By Janet I. Martineau
Even after nine years of helping host the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour’s stop in Midand, Chippewa Nature Center’s Dennis Pilaske says he never fails to end up amazed and thoroughly entertained.
“This year I’m especially excited about seeing ‘Chasing Water,’ a film about Pete McBride, who grew up on a ranch in Western Colorado, on the Colorado River,” says Pilaske, the director of interpretation at Chippewa. “He followed the water from his family’s ranch to find its terminus. I love stories that try to connect your spot on the map to a greater whole.
“As with other years we still have adrenaline-filled films with kayaking, rock climbing and ice climbing. There are also some exciting stories that focus on enjoying the outdoors if you’re a youngster (‘Reel Rock: Origins – Obe & Ashima’) or a more seasoned adventurer (‘Ski Bums Never Die’).
“And the longest film of the night is ‘On the Trail of Genghis Khan: The Last Frontier.’ It follows Australian Tim Cope, a team of horses and his dog on a trek from Mongolia to Hungary, retracing the footsteps of warrior/nomad Genghis Khan. The images are amazing and the scope of the adventure so massive it’s sure to excite viewers.”
Nine films are on the roster this year, showing at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Bullock Creek High School, 1420 Badour Road. Tickets are $12 at the door..
—“On Assignment: Jimmy Chin” (6 minutes). Jimmy Chin, a passionate athlete who has melded climbing and photography, believes that “the most honest photos happen when both the subject and the photographer are just in the moment, and the rest of the world has just fallen away.”
—“Ski Bums Never Die” (4 minutes). A look an an unusual and inspiring band of senior skiers in the Kootenay region of British Columbia.
—“Blue Obsession” (8 minutes). The beautiful and ever-changing icefalls of Alaskan glaciers provide a stunning setting for some unusual ice climbing adventures.
—“Seasons: Winter” (4 minutes). Paddler Brian Ward discovers an unexpected and new-found love for water, in its frozen and expanded form/
—“On the Trail of Genghis Khan: The Last Frontier” (46 minutes). Cope’s trip took three years and included the crossing of the Carpathian Mountains, visiting parts of the world rarely seen, places on the cusp of modern life yet proud of nomadic traditions.
—Reel Rock: Origins – Obe & Ashima “ (23 minutes). Nine-year-old Ashima Shiraishi from New York City takes the bouldering world by storm. Guided by her coach, former bouldering star Obe Carrion, this tiny master is crushing competitions and raising the bar for her peers. A trip to the bouldering mecca of Hueco Tanks provides a glimpse of the past for Obe and the start of amazing new adventures for Ashima.
—“Treeverse” (16 minutes). Two intrepid tree climbers embark on a five-day pioneering one-kilometer transect through the forest canopy.
—“Chasing Water” (18 minutes). In 2008, after a life spent visiting other countries to tell stories as a National Geographic photojournalist, McBride decided to follow the water from his family’s ranch to see where it ends up.
— “C.A.R.C.A.” (8 minutes). The story of one man's quest to revolutionize the world of animal avalanche rescue. The letters stand for Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association and the documentary purports to show the training and use of domestic cats in avalanche rescue procedures. Might be a spoof ... or maybe the real thing.
© Janet I. Martineau, 2012