Adrenaline junkies, mountain men (and women), and nature nerds, it’s your lucky day. The 2019 edition of the Banff Mountain Film Festival starts today at the Village Recoleta movie theater, running through Wednesday, September 4th. Founded in Canada, the world’s most important adventure film festival returns to Argentina once again; screenings kicked off in Bariloche and will conclude in El Calafate, passing through San Juan, San Martín de los Andes, Comodoro Rivadavia, and Neuquén as well. This year’s programming includes 17 short films and documentaries from Germany, Belgium, Canada, the United States, and Spain that promise to take viewers to the far corners of the globe alongside the world’s greatest explorers and extreme athletes.
You don’t have to be an accomplished mountain climber or intrepid explorer to enjoy the selected films; after all, the nature of the human condition is the real protagonist here. Take for example the story of Craig de Martino, a rock climber that lost his leg in 2002 after a harrowing 94-foot fall but who never gave up on his passion or desire to help others. Or George Etzweiler, a 97-year-old trail runner that suits up and reaches the peak of Mt. Washington, carrying the memory of his late wife with him to achieve his goal. What about the badass women who embark upon a six-month cross-country ski journey through the remote, rugged mountains British Columbia?
On Wednesday night, the final of the Festival Nacional de Cine de Aventura – comprising short documentaries and movies created by Argentine filmmakers and adventurers – will take place. From Argentina’s own stunning landscapes and stories of rugged adventure to the stories of people like Juan Pablo Sarjanovich, who spent 45 days climbing to reach Mount Kanchenjunga – the world’s third-highest peak – in the Himalayas, it’s a perfect close to three incredible nights of inspiring tales of humanity and survival.
Another cool element of the festival’s run in Buenos Aires is La Previa, something of a bonus track – be it an extra film, a charla, or an exhibit – taking place before the night’s screenings get underway. Tickets for this part of the evening are reserved online and then exchanged for powdered milk or other school supplies, which are being collected by the Asociación Civil de Padrinos de Alumnos y Escuelas Rurales (APAER). On Tuesday at 6 PM, Andrés Calla, Marisol López, and Javier Rasetti will host a Q&A session about adventure travel with special guest, 82-year-old Martín Pueyrredón (who just so happens to be the protagonists of one of the films). Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening, Juan Pablo Sarjanovich will share his experiences about summiting – and surviving – mountain peaks above 8,000 meters.
The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival was founded in 1976, when 450 people came together to watch just ten films, and since then has grown exponentially. Every November, in the Canadian town of Banff, the world’s best films that capture the spirit of the mountain and of adventure are shared with a diverse audience, reinforcing the importance of respecting and conserving nature. The Banff Film Festival’s world tour visits around 550 communities in more than 40 countries; the first edition in Argentina took place back in 2001.