Don’t miss the Banff Mountain Film Festival

Until 31 October at select Ster-Kinekor theatres

Action shot from North of the Sun. Photo supplied by Influence

Action shot from North of the Sun. Photo supplied by Influence

A review by Brenda Daniels

For the uninitiated, like me, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is an annual festival featuring adventure and outdoor lifestyle documentaries. The festival was started in 1986 by the Banff Centre, a mountain community in Canada. Over 300 films (many to do with mountaineering) from different countries are entered into the annual festival, and award-winning entries and audience favourites are chosen to travel the globe as part of the World Tour.

The 2014 World Tour, South African leg, consists of 10 short films, ranging in length from five minutes to one hour. Two of the films are South African and one is the winner of Cape Union Mart’s Adventure Film Challenge 2014, a local competition aimed at encouraging emerging filmmakers to capture South Africa’s local outdoor adventure lifestyles. Cape Union Mart is also the host for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in South Africa.

The opening film in the South African leg is an Afrikaans one depicting a group of friends rock climbing. Just for fun, just to get away from suburbia. This philosophy runs through all the films and makes for really uplifting viewing.

What a pleasure it was to watch people doing outrageous bicycle stunts; fly like batman; climb overhanging rock faces with the most amazing finger strength; and paddleboard from Vancouver to Victoria – all because they could. How exhilarating. No angst or deep soul searching in this series of films. Just glorious interaction with the natural world, doing unusual sports that don’t involve balls.

Two of the longer inclusions are North of the Sun and Keeper of the Mountains. North of the Sun shows two young Norwegians who travelled, literally, north of the sun to find a beach with the best surfing waves. They stayed there through the winter, surfing in the freezing sea in just a few hours of twilight against a backdrop of the surreal Northern lights.

They made a brilliant hut out of trash they found on the beach and spent their days collecting tons of rubbish that washed up on even this remote corner of the earth.

In Keeper of the Mountains, viewers are treated to an interview with feisty 90 year old Elizabeth Hawley who, since 1960, has been recording Himalayan expeditions for The Himalayan Database.

I loved the 2014 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Can’t wait for 2015. Visit

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour screens at select Ster-Kinekor cinemas across the country:

Cape Town: Cavendish Square 23 – 31 October; Tygervalley Centre, 24 – 31 October. Johannesburg: Sandton City, 23 – 31 October; Pretoria: Brooklyn Mall, 24 – 31 October; Durban: Gateway Centre, 30 & 31 October (two days only); Port Elizabeth: The Bridge Ster-Kinekor, 31 October (one screening only)

Ticket prices are the same as a standard Ster-Kinekor ticket and can be booked online via, or call the Ster-Kinekor Ticketline on 082 16789.


A still from Questions We Ask. Photo supplied by Influence.

A still from Questions We Ask. Photo supplied by Influence.

A shot from Sensei. Photo supplied by Influence.

A shot from Sensei. Photo supplied by Influence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.