Each October, folks from far and wide gather in Canada’s stunning mountain town of Banff for nine days of tantalizing cinema devoted to outdoor adventures. For those who can’t make it, it’s no worry, as select films are culled from the several hundred original entries to make up a slate that then tours the world. UCSB Arts & Lectures, which has brought the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival to Santa Barbarans for 28 years, hosted the popular tour for two nights last week.
As usual, the celluloid fare was dynamic, broad in subject matter, and exciting. On Wednesday, the night began with Far Out: Kai Jones, a delightful five-minute film about tween skiing sensation Kai Jones. At 12 years old, the Idaho native is already turning heads with his masterful snow skills, which include backflips and three-story jumps off cliffs into waist-high powder.
Another highlight of the evening was RJ Ripper, a 19-minute peek into the life of Nepalese mountain biker Rajesh Magar, who began his riding career through the streets of Kathmandu on a homemade bike and is now an international racer and National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurer of the Year.
The evening’s slate also included Fast Horse, How to Run 100 Miles, Skier vs. Drone, Craig’s Reaction, Brotherhood of Skiing, and Reel Rock 12: Break on Through.
Next year when the tour comes back around, do yourself a favor and get tickets — it’s one of the best armchair adventures going.