheet of fresh ice between him and sub-zero-dgree seawater in Southern Norway, Tor Eckhoff decides to slide it up before chilling out. After all, what could be more refreshing than a skating session followed by a quick dip in the ocean?