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Best of Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Coming to Arlington

UCSB Arts & Lectures will present two days of mountain-focused films, Feb. 27-28

A Santa Barbara tradition, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is a perennial UCSB Arts & Lectures fan favorite.

Featuring the world’s best films and videos on mountain subjects, the tour awes viewers with thrills and grandeur captured in exotic locations around the globe. The show’s wide variety of film subjects — from extreme sports to mountain culture and the environment — will amaze and inspire audiences.

Some of the intrepid adventurers in this year’s schedule include Nepali sherpa paragliders attempting flight in the Himalayas, kayakers battling the raging rivers of the Congo, scuba divers in the ice-bound Arctic, a 9-year-old bouldering phenomenon from New York City and even furry felines who brave the snow to help save humans in avalanches.

Festival Schedule

Monday, Feb. 27 (125 min., one intermission)

All.I.Can — The Short Cut
Stunning time-lapse sequences, creative visuals, great skiers and deep powder are highlights of this excerpt from the award-winning feature film that looks at snow sports and the environment. (Canada, Dave Mossop and Eric Crossland, 2011), Recipient of the festival’s Best Feature Length Mountain Film, sponsored by the Town of Banff.

Blue Obsession
The beautiful and ever-changing ice falls of Alaskan glaciers provide a stunning setting for some unusual ice-climbing adventures. (USA, Alan Gordon and Jordan Halland, 2011)

Hanuman Airlines
Two Nepali sherpa adventurers channel the Hindu God of Wind on their mission to launch a paraglider from Mount Everest’s summit and travel to an ocean they have never seen. (USA, Hamilton Pevec, 2011)

Experience Gasherbrum II in the middle of a deep, dark winter as seen from the raw, honest perspective of alpinist Cory Richard’s camera. This film deftly captures the interwoven threads of pain, fear and doubt — and reveals a harrowing descent that amplifies the climbers’ isolation and exposure. (USA, Anson Fogel, 2011) *Recipient of the Grand Prize, sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Best Film on Climbing, sponsored by Alpine Club of Canada.

One man’s quest to revolutionize the world of animal avalanche rescue. (The Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association uses domestic cats in emergency avalanche rescue procedures.) (Canada, Adam Bailey, 2011)

DeepSea Under the Pole
An intrepid crew of scientists and explorers takes the ultimate plunge — scuba diving beneath the North Pole in temperatures so low that a special heating device is required in their diving suits. Over a two-month period, they overcome incredible obstacles to give us a rare kaleidoscopic glimpse of the ice from below and the luminescent sea creatures they encounter. (France, Thierry Robert, 2010)

Tuesday, Feb. 28 (129 min., one intermission)

Reel Rock: Origins — Obe & Ashima
There’s a 9-year-old girl from New York City taking the bouldering world by storm, and her name is Ashima Shiraishi. Guided by her coach and former bouldering star Obe Carrion, this tiny master is crushing the competition and raising the bar for her peers. A trip to the bouldering mecca of Hueco Tanks provides a glimpse of the past for Obe and the start of amazing new adventures for Ashima.  (USA, Josh Lowell, 2011)

Ski Bums Never Die
What does it take to be a ski bum? An unending dedication to powder skiing? The ability to do anything in your ski boots? A lifelong quest for deep snow? Find out with this unusual and inspiring band of skiers in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. (Canada, Eric Crosland, 2011)

On the Trail of Genghis Khan — The Last Frontier
On an epic journey of truly historic proportions, Australian Tim Cope, his band of horses and his dog Tigon travel 10,000 km over land from Mongolia to Hungary, following the footsteps of legendary warrior and nomad Genghis Khan. Cope visits distant parts of the world rarely seen, places on the cusp of modernity yet proud of nomadic traditions. The Last Frontier captures the culmination of his stunning three-year journey: the crossing of the Carpathian Mountains. (Australia, Tim Cope, 2011) *Recipient of the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by V.I.O.

“Kadoma” is the nickname for Hendri Coetzee, a legendary South African kayaker who is known for exploring some of Africa’s wildest rivers. In December 2010, American pro kayakers Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesbury followed Coetzee into the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a first descent of the dangerous Lukuga River. Seven weeks into the expedition, tragedy struck. (USA, Ben Stookesbury, 2011)

The Freedom Chair
Josh Dueck was an aspiring skier and coach until a ski accident in 2004 changed his life for good. Despite his comeback and success in the world of competitive sit-skiing, he wasn’t content. Dueck’s dream is to tackle the backcountry and the steepest and wildest mountains in the world — and with his infectious outlook, he may just fulfill his dream. (Canada, Mike Douglas, 2011)

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. It has been held at the start of November each year since 1975 in Banff in Alberta, Canada. Hot on the heels of the festival, a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the United States and across the globe, from Scotland to South Africa, China to Antarctica and points in between. Each year, the films reach more than 245,000 people at more than 635 screenings in 32 countries. Click here for more information about Banff, including trailers of the films.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. The Festival World Tour is presented by National Geographic, The North Face and Parks Canada and sponsored by Deuter, Outdoor Research, PrimaLoft, Central Asia Institute, Tom’s of Maine and Therm-a-Rest, with support from MSR, Fernie Alpine Resort, Petzl, Kicking Horse Coffee and World Expeditions.

Tickets are $14 for the general public and $11 for UCSB students with a current student ID and youths age 18 or younger. (An Arlington Theatre facility fee will be added to each ticket price.) For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or click here to purchase online. Tickets are also available through the Arlington box office at 805.963.4408 and Ticketmaster.

Arts & Lectures thanks for its major support of the 2011-2012 season.

— Karna Hughes is a senior writer/publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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