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Banff film fest lineup

Sun., Jan. 24, 2010, 4:21 p.m.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival will be in North Idaho for four days. The first three nights — Jan. 28, 29 and 30 — will be at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, with screenings starting at 7 p.m. and doors opening at 6 p.m. The last night, Jan. 31, will be at the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene, starting at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $12 and, in Sandpoint, are available at Eichardts, The Outdoor Experience, Maps & More and Zip’s Drive-in and at Far North Outfitters in Bonners Ferry. In Coeur d’Alene, tickets are available at Vertical Earth, Camera Corral, Bicycles and More, the downtown Zip’s Drive-in and at Two Wheeler Dealer in Hayden.

The following films will be shown in Sandpoint

Thursday, Jan. 28:

• MedeoZ, from France: Filmed in the Mont Blanc range, this short features six different mountain sports: climbing, skiing, snowboarding, speed riding, paragliding and BASE jumping. A photographer wants to take one shot showing all the sports instead of separate photos of each sport.

• Signatures: Canvas of Snow, from the United States: In Japan, there is a cultural connection to the different signatures of terrestrial home — a sense that the rhythm of the seasons influences the rhythm of the person, their energy, their riding style and the lines they choose. This film features skiers, snowboarders, a photographer and a no-boarder who are each in tune with this connection to winter and the environment they ride in.

• Take a Seat, from the United Kingdom: Dominic Gill’s mission is to cycle the 32,000 kilometers from the northern coast of Alaska to the southern tip of South America, on a tandem bike, picking up random strangers on the way. This film is a gripping tale of two years and two continents, full of extraordinary characters and incidents.

• Shining Spirit, from Canada: Filmed in Canada, India and Tibet, this film documents a recording project that brings together the family of Jamyang Yeshi through music and multi-track recording technology. With the help of Western friends, Jamyang, in exile in Canada, and his brother Tsundue, in exile in the United States, join voices with the family they left behind in Tibet. For the first time in over a decade, they sing together once again. This film is a testament to the power of music, the resilience of the Tibetan culture, and the enduring bond of a family separated by politics and geography.

• Hunlen, from Canada: What happens if you show up to climb one of the biggest frozen waterfalls in Canada but it isn’t completely frozen? Will Gadd and EJ Plimley battle to do the first ascent of British Columbia’s remote Hunlen Falls. Falls ice, crashing water, fear, big fun!

• Africa Revolutions Tour, from the United States: From the crocodile-infested White Nile in Uganda to big-water first descents in Madagascar, the film follows this group of friends on their dangerous mission. Accompanying the team is Rita Riewerts, the founder of the Sun Catchers Project, a nonprofit that installs solar cooking facilities in African orphanages, hospitals and communities. Join the team as they set out on an ambitious kayaking expedition in eastern Africa. Every cent this film generates will be donated to the Sun Catchers project.

• Project Megawoosh, from Germany: Bruno Kammerl, a German engineer, works to perfect the world’s tallest human water slide.

Friday, Jan. 29:

• Kranked – Revolve, from Canada: The coolest human-powered adrenaline tool ever invented — the mountain bike? This film blasts in cinematic glory from the French Alps to the lush coast of British Columbia, incorporating dirt jump, trail, freeride, slopestyle and downhill.

• Finding Farley, from Canada: When filmmakers Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison along with their 2-year-old son Zev and indomitable dog Willow, set out to retrace the literary footsteps of Farley Mowat, they meant it literally. Their 5,000-kilometer trip — trekking, sailing, portaging and paddling — is captured in this film. The family’s arrival at their final destination (Mowat’s Nova Scotia summer home) is, as Karsten says “an affirmation of what the land and animals had already told us. Stories aren’t so much written or created as they are released, expressing what’s been there all along.”

• The Ultimate Skiing Showdown, from Canada: The final sprint showdown between the fastest skiers on earth in juxtaposition with a stunt performer showing some of the sickest moves on Nordic skis.

• Mustang – Journey of Transformation, from the United States: Lost in time, the Himalayan kingdom of Mustang is one of the last sanctuaries of authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture. However, long isolated by geography and politics, the people struggle to survive and the center of their culture — the 15th-century monasteries and the art within — is dangerously close to collapse. Narrated by Richard Gere and featuring the Dalai Lama, the film tells the compelling story of the efforts to rescue this ancient place from the brink of extinction and to help spark a cultural renaissance.

• First Ascent: Alone on the Wall, from the United States: After gaining international climbing renown for his landmark free-solo of “Moonlight Buttress” (V, 5.12+, 9 pitches) in Zion National Park, Utah, in April 2008, 24-year-old Alex Honnold moves on to his next big challenge: the first free-solo of the “Regular Northwest Face” route (VI, 5.12a, 23 pitches) on Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Saturday, Jan. 30:

• Revolution One, from the United States: This film takes a look into the history, people and places that have defined the rapidly emerging sports of off-road unicycling. Follow world champion unicyclists Kris Holm and Dan Heaton as they display riding that has blown the minds of viewers worldwide.

• Mont-Blanc Speed Flying, from France: Six speed riders fly from the upper slopes of Mont Blanc down to Chamonix in one continuous 10-minute shot.

• A Little Bit Mongolian, from Australia: Over the high ranges of northern Mongolia, a foreign boy is racing on horseback with the local children. Angus is 12 and he’s from Australia. He came to Mongolia on vacation the year before and saw children his age racing cross-country in long-distance horse races. He vowed he would one day join them. Angus trained for a year and returned to Mongolia, intent on finding a willing trainer so he too could compete in the big Naadam Festival horse races. This is the heart-warming story of a dream come true.

• Rowing the Atlantic, from the United States: A few years ago, Roz Savage gave up what for many would be an ideal life (husband, great job, big house), picked up a few pairs of rowing oars and a boat to go with them and set off across the Atlantic Ocean — alone — in a rowboat.

• Deep/Shinsetsu, from Japan: “Shinsetsu” means deep powder in Japanese. This short film expresses a typical day in the mountains in Japan.

• Pick-up Sticks, from Canada: Take an aerial plunge off the edge of an Arctic coastal headland into the abyss of a seabird colony to find out how marine environmental change is affecting the delicate balance of life for a hardy creature of the northern seas. A visual and metaphorical cliffhanger for our times.

• Azazel, from France: Four friends set out to establish a new route on the Trango Pulpit Tower, a mythic 6,000-meter-high rock wall in Pakistan. Days and days of pleasure, quantities of testosterone expended, frozen fingers and naps on the wall.

• Project Megawoosh, see above.

Sunday, Jan. 31, showings in Coeur d’Alene: (see above for film descriptions)

• The Ultimate Skiing Showdown

• Hunlen

• A Little Bit Mongolian

• Rowing the Atlantic

• Mont-Blanc Speed Flying

• Deep/Shinsetsu

• Azazel

• Project Megawoosh

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