When winter is on the horizon, we at Max start anticipating one of our favorite film festivals of the year: the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Kicking off in the Canadian national park known for its ski slopes, the festival has toured the world for the last 3 decades, visiting 450 locations and seating 400,000 viewers. (Team Max has attended the tour screenings annually in 3 cities over 15 years.)
Max Luxe spoke with Suzanne White, the program coordinator for the festival’s world tour, about life in a ski resort and which films she likes best.
As you gear up for this year’s festival, what are you most excited about?
I’m excited to share another amazing lineup of speakers, books, music and film with the festival goers. I’m especially excited to see how many great films could be on our World Tour and our Radical Reels tour. This seems like a banner year for great mountain films.
What are a few of your favorite films that have won at recent Banff Festivals?
Last year, a film called Tashi and The Monk won Best Film for Mountain Culture and it went out on the World Tour. It’s a wonderful story about the life at an orphanage high in the Himalayas and it really touched everyone who saw it. Crossing the Ice was another stand out film from the past couple of years. It’s got adventure, friendship and humor all rolled into one big snowball.
What’s changed about festival-winning films over the years?
The technology with which the filmmakers capture their stories has certainly changed, but the stories themselves haven’t changed. The films still have the same heart, courage and humor as they always have.
What’s your favorite thing about Banff itself? What sport do you most like to do there?
Banff is an exceptional place to live if you like being outdoors. Climbing, hiking, mountain biking, road biking, camping and paddling are all the summer activities available to you. In the winter, more climbing, mountaineering, all types of skiing and watching great films are the best things to do! My favorites are mountain biking and skiing.
If you could visit another mountain location, where would it be?
I would love to visit Patagonia. The mountains there are so different than other mountain ranges I’ve visited.