WARNING: May cause extreme inspiration with bouts of rethinking your bucket list.
If watching other people risk their lives free climbing vertical rock faces, skiing nearly vertical slopes and jumping off mountains with little more than a large, nylon handkerchief between them and eternity, all while being exquisitely beautifully filmed sounds like your cup of Red Bull, then you will absolutely love Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Radical Reels.
These eight short films chosen from the World Tour Film Festival, are geared specifically for the high-adrenaline sports junkie..and those who like to watch. They are high-speed, high-risk, big adventure athletes taking their sports to the outer known limits. Be prepared for two hours of your mouth alternately gaping open in disbelief and smiling like a goon.
You are drawn in immediately with a 7-minute mountain biking film called Not2Bad. Filmed in Spain, the ‘California of Europe’, this is a bite-sized gem of shredding flowy single-track at wicked speeds, and carving up gravel flying off back wheels in super slow-mo–with a few crazy aerial stunts. I was happy to see several women riders featured in this one. As a person who has watched more than her share of mountain biking videos, I can say that soundtracks are often incongruous and weird. Not so with this one..the music is exciting and makes you want to get out there and shred the gnar–although the riding these guys do versus the kind I do is like comparing Gordon Ramsay with chef Boyardee.
In La Liste, French skiiers make a list of 15 faces to ski steeper than 50 degrees.
In Give Me Five, The ‘Flying Frenchies’ attempt an aerial stunt in wing-suits they may not get another chance at.
In Locked In, four professional kayakers achieve a first descent of the nearly impassable Beriman Gorge in Papua, New Guinea.
In Sonnie Trotter Vs. The Totem Pole, a free climber scales a 213 foot vertical rock rising up from crashing waves below.
The Trail to Kazbegi takes four mountain bikers 10 days to cross the Caucasus Mountains.
Tight, Loose features extreme skiing in Alaska.
In The Fledglings, professional climbers Cedar Wright and Matt Segal hilariously try their hands at paragliding.
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or not, I can’t imagine anyone with a pulse not enjoying these exciting, action-packed films. I strongly recommend! It will inspire you to get out there and take your own adventures to the next level.
There are two more showings in California: Encinitas Sept. 29&30 and San Diego Oct. 1&2. For an awesome 6 minute trailer and more show info please see the link above.