By Jesse Wood
Though the Boone stop on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour isn’t featured until late March, the two-day festival at App State will sell out long before winter begins to fade – if history is any indication.
Tickets for the 21st anniversary of the local festival tour, held Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, went on sale earlier this month. One day tickets cost $12 for the general public and $8 for students.
Tickets are currently available online. However, if you want to purchase them as a Christmas gift, you’ll have to buy them at Footsloggers because tickets purchased online won’t arrive until after the Schaefer Center Box Office reopens Jan. 9.
Footsloggers in Blowing Rock currently has a batch of tickets for sale. As of press time on Monday afternoon, Footsloggers’ Boone location hadn’t yet received a batch of Banff tickets.
Banff in Boone has built a reputation over the past two decades as one of the largest screenings of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in North America – if not the largest.
The original festival is held in Banff, Canada over the course of nine days. The Banff Centre, which produces the film festival and book festival, has a mission to “inspire creativity.” The films and books showcased at the festival revolve around mountain culture, sports and environment.
Each year, filmmakers submit about 300 films to be judged. The jury narrows the films to be featured at the Canadian festival to several dozen, and then about the best 30 films are eligible to be on the world tour. After that process, local organizers select which films will be best received in the Boone area.
The Boone festival is sponsored and organized by the university’s Outdoor Programs, which uses the event to raise funds for students to embark on their own adventures.
Rich Campbell, associate director of Outdoor Programs and Banff organizer, said he’s already previewed much of the films eligible for the world tour. One film, in particular, that he’s excited about and thinks will resonate with the local community is called Shift.
Directed and produced by Kelly Milner, the film won the People’s Choice Award at Banff. Shift is set in Carcross, a village with an indigenous population of about 300 that is located in the northern territory of Yukon, Canada, according to a description in the Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine:
“In the early 1900s, thousands stampeded its steep cliff faces in search of silver, building an extensive network of trails, trams, and tracks to transport the treasure. But when the last mine closed in the 1980s, Carcross fell quiet and – like many Yukon First Nations – the people knew they had to take action in order to survive.
In 2005, the Carcross-Tagish First Nation signed a Land Claim Agreement with the Governments of Canada and the Yukon, giving them self-governance over 1554 square kilometers of titled land and the capacity to develop their own economy. That same year, the Carcross-Tagish Management Corporation created the Singletrack to Success Program, a trail-building program dedicated to boosting adventure tourism in the area and connecting local youth to their culture
Since then, 40 local youths – most of them members of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation – have transformed the traditional trails on Montana Mountain into some of the best mountain biking trails in the world. Now, thousands are racing to the area once again – this time in search of a different treasure: nearly 100 kilometres of hand-built and restored singletrack.”
Campbell added, “Especially with the development of Rocky Knob and just our love of outdoor recreation, I think this is a film that will definitely resonate with our community,” Campbell said. “It’s pretty neat.”