As a part of its world tour, the Banff Mountain Film Festival will come to The Lyric on March 13. Hosted by Blacksburg Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will feature some of the most notable films from the 2012 festival.
“It’s a collection of films of daring athletes, breathtaking locations and great adventures,” said Wyatt Lifsey, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports manager.
Lee Landers, a Blue Ridge Mountain Sports employee, has been to previous world tour showings in other locations and described the collection of films as inspiring.
“It’s a motivational series of short films that will (make you want to) get off the couch and go do something,” Landers said. “(The films are) an individual’s take on their own personal experience based on their background, whether it be in rock climbing, bouldering, skiing, snowboarding or white water rafting.”
According to Landers, the filmmakers are trying to relay their inspiration to a standard audience to expose it to a sport it may have never encountered or fully understood before.
The actual Banff Mountain Film Festival is a nine-day event hosted by the Banff Centre in Canada that brings together a variety of mountain escapades from all over the world.
After the Banff Mountain Film Festival concludes in November, a selection of the best films goes on an international tour. According to Banff’s website, the films in the world tour travel to 32 countries, reaching more than 245,000 people at over 635 screenings.
According to Lifsey, independent filmmakers submit their films to the Banff Centre, which then selects the films for the film festival in November. The selection of films is then narrowed down further for the world tour.
Lifsey said they will be choosing a variety of films to showcase a wide range of interests — anything from adventure to cultural films.
“I always try to pick videos that relate to the area, like sports that people do or maybe some sports that people don’t get to see everyday like white water kayaking,” Lifsey said.
Lifsey selects the films by viewing numerous trailers and meeting with a Banff representative to discuss which films have done the best at other world tour locations.
According to Lifsey, this is the fourth year the Blacksburg Blue Ridge Mountain Sports has hosted the event.
The organization wanted to bring the world-renowned tour to Blacksburg because it felt the area was lacking a film festival of this nature.
“Showing these films is a great alternative for the community to do on a weekday night,” Lifesey said. “Blacksburg has a great outdoor community, and the film festival inspires people to get out there, play, and enjoy what is around us and what nature has given us.”
This year, the proceeds from the world tour event in Blacksburg will benefit the Mountain Lake Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that helps manage and protect the 2,600 acres of the Mountain Lake property. In addition to benefiting a local nonprofit, Landers believes one of the goals of the film festival is to promote outdoor adventure.
“Being in such close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail, the film festival will generate enough interest and sustain the interest to maintain an outdoor presence within the community,” Landers said.
Tickets for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour are still available and can be purchased at the Blacksburg Blue Ridge Mountain Sports on South Main St. or at The Lyric Theatre.
“Anybody should come out and see it. It isn’t just for the outdoor crowd — it is a great, all-around event,” Lifsey says. “It's a great way to help out (the Mountain Lake Conservancy) and see some awesome films that you might not otherwise get to see.”