The Hippo


May 26, 2020








From Sufferfest 2.

Attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival

Where: The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
When: Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.
Admission: Tickets are $26 at The Music Hall box office and available at 436-2400, (where ticket-buyers will encounter a $4 additional charge)
Raffle: Partway through the event, there’s an intermission with raffle prizes: jump/raft package for two from Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting and Jump and Raft; a private tour for 10 people at Redhook Brewery/$25 gift card; two primetime lift tickets to Gunstock; $25 gift certificate to Isles of Shoals Cruise and all-day riding session for two at Rye Airfield; and a stand-up paddleboard from Portsmouth Kayak Adventures.

Banff adventures
Film festival celebrates 20 years in Portsmouth

By Kelly Sennott

For 20 years, Portsmouth’s chapter of the Banff Film Festival has been the Seacoast’s ticket for heart-pounding thrills in the middle of winter.

From skiing and slack-line walking to mountain biking and flying (yes, flying — check out this year’s Touch), viewers can count on Banff’s 90-minute transport to magical moments around the globe. This year’s adventure starts Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., at The Music Hall.
“When you come in, you know you’re going to see something that’s totally going to fill you with adrenaline,” said Lara Willard, event organizer and community relations director with Goodwin Community Health, which puts on the festival every year. “There’s Alex Honnold in Sufferfest 2 — if you’re into climbing at all, then you know this guy’s name. … Tashi and the Monk takes you to the mountains of Nepal. … You’re going to see wingsuit flying, and this year, we’re featuring a female slack-liner.”
Films are as short as three minutes, as long as 30. Portsmouth event organizers chose the titles out of a sea selected by the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival jury. The festival is one of the most prestigious mountain festivals in the world and is held every fall in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Afterward, it stops in about 400 communities in 40 different countries across the globe. The end result, Willard said, is that participants experience all aspects of mountain life.
It’s not just action adventure that drives the films. Some have cultural, environmental and emotional themes, Willard said. 
“That’s what makes it so cool. You have that heart-pumping, adrenaline kind of film, and then it’s coupled with something that allows you to see the inner workings of human beings pushing themselves through limits of nature, their hearts, minds and limits of their own physical strength,” she said. “The festival is both moving and energizing.”
Portsmouth film selections include Touch, a flying tour of Santorini, Greece, the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix, and the Col du Galibier in France; Wild Woman: Faith Dickey, about slack-liner Faith Dickey; Arctic Swell: Surfing the Ends of the Earth, which showcases cold water surfers; The Little Things, about a snowboarder who sells her sled and heads north to learn from her Haida elders; Danny Macaskill: The Ridge, about Scottish trails rider Danny Macaskill mountain biking on the infamous Cuillin Ridge; Tashi and the Monk, which tells of a Himalayan former Buddhist monk who takes in abandoned children; Afterglow, which displays big mountain skiing at night; And Then We Swam, in which Brits with little boating experience cross the Indian Ocean; and Sufferfest 2:Desert Alpine, which shows Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold riding bikes and climbing desert towers in the American Southwest.
“We’ve tried different things over the years,” Willard said. “We’ve moved it outside of The Music Hall, but we always come back to our original formula. People really like coming to downtown Portsmouth for this event.”
Banff is a fundraiser for Goodwin Community Health. 
“Goodwin Community Health is all about making sure there’s nobody in the community who doesn’t have access to mental, prenatal, dental, behavioral or primary care. We make it affordable,” Willard said. “It’s our mission and passion — coming to this festival helps to make sure your friends and neighbors who might be laid off or uninsured can still see doctors if they need to.” 
As seen in the February 5, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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