Preview of Banff Mountain Film Festival

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The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will make a stop in Huntington on Wednesday at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is the largest outdoor recreation film festival in the world. Right after the festival, held every November in Banff, Alberta, Canada, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour starts to travel the globe with stops in around 450 communities and 40 countries. Within the United States, not all 50 states are chosen. The stops are chosen based on a market for outdoor recreation in the area.

This is the first time it has been offered in Huntington and it’s been a work in progress for around two years between the Marshall Recreation Center and the Marshall Artists Series.

“Not only does this film festival create an awareness for the sport of outdoor recreation in general, but in a sense, us hosting Banff here in Huntington creates an awareness for outdoor recreation in our own state, which is really exciting,” Chad Steen, assistant director of Adventure Rec and Youth Programs, said.

The 2016-2017 World Tour features a collection of films that explore the mountain world, highlighting new landscapes and remote cultures, and expose audiences to exciting adventures and adrenaline-packed sports, according to their website.

Steen said the goal was to get it here in Huntington and bring it to the community as conveniently as possible. The first attempt failed and they were finally accepted this year to have the festival here.

At each screening around the world, audiences will see a selection of award-winning films and crowd favorites from the hundreds of films entered into the annual festival. This year’s

screenings feature the world’s best mountain sport, culture and environmental films, letting the viewer experience the thrill and challenges of the mountain environments. This year there are 30 films to choose from the tour itself.

Steen was able to help choose which films will be shown at the film festival in Huntington. There will be 11 films total; some are short and some are up to 30 minutes long and will focus on activities that are relevant to the state and area. Some of the sports to look forward to are skiing, rock climbing, white water paddling and hiking.

“As far as authentic, thought-provoking art goes, I don’t know if we’ll find an event as good as this event,” Steen said.

Tickets for the festival are $10 and students with a valid Marshall ID get in free. Student tickets can be picked up at the Rec Center in the main lobby Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m or call the box office at 304-696-6656. Marshall ID must be presented with student tickets at time of entrance.

“It brings a new element to arts and culture for our community. It’s world class film-making at a low price,” Steen said. “Essentially, by Banff coming here, Huntington is now on the map with lots of other great cities across the nation, so we want to shed light on the fact that it is very important for the community as well.”

Hannah Swartz can be contacted at [email protected]

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