The diversity was also very striking, with the filmmakers taking us through a myriad of adventures in highly contrasting locations, all beautifully photographed. We started off with a heart-warming and humorous trek following Ace and his Desert Dog, enjoying the beauty of the Utah canyon country while demonstrating the unique bond of a man and his pet. This gentle start did not prepare me for some of the hair-raising events that followed. I was particularity tense as I watched the Finnish freediver, Johanna Nordblad and I was unable to breathe as she swam under the ice in the eerie film Johanna. My husband’s hands were actually sweating as we watched the incredibly talented and ridiculously brave climber, Brad Gobright, as he free solo climbed one of Eldo’s most exposed and difficult routes in the film ‘Safety Third’.
Each film was fresh, engaging and highly entertaining. The festival showcases people living life to the full, pushing their limits both physically and psychologically. One of my favorite films was Dugout, which follows two friends living with an indigenous tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where they select a tree, cut it down, dig out a canoe and then take it down the river. This was a journey through human relationships and natural beauty. There were nine films in total, each one leaves you humming new tunes and feeling the urge to go out and conquer the environment, or at the very least, grapple with your own fears.
See website for the remaining UK 2018 tour dates and to book – www.banff-uk.com.