USU hosts two nights of award-winning films on the outdoors

Outdoor independent movies from the Canada-based Banff Film Festival are once again making their way to Utah State University Feb. 17-18 as part of the festival’s international tour.. Brian Shirley, USU’s Outdoor Recreation program coordinator, said the Banff Film Festival is like Canada’s Sundance Film Festival with an outdoor theme. “It’s people who love being outdoors, they have that passion and they express it through film,” Shirley said. From glimpses of distant mountain cultures to the dare devil new sport of free BASE – a combination of free solo climbing and BASE jumping – films entered in the festival in Alberta tell stories of action, survival and nature. Tickets are $10 for one night and $16 for two nights for students and $12 for one night and $18 for two nights for everyone else. The viewings take place 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 17-18 in the Kent Concert Hall on the USU campus. All proceeds will go to the Lyon, Maas, Mueggler Outdoor Leadership scholarship, an award created in 2000 in honor of three men who died in an avalanche east of Logan. Viewers will get to see a variety of films varying in length from 30 seconds to an hour each. Each night, viewers will see around seven films from the festival. Banff festival coordinators compile a list of about 40 of the festival’s best films. The number is narrowed down in number and by content to fit the needs of each community the tour visits. Shirley said USU’s viewing is a family appropriate event. USU has hosted the tour since the mid 1995. Each year, the Kent Concert Hall, home to the festival at USU for years, seats about 1,000 people per showing from “hardcore outdoor enthusiasts to people bringing their family,” Shirley said. Founded in 1933 by the University of Alberta, the Banff Centre was started as an art school. Since then, the center, located in Canada’s Banff National Forest, became a non-degree granting educational institution and a cultural and art hub in the mountains of Alberta. The Banff Mountain Film Festival was started to tour in 1986 starting with other towns and Canada and eventually expanding. This year, the festival visits 350 communities in 32 countries around the world. –

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