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Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine 2017/18 WORLD TOUR

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? SHERPAS CINEMA ON THE POWER OF IMAGINATION BANFF MOUNTAIN PHOTO ESSAY WINNER WIN A TRIP FOR TWO AROUND NICARAGUA AND COSTA RICA A program of Presenting partners


As presenting sponsors of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, National Geographic and The North Face congratulate the festival team on 42 years of extraordinary films celebrating mountain culture and the spirit of adventure. For more information on grants that support young explorers and encourage the next generation to discover the outdoors, visit nationalgeographic.com/yeg for National Geographic Young Explorers Grants and explorefund.org for The North Face Explore Fund grants.

The last honey hunter of Nepal’s Kulunge people, Mauli Dhan, scales a handmade ladder to gather hallucinogenic honey from remote cliffside hives. Photo by Renan Ozturk on an NGS funded expedition and for an upcoming story in National Geographic magazine.


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CONTENTS

Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine 2017/18 WORLD TOUR

P. 29

“I woke up without my leg and it was one of the happiest moments in my life.”

Departments Features 10 41 39 41 42

Welcome Contest Film Award Sponsors Book Award Sponsors Last Words

P. 14 Cover photo: Larry Shiu, Cascade Mountain, Banff National Park ©John Price Top: Jon Wilson finding solace on the trail in Vermont ©Simon Perkins Above: Jonesy’s new life plan ©Justin Jones

12 Where Are They Now? See Rafa Ortiz (Chasing Niagara) paddle an inflatable toy down a waterfall, what new climbing route Hazel Findlay (Spice Girl) has established, the environmental work being done by nonagenarian Frank Moore (Mending the Line), photographer Krystle Wright’s (The Mysteries) take on women in adventure, and the Sweetgrass Productions crew (Afterglow) scrubbing up nicely for the limelight.

14 Meet the Jonesys Australian adventurer Justin Jones trades Antarctic expeditioning for the Australian outback, but this time with his toddler in tow. 19 Sea Gypsies are off to Greenland Those rum-guzzlin’ sea farin’ gypsies are at it again, this time trying to break records in Greenland. 22 Desert Dawg Genghis Khan, AKA Desert Dawg, dispenses valuable life advice.

26 The power of make believe Sherpas Cinema pay the perfect homage to JP Auclair in their new ski film. 29 Spirit Rider How Jon Wilson overcame the odds by finding spirituality on the bike trail. 33 Adventure Filmmaker Expert tips on filmmaking in the wild from cameraman Keith Partridge. 34 Exposed Jeff Kerby’s winning photo essay about the gelada monkeys in the highlands of Ethiopia.

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WELCOME

“The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is the largest celebration of mountain culture in the world.”

HOWDY FOLKS! EVERY YEAR at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival we get asked the same question — what is THE most exciting part of the festival in Banff? We’ve been in this game a long time and still, each and every year, we come back with the same answer: our audience. It might sound cheesy but it’s the absolute energy that is emitted by you, the audience, that just bowls us over again and again. It’s that idea of friends, old and new, who all enjoy outdoor pursuits coming together for nine days to celebrate mountain culture. The gathering of a tribe you can call your own; where we can all be inspired by films on the big screen. That real feeling of community is something that can’t be replicated while watching films on your computer at home. The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is the largest celebration of mountain culture in the world. That’s a pretty big deal! Something we are all extremely proud of is

A program of

Sponsored by

Supporting partners:

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18

that many of the films are small independent productions that you can’t see anywhere else. Each November we host about 40 film premieres at the Festival at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and make sure there are also opportunities to meet real life adventure heroes and take in the latest in mountain literature — where else could you bump into Sir Chris Bonington while listening to a talk by Tommy Caldwell? Our films showcase all elements of mountain sports — skiing, climbing, adventuring, kayaking, base jumping to name a few, plus we show mountain environment and cultural films to whet the appetite of our culture vultures. Here at Banff Centre we are all about trying to help you unlock your creative potential. That’s why we offer industry workshops for adventure film, mountain writing and photography — this year we launched our inaugural Mountain Photography Residency. Not only can you learn from the experts throughout the year, at the festival there are book signings by your favourite mountain writers, tons of free events, and cutting-edge panel discussions addressing the latest Indigenous issues. Of course, we realise that not everyone can make it to the Mothership in the town of Banff, and that’s why the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is so successful, because we try to bring a little bit of the festival to you. We all unite in an unspoken way after watching the most moving, thought-provoking films about mountain culture. The feeling you’re left with is wanting to get right out there and start your own adventure, whatever that may be. Thanks for being part of our tribe! Yours in adventure, Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival team

Presenting partners

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL MAGAZINE Magazine Editor Louise Healy Magazine Contributor Nicky Lynch Festival Director Deb Smythe Programming Director Joanna Croston World Tour Manager Jim Baker Senior Producer, Media + Production Woody MacPhail Strategic Partnerships Manager Laurie Harvey World Tour Coordinator Seana Strain World Tour Program Coordinators Jean Bilodeau, Mark Louie, Juliette Recompsat, Megan Smith World Tour Onsite Coordinators Kristi Beetch, Jamie Carpenter, Michelle Davis, Michelle de Camp, Debra Hornsby, Dave Miller, Paul Price, Ray Schmidt, Charla Sharp Tomlinson, Heather Walter, Suzanne White Film Coordinator Brenda Williams Program Coordinator Lana Hettinga Festival Coordinator, Guest Relations Carmen Jackson, Patsy Murphy Volunteer Coordinator Debra Hornsby Production Admin. Coordinator Nurdjana De Rijcke Video Packaging Leanne Allison, Guy Clarkson, Tyler Jordan, Mark Tierney Video Master Control Branden Charlton Live Graphics Sandy Macdonald Stage Manager Kate Duncan Technical Assistants Holly Elliott, Paul Price, Clare Prosser MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Marketing Nicky Lynch, Jess Green Media Louise Healy Festival Design and Artwork Kelly Stauffer, Christine Majer. We wish to express our gratitude to Banff Centre without whose support we could not produce the Festival or Tour and to Banff Mountain Film Festival founder John Amatt, and to former director Bernadette McDonald, whose visionary leadership elevated the Festival to the world stage. BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM & BOOK FESTIVAL Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Box 1020, Banff, AB, Canada T1L 1H5 1-800-298-1229 email banffmountainfestival@banffcentre.ca Website banffmountainfestival.ca Box Office 1-800-413-8368 PUBLISHED BY COTTAGE LIFE MEDIA 130 Merton St., Ste. 200, Toronto, ON M4S 1A4 416-599-2000 CEO Al Zikovitz Art Director Michael Zikovitz, Freewheel Design Production Manager Jodi Brooks Assistant Production Manager Denise Gray


Where Are They Now? → UK alpinist Hazel Findlay has established a new 5.13d R corner climb in Squamish, Canada. Findlay said the first ascent of the hard trad route was “almost impossible” and described the line as being harder than the PreMuir corner and the famous Book of Hate in Yosemite, due to its obtuse angle. “The send was not graceful, nor easy,” she said. “It was a full battle.” Findlay, who you’ll remember from Spice Girl and Africa Fusion, christened the climb Tainted Love aka Northern Soul after the song Tainted Love, “and the feeling of loving something like climbing, but also kind of hating it sometimes (when your legs are burning and your feet hate you and you’ve forgotten whether to stem or to bridge).”

“I need criticism to push myself as a storyteller.” 12

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18

← Photographer and filmmaker Krystle Wright (star of base jumping film The Mysteries) reacts with aplomb to messages of hope, stoke, and frustration over lack of diversity (and some scathing attacks) about her tongue-in-cheek short film, Where the Wild Things Play. The film addresses the question of female representation in the adventure industry. “I believe there are plenty of females out there charging, and perhaps we are just too busy having a good time in the backcountry,” said Wright. “I wanted to poke fun at the conversation and create a fun piece. Wouldn’t it be great to reach a place that there is no need to nitpick sex, colour, age, or background? And instead celebrate great content because no matter what, a great story is a great story.”

clockwise from bottom left: ©andy mann; jonny baker; aaron rogosin, red bull media house; marc bryan-brown; john waller, uncage the soul productions

We caught up with some stars of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to see what they’ve been up to in the last year…


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? ↙ Professional kayaker Rafa Ortiz, from the film Chasing Niagara, taking Red Bull challenges to a new level by kayaking an inflatable lobster down a 70-foot waterfall in Washington State, US. Ortiz said riding the inflatable lobster felt similiar to being on a kayak and so he translated his kayaking skills to the free fall section of the waterfall. “I’ve run a lot of big waterfalls in my kayak and what I really want to accomplish in life now is dropping massive waterfalls in inflatable pool toys,” said Ortiz. “Sky’s the limit.”

credit: all caps

“What I really want to accomplish in life now is dropping massive waterfalls in inflatable pool toys.” ← Frank Moore, from the film Mending the Line, knows a thing or two about the healing effect of rivers. After the deep trauma of World War II, Moore returned home to Oregon, US, and found psychological healing by fly fishing the North Umpqua River. He later founded the Steamboat Inn, in the heart of 35 km of fly-fishing only water on the same river. Now Moore, the recipient of numerous conservation awards, and his wife Jeanne, are proposing US legislation (the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary) that would cover 100,000 acres, to protect the Steamboat Creek area as a special place for wildlife, plants, and for people’s mental health. Rock on Frank!

→ Scrubbed up like you’ve never seen them before, Sweetgrass Productions’ Zac Ramras and Nick Waggoner accepting the company’s first Sports Emmy® Award for Outstanding Camera Work for Outside TV’s original mini-series Image Quest. These guys were the creative brains behind the popular World Tour films Valhalla and Afterglow.

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Meet the

Jonesys

Baby Morgan Jones learning the tricks of the adventure trade from her parents Justin and Lauren Jones.

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credit: all caps

Justin Jones’s new life plan


WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

START

Family vacation: 1,800 km on foot across the Austrailian outback

FINISH

credit: all caps

J

ONESY HAS AN AUDACIOUS PLAN. Well, it’s really fomo (Fear Of Missing Out) on a disproportionate level — of missing out on the next big adventure. On seeing what’s over the hill. To quell this, the star of the 2012 awardwinning film Crossing the Ice has embarked on a new adventure, this time trading Antarctic temperatures for the heat of the Australian outback by attempting to walk 1,800 kms in 90 days — with his one-year-old baby in tow. “When I told people that I was planning to take my one-year-old daughter on an outback expedition, I generally got one of three responses: ‘Are you mad?’ to ‘That’s freaking awesome’ to a combination of both,” said Justin Jones, AKA Jonesy, speaking from the Australian outback during his expedition. For the man who was part of the team that completed the longest unsupported polar expedition (from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back), going to the Aussie outback with a baby seemed somewhat paradoxical: babies work on their own schedule, so even the best laid plans can be scuppered. “People told me that now that I had a kid, I couldn’t do another expedition, I’d have to ‘hang up the boots’ or end up in divorce like many of the other adventurers I knew,” said Jonesy. “It seemed I was being given an ultimatum, either have a family or have an adventure, but not both.”

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

THE JONESYS’ RECIPES FOR MAKING SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS TO TAKE ON THE GO

Lauren Jones introducing baby Morgan to the concept of baths in the outback.

“People told me I had to ‘hang up the boots’ or end up in divorce.”

all photos: lauren jones

The answer came from Jonesy’s wife, Lauren. Why give up on the dream when they could do the adventure as a family? The Jonesys, as they became known, decided to go for it. They started their self-supported three-month journey in a place known as the Red Centre and planned to walk about 20km/day pulling all their provisions in two carts across Australia’s most iconic locations including Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Dalhousie Springs through to the coast at Port Augusta in southern Australia.

And if that wasn’t enough, Lauren decided that they should plan the trip as a zero-waste expedition. “I guess I just always assumed that the adventure community would have been one of the most sustainable communities around… But everything targeted towards backpacking is wrapped in plastic,” said Lauren. In addition to food waste, Lauren calculated that their daughter, Morgan, would produce waste in the form of a whopping 840 soiled-diapers during the trip. So they got to work and found a company that makes 100% compostable diapers. Then they set about making their own toothpaste and deodorant. Both parents admit that the biggest driving force behind the expedition was their daughter. “I want to raise a strong, curious, and resilient daughter — a force of nature,” mused Jonesy. “That blueprint will be written by exposure, challenges, and obstacles. I want her to get that same connection to the outdoors and I hope she always wants to know, like me, what’s over that hill too.”

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Row, Row, Row Your Boat! Sea Gypsies attempt to break world record in Greenland

photos: nico edwards

A

FTER SPENDING MONTHS AT SEA living a true sailor’s life, documented in Sea Gypsies: Far Side of the World, it wasn’t surprising that filmmaker Nico Edwards was itching to get back to it. Voyaging via the tumultuous waters of Antarctica, the documentary Sea Gypsies follows a rambunctious group of 16 sea lovin’ thrill-seekers who sailed the yacht Infinity through some of the most dangerous channels, from New Zealand to Chile. They faced the very real perils of the Southern Ocean during 2014, one of the iciest years on record, and the equally daunting ones of the sometimes too-close-for-comfort living conditions aboard the boat. There was tension, there was humour, and there was a need for Nico Edwards to do it all again. His latest mission is to sail Infinity 24,000 kms through the tricky Northwest Passage from Tonga to Greenland in 2018. During the 10-month voyage the crew will attempt to break records by being the first ship to sail through the Smith strait between Canada and Greenland to reach Alert, Nunavut, the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world. During this time they will

battle severe storms, and avoid hungry polar bears and threatening icebergs to explore a part of the world that is rarely seen. It is also the graveyard of many 19th century explorers. “This is the most dangerous maritime route in the world; more people have been to the top of Mount Everest than have successfully taken a sailing vessel through the Northwest Passage, and no one has ever sailed this far north,” said Edwards.

“More people have been to the top of Everest than through the Northwest Passage.”

TOP: The crew battles raging waters aboard Infinity. LEFT: Director Nico Edwards on camera and crew member Mathias Lessmann capturing footage in 2014.

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Captain Clem reading important tips from his seafarer’s manual during Infinity’s 2014 expedition.

And what will he do differently this time? “Spare parts! We didn’t bring any spare parts for the engine last time,” said Edwards. At one point during their last voyage they were sailing through a hurricane of ice when the diesel on board got contaminated with sea water and threatened to freeze (which would have left them stranded at sea). “We had 10 fuel cylinders to begin with and only one that worked in the end of our last trip because we had no spare parts like fuel injectors, that only cost about $1.50 each,” he said with a chuckle. “Incredible.” It’s not too surprising — Infinity is not the usual ocean-going yacht. Clem, its sarong-wearing, sea gypsy-captain, plans shoestring voyages with crews of rum-drinking, high-adrenaline characters from around the globe. “Last time a retired man signed up and thought it was a cruise and then once he was with us he thought we were in a cult,” said Edwards. “He was horrified.” Edwards added, “Most people know what they are getting into now, but, saying that, we did have one new recruit for the 2018 trip who signed up based solely on what his friends had told him about the film. These people are the best, people who are interesting and who don’t care of know what is going to happen. They know it’ll be grim!” And while there will be definite challenges ahead (one is that the ship will be fully vegan, as directed by their newly-converted vegan captain), it’s the friendships that keep Edwards wanting to get back to sea. “I never want to leave,” he admits. “These 20 people you’re on board with, you’re closer to them than you’ll be to anyone else in your life, even your closest friends, because you’re living with them for months day in and day out. That’s real.” Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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Genghis Khan AKA Desert Dawg enjoying life in the great outdoors.

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18


WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Life Advice from Desert Dawg Teaching humans life tricks

P

EOPLE SAY you can learn a lot about love from a dog: patience, loyalty, and understanding without really understanding things. And there is one charismatic dog, Genghis Khan, blogging under the name Desert Dawg, who has been particularly vocal in teaching humans a few things about life. Desert Dawg is the canine star of the film Ace and the Desert Dog which tells the story about his owner, famed photographer Ace Kvale (who in the film is affectionately referred to as man), taking him for a two-month trip to the desert. We caught up with Desert Dawg, now a mature dispenser of life advice, to get his take on life in the fast lane (as a high-flyin’ film star), his love for bacon, and why he could consider ditching life in the US and moving to Canada.

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Ace Kvale and Desert Dawg taking time to reflect during their 60-day hiking adventure in Utah.

Ace and the Desert Dog is a film about the two-month hike you did with Ace when he turned 60. How was that for you? Man was pooped but I thought it was a piece of cake. Man says walking for 60 days is about a year of my life, in dog years. I plan to write a book about it: Eat Walk Poop.

photo: ace kvale

What’s it like being a film star? Has it changed you? Let’s put it this way: some film stars get fan mail and stalkers, I get bacon, and cookies, and all sorts of goodies from all over the world. Other than that, not much has changed. Sleep, eat, hike, poop. Repeat. Oh, and meet girls. Yep, I still got it, I’m still a chick magnet.

“I plan to write a book about it: Eat Walk Poop.” If you were on a canine dating site what would you describe as your best feature? My smeller. Beautiful ain’t it? My nose runs my life. But sometimes things can hit you from left field. Like that time I got skunked. Ground zero right in my schnoz. But generally, dawgs and their smellers rule the world. The amount of information that I get from a dawg’s butt? Science can’t even measure it.

You’ve spent a lot of time in the company of humans and are a keen observer of human behaviour. What are the silliest things man and his friends do? Humans are odd. Because I’m a Blue Heeler and Heelers are known for bein’ so smart an’ stuff, this much I know is true: rock climbing is boring but ice climbing is really boring. And cold too.

Man recently spent some time here at Banff Centre in Canada. What are your thoughts on Canadians and Justin T? Who’s Justin T? Is he related to that other dude Justin B something? All I know about politics is that man told me that poli means ‘many’ and ticks are blood sucking parasites that get in my ears and can make you sick. But I do love their maple syrup. I’d move to Canada just for that. I’d eat that stuff all day, every day. On everything.

What is your favourite pastime? Hmmm… well I love bacon and I love lickin’ a lot of different people. There are two kinds of humans in the world. Those that let dawgs lick ’em and those that don’t. You’re one or the other.

Last words of advice? Try to be good but not too good. Don’t put packs on yer dawgs. Keep it wild and free. Hmm…still thinking about this, I think I’ll take a little nap then maybe go see what’s happening at the dumpster…

PS — Man (professional photographer Ace Kvale) spent nine days at Banff Centre in September 2017 as lead faculty for their inaugural Mountain Photography Residency. See his work and learn about the program at banffcentre.ca/ programs/mountain-photographyresidency. Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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THE POWER OF IMAGINATION

Creative learnings from JP Auclair

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18


FILM FEATURE: IMAGINATION: TOM WALLISCH

all photos © j dyson

Tom Wallisch taking a break between shooting in Nelson, British Columbia.

AKE A MOMENT and throw yourself back to being a child. Splashing around in puddles. Making a mess with flour in the kitchen. Staring at clouds long enough until they turn into animals in the sky. Letting your imagination run riot. Tapping into that childlike quality is exactly what Sherpas Cinema did to create their new ski film Imagination: Tom Wallisch. “It’s really about celebrating the power of imagination,” said Sherpas producer Mitchell Scott. “When we were kids, that power knew no bounds.” Imagination is like round two of the famed urban skiing segment from Sherpas award-winning film All.I.Can. You remember it. That one where skier JP Auclair skillfully masters a long ski-down-the-streets segment (even through people’s backyards and over their washing lines). The one that was so creative it ultimately positioned Auclair and Sherpas Cinema firmly at the forefront of the ski film industry. “The creative concept of Imagination was JP’s idea and we developed it together while he was still alive,” said director Dave Mossop. (Auclair died in an avalanche in Patagonia in 2014). “To me it was a beautiful way for us to act as messengers and allow JP to express himself one last time.” Auclair was the one who came up with the idea of a kid sitting in the back of the car, gazing out the window and imagining skiing with his fingers along the snowy sidewalks until a real skier (professional freeskier Tom Wallisch) comes out of nowhere and turns the daydream into a reality. Executing the idea wasn’t, however, without obstacles. Originally Mossop wanted to film the urban segment in St John’s, Newfoundland, off the Atlantic coast, because of its unique location where

few street segments had been filmed. Three days before the shoot, a huge warm weather front came in rendering the entire town a complete wash out. The quick relocation to Nelson, British Columbia, where parts of the street segment from All.I.Can were shot, was a huge blessing in disguise. “It was like we had a carte blanche on the city and that was purely down to people’s familiarity with us and All.I.Can,” said Scott. With the location’s familiarity, it was also easier to apply learnings from their 2011 filming. “I think this was an opportunity for the team to absorb and come face to face with the teachings of JP Auclair,” added Mossop. “The All.I.Can street segment is a window into JP’s unique style of artistic creation, so collaborating on this homage piece really forced our team to connect with JP in a profound way.” The introduction of actors (the family in the car) into the mix made production more complex but Mossop noted that this new type of narrative storytelling in an action sports film

“represents an evolution and progression of the craft, and another layer of challenge on top of the street skiing”. There was also pressure on Wallisch, who was filling JP Auclair’s boots. “We all pushed ourselves to honour the memory of JP and the lion’s share fell on Tom to perform some very challenging stunts,” said Scott. Mossop explains that the 30-year-old Wallisch is a “preposterously talented athlete” who performed on an “inhuman level” for the 17 days of filming. “For Tom, it was extra intense — he was handed a torch by JP during the making of Into the Mind, and took that responsibility very seriously. His unwavering positivity and perseverance was nothing short of mind blowing.” It comes down to tapping back into that boundless creativity we are all born with but somehow lose pieces of along the way. “It’s about believing in the beauty of a child’s imagination,” said Mossop. “To understand the importance of creativity, and the power of hope held in the next generation. I hope this film helps that seed grow.”

“It was a beautiful way for us to act as messengers and allow JP to express himself one last time.”

Sherpas director Dave Mossop in between stints of directing from the back of the car during filming.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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FILM FEATURE: ASCEND

SPIRIT RIDER Life lessons on the trail

credit: all caps

“I

WOKE UP without my leg and it was one of the happiest moments in my life.” Jon Wilson doesn’t mince his words. When diagnosed with a rare form of bone and muscle cancer, he was told doctors would have to operate and one of two things would happen. He would either wake up from the surgery to find his left leg had been amputated, or he would wake up to see he still had his leg which meant something worse: the cancer had spread throughout his entire body.

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FILM FEATURE: ASCEND friends for 30 years — from life before his surgery to life after. Wilson admits that the reality of his situation sometimes gets the better of him and he can become “a little irrational” with how he is treated because of his perceived disability. When people tell him he’s ‘amazing’ for continuing to mountain bike with one leg, he replies, “How do you know I’m amazing? There’s nothing inherently different in me because I lost my leg. I could be a real a**hole”. “Sometimes I have to take a step back and say holy crap, this whole situation and how he deals with it really puts a lot of things into perspective,” said Perkins. “It’s like a splash of cold water in your face. Everything Jon talks about is stuff we all wrestle with every day. It definitely inspires me, and it humbles me to be around him.” But primarily Ascend is all about hope.

Jon Wilson prepping his bike for a day on the trails in Vermont.

Between losing a leg and losing his life, he knew what the better option was. Wilson continues to live his life in Manchester, Vermont just as he did before the operation. And that life is made up of several very important things — being a father of two girls, a husband, a teacher, and riding the mountain bike trails in nearby Dorset at every available opportunity. “If I don’t ride a bike I will lose my mind,” said Wilson levelly. “And it’s because I need to find that spiritual place, that spiritual channel for me on the trail.” “I have a real spiritual connection with mountain biking because that’s where I can connect with the woods… the part that’s a bit more complicated (is) the fear of being unable to do this someday.” Knowing that his body might not always allow him the luxury to ride is the impetus for doing what he does. “I better stay in shape, I better do this while I can,” he said. “I might be in a wheelchair someday, and that terrifies me.” The spiritual connection to, and deep affinity with nature that is inside us all is what attracted filmmaker Simon Perkins to document Wilson in

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18

his new film Ascend. The short film, shot over two days, celebrates Wilson’s indomitable spirit and that deep driving force that keeps him getting back on his mountain bike and riding singletrack. “Everything Jon is talking about in this film is stuff that is inside all of us,” said Perkins. “The film focuses on tensions that are meaningful to us every day and it moves people because Jon’s made these things so real for people to connect with.” Wilson and Perkins have been

Wilson says he pushes himself physically which also allows himself to connect spiritually with nature.

“The most important thing I’ve learned from Jon is to not be scared,” Perkins said. “Jon believes that we should not be afraid to be broken, that’s not something anyone should live in fear of. And I’ve seen firsthand from Jon that if you do become broken, if you accept it in a positive, healthy way, it can actually help you realise your potential, or capability, or perspective, in ways that you might not ever get the chance to get in touch with. That’s a pretty special message.”

all photos: simon perkins

“Everything Jon talks about is stuff we all wrestle with every day. It definitely inspires me, and it humbles me to be around him.”


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Filmmaking on the Edge Tips from an adventure filmmaker

ADVENTURE FILMMAKER Keith Partridge has been through a few hairy experiences. From rappelling down some of the world’s highest waterfalls to filming at 6,000 metres in temperatures of minus 20 degrees, this man knows a few things about the art of adventure filmmaking. The cinematographer behind the award-winning documentary Touching the Void is also faculty for the Adventure Filmmakers Workshop at Banff Centre, which takes place every year on campus during the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. We caught up with him to talk about pushing limits, tricks of the trade, and close calls.

©keith partridge collection

What has been the scariest experience you’ve had filming? We were nearly taken out in a rock-fall during the attempted first ascent of a big rock-face in Venezuela during a tropical storm. I was right in the firing line. How do you cope with being vulnerable while you’re working? Vulnerability is essential because it keeps you on your toes and I think it shows a certain type of confidence and strength. The minute you overstep your limits then that’s when catastrophe has the potential to strike.

“It’s a brilliant lifestyle but if you think it’s a holiday, you need to think again.” Tell us about a compromising situation you’ve found yourself in while filming. We were filming in sea kayaks in Alaska and got mixed up in a ‘bubble net’ with about 12 30-tonne humpback whales who were blowing bubbles out of their blowholes to bring fish to the surface. The whales came up through the water, like ballistic missiles launched from a submarine, with their mouths wide open to swallow everything. All I thought was, ‘oh s**t’. I quickly realized I couldn’t do anything about it, so my instincts kicked in and I just turned on the camera. The footage was spectacular. And finally, What does Keith Partridge not leave home without? Duct tape. And a sense of humour.

Keith Partridge’s film, Bonington: Mountaineer, premiered at the 2017 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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Learning Opportunities Adventure Filmmaking, Mountain Photography, and Mountain and Wilderness Writing For more information and application deadlines visit: banffcentre.ca/programs

For details on international competitions in Film, Photography, and Books visit: banffmountainfestival.ca

2016 Adventure Filmmakers’ Workshop participants © Katie Whitt

You lead the Adventure Filmmakers Workshop at Banff Centre. What is the biggest misconception about adventure filmmaking? KEITH: The entire reality of filmmaking is very complex but when you add on the adventure elements to it — the logistics, technicalities, and risk management — you’ve got a very big can of worms. With the Adventure Filmmakers Workshop we help join all of the dots up for the participants. Yes, it’s a brilliant lifestyle but if you think it’s a holiday, you need to think again.


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credit: all caps

Photographer Jeff Kerby: “An adult male gelada monkey resting along the edge of the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley in the highlands of Ethiopia.�


A WITNESS IN THE WILD

Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition by nicky lynch

credit: all caps

“I’ll never tire of this incredible species and place,” said photographer Jeff Kerby of the gelada monkeys in the stunning highlands of Ethiopia, detailed in this winning photo essay. Over a number of years, Kerby captured images of these monkeys, a species unique to the alpine grassland region of the Great Rift Valley, with grants and a full photo assignment from National Geographic. →

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“It is important to highlight how large their groups can form — sometimes up to 800 individuals — and how social interactions are such a big part of their lives out of necessity. This photo was taken late in the day as the monkeys walked back towards their sleeping cliffs. The mother in the center of the image is carrying her infant on her chest after a long day of traveling through the alpine grassland.”

Kerby first visited Ethiopia in 2007 as a research assistant for the Guassa Gelada Research Project, returning four more times from 2011–2017, initially as an ecologist and in more recent years as a photographer. Kerby is continually fascinated both by the gelada’s social interactions and by how they cope with living in such a challenging alpine environment. “Geladas are unique as they are the only primate to feed primarily on grass, they form huge herds of up to 800 or more individuals, and their coloration and morphology makes them instantly recognizable,” notes Kerby. “I would often go back to revisit the same individual monkeys known to the researchers.”

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In total, he has spent almost 18 months living alongside the monkeys in an area that has been protected for centuries by the local community, leaving the habitat and landscape ecologically intact and shielded from outside influence. On one occasion, while observing the herd from afar with a team of researchers, Kerby noticed a female walk away by herself. “After watching her silently for a few minutes I realized she was about to give birth.” From 15 meters away and with a telephoto lens in hand, Kerby was able to capture this dramatic event. “This is quite rare to witness in wild primates, and I knew that any photographs

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PHOTO ESSAY COMPETITION

“This is quite rare to witness in wild primates, and I knew that any photographs would also have scientific value to the team.”

TOP: “Investing in a relationship, whether between monkeys or people, sometimes requires a little patience.” BOTTOM: “The weather can turn dark and moody very easily in the mountains, and here a male gelada walks through a patch of ‘red hot poker’ flowers, also called ‘torch lilies’. This is far inland, away from the edges of the cliffs — not a great place to be caught when lightning storms roll in.”

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PHOTO ESSAY COMPETITION

“After watching her silently for a few minutes I realized she was about to give birth.” would also have scientific value to the team.” The Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition has recognized creative excellence in photography on mountain subjects for over 20 years, and showcases the best stories told through a series of still images. Kerby’s essay was chosen, from 141 entries representing 16 countries, as the winner of the $2,000 grand prize and a trip to Banff. The 2017 jury consisted of three award-winning adventure and environment photographers: Ace Kvale, Crista-Lee Mitchell, and the 2016 competition winner, Prasenjeet Yadav.

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/ 18

“This photo captures a really stunning moment, and was used by researchers from the Guassa Gelada Research Project (Cal State Fullerton) — along with years of observations of other births — to write a scientific article about comparative primate obstetrics.”


Banff Mountain Film Competition AWARDS

Inspiring Adventure...

GRAND PRIZE

$4,000 Sponsored by MEC

Award for Creative Excellence $2,000 Sponsored by The Camera Store Best Film – Exploration and Adventure $2,000 Sponsored by Treksta Best Film – Mountain Culture $2,000 Sponsored by Helly Hansen Best Film – Mountain Environment and Natural History $2,000 Sponsored by lululemon Best Film – Climbing $2,000 Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada

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Proudlysponsoringthe SUMMIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

Best Film – Mountain Sports $2,000 Sponsored by Expertcity Best Film – Snow Sports $2,000 Sponsored by Boreale Explorers

Contest

Best Short Mountain Film $2,000 Sponsored by The North Face

Enter to win the Grand Prize of a trip for two on World Expeditions’ Nicaragua & Costa Rica Adventure.

Best Feature Length Mountain Film $2,000 Sponsored by Town of Banff People’s Choice Award $2,000 Sponsored by Osprey Summit of Excellence Award Sponsored by Norseman Outdoor Specialist and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

Other prizes include a chance to experience majestic Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.

Mountain Idol Award Sponsored by Banff Mount Norquay, The North Face, and the Alpine Club of Canada

Enter to win at: banffmountainfestival.ca/contest Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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Banff Mountain Book Competition AWARDS GRAND PRIZE

Phyllis and Don Munday Award $4,000 Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada Mountain & Wilderness Literature (non-fiction) The Jon Whyte Award $2,000 Sponsored by The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Adventure Travel Award $2,000 Sponsored by Fjallraven

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Mountaineering Article Award Sponsored by University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

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Banff Mountain Film Festival 2017/18

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Last Words

Festival and World Tour tidbits and your feedback

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countries

500,000 people

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films shown in…

…1,100 screenings around the world

20,000

attend the Festival in Banff each year

Heard around the world… I might just quit my job… I look forward to the tour for the entire year. I’ve drafted a resignation letter several times after seeing the films so I can go out into the world and travel — one of these years I’ll turn it in! Must make it to the Mothership As a long-time attendee of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, to say I look forward to attending every night is a huge understatement. From the sponsors, to the filmmakers, to attending with friends, it’s my absolute favourite! Keep up the amazing work. #INeedToAttendThisEventInBanff From our World Tour Hosts The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is amazing because it is not preachy, rather it reminds audiences members of all the great adventures and achievements that are possible in this world. It is exciting to me to see @Banff MtnFest @banffcentre #Banff WorldTour

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the audience grow over the years… The audience hungers for good quality material and Banff Centre delivers.” Pushing my Boundaries I am always amazed at the films, the tenacity, and resilience of the people in them. Makes me stretch myself more when I am out there. Good for the soul! Keep up the good work! Oldie but a Goldie The very first time I saw the World Tour was in the mid- to late-1980s. Back then, it was just a small get-together of likeminded outdoorsy individuals. I have been returning to the Festival World Tour almost every year since. Great job from a great community! Had my 10th viewing this year — thanks for inspiring me for a decade and for travelling the world so I wouldn’t miss you when I lived in Holland and Switzerland. Love you all and keep up the great work! Banff MountainFilmFestival RadReels Banff Centre

Lust for Life Banff Mountain Film Festival offers a great deal of education and insight to all that really matters: human love for life, adventure, and nature. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! No Greater Power… If there is one night that leaves you wanting nothing more than to go outside, see that place and try that activity, it is after attending the Banff Mountain Film Festival World tour! Family Traditions I have made the Vernon World Tour Show a “Christmas Present Treat” for five of my family members (plus myself!) for the past five years, and the ongoing enjoyment, and appreciation all-round, is wonderful. Thank-you for continuing on with your superb efforts! Smashing the Piggy Bank! What a fantastic night out! Very inspirational and when I got home, I immediately

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designed a financial plan so I can do some more adventure in the coming year. It got the travel bug and adventure bug moving in me! Social Media @cbloor: 23 years ago we had our 1st date at the @BanffMtnFest. And here we are again. Thanks for making it happen! @Angela_Saurine: Feeling inspired to have an adventure after seeing @BanffMtnFest tonight. One of my fave events of the year! @metwinters20: Short films of amazing adventure & true discovery. Emotions flying last night at the #banff worldtour. @orourke_powell: #banff worldtour tonight! AKA highlight of my outdoorsy endeavors for the year! @HPEStephanie: THIS. WAS.AMAZING. Had such a blast at the @BanffMtnFest tonight. So many inspiring and thrilling documentaries!

@banffmountainfestival


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W E C A N H E L P.

As a global nonproďŹ t, the National Geographic Society invests in innovative and passionate explorers, scientists, and storytellers like you who have a vision for a better planet. Join us and learn more at natgeogrants.org.

Photographer Joe Riis received a grant from the National Geographic Society to support his documentation of pronghorn migrations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As a result of his work, the state of Wyoming built its ďŹ rst migratory overpasses for wildlife.

PHOTO BY JOE RIIS

YO U W A N T TO M A K E A D I F F E R E N C E .

Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine 2017