- Review

Thoughts on the BANFF Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2013 screening in SA

I just returned from a screening of the BANFF Mountain Film Festival world tour in Sandton (Johannesburg, SA) and as I am so stoked, I had to write about it immediately. The film festival takes place in selected Ster-Kineker cinemas in South Africa between 25 October and 1 November 2013, and is brought to us by Cape Union Mart. If you haven’t seen it yet, there are 3 more days of screenings.


1 Local and 11 International short films are screened in just over 2 hours, and wow! The films being screened are informative, beautifully shot, full of light hearted “human” moments, inspiring and fun! No need for special effects. These films are about ordinary,  regular folk with exceptional stories, who have mastered some amazing skills.

Full details at http://www.banff.co.za/

Here’s my thoughts on each film:

1. The Rollerman

Whoa! I’d love to know how fast he can go at, how he brakes, if his teeth was hit during one of his rides, and if he designed that epic suit. So rad!

2. Reel Rock 7: Wide Boyz

These guys are inspiring, a theme that runs through with other films being screened. It may be possible for 1 guy to have super-abilities, but to have 2 friends come together, both set their minds on the same goal and then jointly achieve it! Hopefully, we’ll hear more about these British lads in the years to come (as they accomplish even bigger things).

3. Being There

I am adding skiing to my bucket-list of sports to try out. Wow! What great filming, awesome peaks, amazing landscapes… Almost heavenly! I want to meet Aleksandra one day because that guy is the man of steel!

4. Wingsuit Downhill Target Punch

I felt like I was flying with those guys. What a sport… but perhaps too dangerous for my taste. I’ve read about many accidents with this sport – not for the faint hearted. Yet still beautiful!

5. On the Road – Skiing the Void

A great film with a great lesson…sometimes the journey is just good enough. Reaching the peak at great risk is not always worth it. Safety first, always.

Haha – I can’t believe they took live chicken with them!

6. Lily Shreds Trailside  

The dog is the star of this short! As Lily leapt, people in the cinema audience were just in awe. Such a cute MTB chaser!

7. 1st Afghan Ski Challenge

What a great, light-hearted and inspiring film, set in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. 2 Weeks of ski-training and then these guys are ready for a challenge. If they can do it, why can’t I? As mentioned above, skiing is now on my must-do bucket list.

It was great to see this other part of Afghanistan, which is currently peaceful.

8. Industrial Revolutions

This guy is talented – amazing skill, energy and balance. I LOVE IT. This guy must have years of experience falling and injuring himself, yet he is now a master. Seriously, he can ride his bike on a tight rope.

9. Wanna Ride?

Just a beautifully shot paraskiing short-film in the Alps. Some scary moves (where it looked like their parachutes could have got tangled with each other). One thing I learnt is that once you take a leap, there is no stopping – you just have to make it down safely.

10. The Gimp Monkeys

When I saw Patagonia and Duct Tape Then Beer as sponsors, my fingers-were crossed for it to be a Fitz Cahall film, and lo-and behold he directed it. I am familiar with Fitz’s Dirtbag Diaries podcasts, and video series “The Season” which he regularly creates with those sponsors. I love climbing, yet I have ALOT to learn and have only managed to climb the basic / easiest graded pitches. These amputees are climbing with or without their prosthetics. Not just any mountain – El Kapp, the holy-grail of climbing walls. Hats off gentleman! Hats off!

11. Crossing the Ice

Perseverance, dedication, passion, team-work, risk and reward. All on their own, all alone, in the harshest environment on Planet Earth! That Norwegian is seriously Rambo! And the Ozzie’s – what a team! Best friends at its best in the worst of times!

12. Path into the Future

This was the short-film that was the winning entry in South Africa for the BANFF Mountain Film Festival, which beautifully provides details on the endangered Cape Vulture. Check out http://www.vulpro.com/ for more details on the vulture conservation programme.

Cape Union Mart is inviting South African film makers to submit short adventure films by June 2014 to win some cool prizes, and for the opportunity to have the winning film featured at The BANFF Mountain Film Festival in 2014 in South Africa.


About Zaid

Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.
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