Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Breckenridge |

Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Breckenridge

Banff Film FestivalAction from the film 'Azazel.'

The Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center is revving up spring break with a lineup of the best sports and adventure films in the world.

March 19, it presents The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for the first time.

The Banff Centre, located in the heart of Banff National Park in Canada, hosts the film festival. The mission of the center involves inspiring artists and leaders from around the world to create and perform new works of art, explore ideas and share skills. The festival itself is an international film competition that features the world’s best footage on mountain subjects. About 300 films from approximately 35 countries enter the competition, and of those, a committee selects about 55 finalists. From there, an international jury choose the best films, awarding prizes in eight categories.

Once the festival takes place in November, the best films are offered on the world tour, which spans about 285 locations and 500 screenings.

It took a year for the BOEC to gain acceptance on the world tour, after filling out an application in April, 2008. But now that the BOEC is on the tour, no one within a 50-mile radius can show the films. This year, the closest the world tour comes to Breckenridge is Aspen, Durango, Denver and Colorado Springs.

“It gains a cult following,” said Marci Sloan, BOEC development director. “National Geographic is behind it, so the films (portray) a variety of unique, high-adrenaline (activities).”

The BOEC staff watched 32 clips and chose nine to present, aiming to deliver a high-energy, high-adrenaline experience during spring break. The films include rock climbing, ice climbing, speed flying, skiing and mountain biking. One features an athlete who overcame a head injury to continue rock climbing, which keeps in line with the BOEC’s mission of making outdoor activities accessible to those with disabilities and special needs.

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