Film fest still radical after 10 years
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 05, 2013 06:00 am
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 students plus facility fee Call 780-459-1540 or purchase online at www.ticketmaster.ca
Radical Reels is back with a hot-ticket screening that showcases jaw-dropping extreme sport action.
Each of the thrill-seeking professional stunt athletes will risk life and limb to perform breathtaking feats that defy gravity. Over and over again these extreme sport enthusiasts cheat death chopping through highly choreographed manoeuvres that leave audiences gasping.
Some of the world’s most sophisticated heart-stopping action arrives with the 10th annual Banff Mount Film Festival World Tour of Radical Reels.
The enduring partnership between National Geographic Society and the Banff Centre make it possible to host an annual film festival focused on mesmerizing stunts throughout the world’s remote and rarely charted destinations.
On the last leg of this season’s North American tour, Radical Reels lands at the Arden Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 6.
“It’s not so much that we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary, as we’ve reached a point where action-fuelled filmmaking is moving internationally. There’s more action. There’s better filmmaking. There’s more depth. There’s a sports renaissance and it’s a pinnacle point in a happening genre,” says Meaghan Stewart, Banff world tour program coordinator.
Through the lens of adventure filmmakers, the high-voltage journeys focus on 11 daring speed riders, stunt skiers, whitewater shredders, summit-scaling climbers and daredevil mountain bikers.
“Filmmakers have become more experimental. The sports action shots used to be formulaic. But filmmakers are now including more story, more interesting locations and more character development,” Stewart says.
“Their cinematic techniques are also more varied. They use time-lapse, slow motion, high definition cameras and gyroscopic cameras. Films also take on a high-definition form when taken from helicopters,” she adds.
Certain filmmakers are so entrenched in their craft and determined to take their film to the next level that they have take out a second mortgage on the home and max out credit cards.
“The best films, whether on a big or small budget, display a passion that comes through, and that’s what we look for. We look for skill in the athlete and creativity in the filmmaker and a unique approach to storytelling.”
Equally important when editing Radical Reels, the Banff Centre searches for a variety of sports to get the viewer stoked.
Being There is a 14-minute Norwegian film that sends a gang of fun-loving free-skiers flying into the stratosphere. Running side-by-side is Endless Roads, a four-minute Spanish film that races into the world of long boarding.
A second film shot at a Spanish location is the five-minute Lacon de Catalonia, a bike-training compound outside Barcelona.
“When Andreu Lacondeguy bought some property in Spain, he built a gigantic jump that is 13 metres tall. You can see it on YouTube.”
In Further, Jeremy Jones trudges through the Alaskan backcountry for some cool snowboarding.
“He flies into a backcountry compound and accesses the mountain by foot. Jeremy is a snowboard legend.”
The supernatural appears to come alive in Of Souls + Water – The Shapeshifter as legendary white-water kayaker Ben Marr shreds waves in Quebec’s furious rapids.
Reel Rock 7: La Dura Dura features two climbing superstars, Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra, battling to climb 5.15c, the world’s hardest climbing route in Spain.
The three-minute German film, The Rollerman, features Jean-Yves Blondeau flying down a mountain road wearing only a futuristic suit covered with wheels.
“It’s very high impact. It’s one of the most memorable films of the night. If you’ve never seen him before, it’s quite shocking to see someone so close to the ground in a futuristic body suit speeding down a road. It’s funny the way he interacts with traffic and people.”
Stewart added that this is one night of pure adrenalin.
“I think people will leave energized. The whole idea is to get people really stoked. In some cases it’s about living vicariously through the athletes, but it’s also a good reminder how healthy whatever gives you an adrenalin rush can be.”