Movie fans can support two good causes while enjoying adventurous short films when they attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour when it arrives in Moab on Saturday, Oct. 5, and Sunday, Oct. 6.
Sixteen award-winning short films will screen over the weekend, all curated from the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada.
The films range in length from two to 39 minutes.
“The film festival is a combination of cultural films and incredible adrenalin,” event coordinator Dave Erley said, noting that the films are specially chosen for each location.
“Moab has a strong female athlete presence, so we have two or three female-led films,” Erley said.
The film “Break on Through” features Margo Hayes, the renowned climber who tackled Spain’s famously difficult climb La Rambla. Hayes became the first woman to climb a route graded 5.15, a grade approached only by the strongest and most skilled sport climbers.
Another of the festival’s featured films delves into the return of the Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition. In “Fast Horse,” Cree filmmaker Alexandra Lazarowich takes viewers inside the dangerous Indian Relay following Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow as he works with second-hand horses and tries to best other riders.
Bringing the Banff film tour to Moab is an opportunity to support local charities, Erley said.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Utah Avalanche Center-Moab and Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation.
As a former backcountry skier, Erley was motivated to designate the Utah Avalanche Center as one of the film event’s beneficiaries.
The Utah Avalanche Center provides snow, avalanche and mountain weather forecasts for the La Sal and Abajo mountains. The nonprofit also offers avalanche awareness and rescue training courses for winter recreational users such as backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers.
“Banff is our greatest fundraiser; that’s our bread and butter,” Utah Avalanche Center volunteer Ed Grote said.
Each year, the center receives around $2,500 from the festival, which covers the fee the center is required to pay the U.S. Forest Service each year to show community support for an avalanche center in Moab.
The film festival additionally supports Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation, a nonprofit regional wildlife rehabilitation center based in Price, Utah.
“Without these proceeds, it would be a huge hit to what we can do for our patients,” said Second Chance founder and director Debbie Pappas. “This funding is a huge deal for us.”
Tickets for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour are available in advance at Back of Beyond Books, Canyon Voyages Adventure Co., Moab Gear Trader, Pagan Mountaineering and Poison Spider Bikes, or online at UtahAvalancheCenter.org/events.