Students and community members can experience the thrill of a mountain adventure without leaving their seats tomorrow night.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival, which started in Banff, Canada, collects adventure footage from around the world. It showcases professional skiers, like idol Warren Miller, as well as amateurs.
The festival comes to campus tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Assistant Director of Adventure Programs at the Outdoor Recreation Center, Jonathan Stahl, said the show includes 150 minutes of short and feature length mountaineering adventure films selected by the ORC.
“All kinds of adventure-based films are shown there,” Stahl said. “Everything from skiing and snowboarding to kite-boarding and rock climbing, and caving and mountaineering... just tons of different stuff.”
But Stahl emphasized that the shows aren’t just about sports; they also showcase mountain culture.
After showing, the festival leaves the city and goes on a world-tour, which is what WSU is hosting, said Stahl. The Tuesday show will be the 20th annual show.
“We are one of the only free shows across the U.S.,” he said.
The festival will play in the CUB Auditorium, which has a maximum capacity of 485 people. The show sold out last year, said Meg Autrey, coordinator of facilities and operations for the CUB.
Both Autrey and Stahl recommend arriving early in order to get in. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and a line usually forms well before, Stahl said. Tickets are free to students and SRC members with an ID, and $10 for community members.
Autrey has worked with Stahl since October to manage the space for such a large festival.
“I work with every group that comes in that we think is going to bring in a big crowd,” Autrey said. “We want to make sure we’re managing the amount of people coming in and that we have a plan to take care of them.”
Because the actual Festival lasts multiple days, Stahl and his coworkers have to select the most interesting films to fit the 150 minute limit for WSU.
In the past, audience members have been more receptive to shorter films than feature-length, Stahl said.
“Anyone can come,” he said. “You don’t have to be physically fit, or have an interest in skiing or snowboarding to appreciate the films, appreciate the art.”
For example, Autrey snowboards, but said she does it more for the view than the adrenaline rush, and she loves the festival.
“I think it’s really cool,” Autrey said. “People talk about it every year and get excited about it coming.”
The films for this year’s festival will be decided the night before they show, Stahl said. To select the films, he has been working with a “road warrior” - a representative of Banff.
Selection, however, isn’t easy: Stahl said some films look amazing in the ten-minute previews, but those previews show the only good parts.
“The road warrior has been to every film and can give feedback,” he said.
At the festival, sponsors of the festival will give out prizes to participants. Sponsors include such companies as The North Face and Deuter, and this year an organic free-trade coffee company, Stahl said.
“So I can’t guarantee there will be one for everybody, but there will be a large quantity of free samples of organic fair-trade coffee,” Stahl said.
The ORC doesn’t host the program to raise a profit. Because of facility costs and the expenses of the festival itself, they take a loss, Stahl said.
“Last year we basically roughly broke even on the actual cost of hosting the show, without including the reservation fee for the CUB,” he said. “We still essentially lose money on it, but it’s basically a service that we say ‘hey, this is really important, we want to promote this.’”
But he thinks it’s worth it.
“Part of what we do on this campus is to help inspire people, students and community, to get outdoors in a responsible way,” Stahl said. “That’s a lot of what this is about.”