Lace up your hiking boots for two nights of outdoors-themed films that’ll draw Austin’s tent-and-backpack set to the Paramount Theatre on March 8 and 9.
The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, presented by Whole Earth Provision Company, features shorts about travel, culture, environment and adventure around the world.
This year’s lineup includes “Surfer Dan,” a docu-short about a trident-wielding surfer, his beard and hair crusted with ice, who braves a partially frozen Lake Superior to hang 10 in the winter.
Rock climbers will get their fix with “The High Road”; mountain bikers will appreciate “Life of Pie”; kayakers get a turn with “Camel Finds Water”; and skiers can geek out with “Circle the Sun.” The films – 10 the first night and 11 the second – range in length from 3 to 45 minutes each. Each night’s programming is different.
The film festival got its start in Banff, Canada in 1976. The festival in Canada features about 400 films. About two dozen are selected for the traveling show, and this year stops are planned in more than 40 countries.
I make it down for the event every year, along with other Austin outdoor junkies who consider the festival their version of the Academy Awards, minus the gowns and heels. I even love hearing the narrator, whose dramatic booming voice announces the names of the sponsors, which include Banff & Lake Louise Alive, Deuter, Clif Bar, Mountain House, Oboz Footwear, Smartwool, Buff, Sierra Nevada, Kathmandu, Yeti, National Outdoor Leadership School, World Expeditions, Kicking Horse Coffee, Lake Louise and the International Alliance for Mountain Film.
The show starts at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 8, and 7 p.m. Monday, March 9. Tickets, which cost about $22 each and are available at www.austintheatre.com, have sold out in past years.
This year is the ninth that proceeds from festival, along with donations from customers at Whole Earth stores during April, will benefit Texas state parks. So far, more than $230,000 has been raised for public programming at the parks.