Monday, April 4, 2011

Banff Films to Kick Off Outdoor Season

Extreme white water kayaking followed by base jumping and then some relaxing fly-fishing. While it might sound like a busy vacation in the Rockies, it is actually a description of a day’s worth of films coming to Pittsburgh this weekend.

Venture Outdoors opens its annual screening of Banff Film Festival movies Friday. “The weather is starting to get nice, we’ve already seen our first 70 degree day, and what we really want is for this festival to get outside,” says Venture Outdoors Event Coordinator Seth Gernot. “You know, plan that crazy adventure, plan that fun time that you are going to do in the upcoming summer.”

The annual film festival in Banff, Alberta Canada shows films that all have to do with mountain culture. “Meaning extreme sport or it can be something like trying to save a wild river for salmon in Alaska,” says Gernot. The films are usually also extremely visually appealing.

The festival in its original form includes about 300 films. Festival organizers then pare that down to about 30 films for a world tour and further whittle down each film into a shortened version so several can be shown each night. Venture Outdoors will show six of the shortened films each day of the three-day festival in Pittsburgh. “We have requested a third [day] from the Banff folks for a couple of years and just with how tight their schedule is they couldn’t give it to use so we were very happy to find out that we had a third day this year,” says Gernot.

The fest in Pittsburgh began several years ago in the Homestead Library and has grown every year ever since. This year it will be held at the Byham Theater.

Films on free climbing, caving and long boarding (downhill skateboarding) will also be shown. Each evening’s program will run about two and a half hours with a 20-minute intermission.

Ticket information and a full listing of the films can be found at the Venture Outdoors website.

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