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Banff Mountain Film Festival rolls its reels into Bozeman

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By Tyler Allen Staff Writer

BOZEMAN – The 2012 Banff Mountain Film Festival marked its 37th year celebrating mountain culture in Banff, Alberta. The nine-day November competition resulted in 79 finalists out of 370 submissions.

Organizers hit the road with those finalists shortly thereafter for the annual world tour, which began more than 25 years ago. This year the tour will comprise of 740 shows in more than 400 locations around the globe, including stops in Bozeman at the Emerson Theater Friday, Jan. 18 and Willson Auditorium Saturday, Jan. 19.

The BMFF has screened films in Bozeman since 1993, making it one of the early tour stops, said Meagan Stewart, Program Coordinator of the Banff word tour. In each town they partner with local organizations to put on the show.

“We’ve always partnered with the Bridger Ski Foundation [in Bozeman],” Stewart said. “Local organizations run all the operations on the ground and get the word out. We roll into Bozeman with all the equipment necessary, but the volunteers are running everything else.”

The partnerships in each town are also important for selecting the lineup of films. The Banff crew takes extensive notes at each screening, determining fan favorites at each show and helping tailor the program to a community’s interests.

The films coming to Bozeman this year include: “1st Afghan Ski Challenge”, about competitive downhill ski racing in the war-torn country; “The Gimp Monkeys” chronicling the first all-disabled attempt to climb El Capitan; an adventure story of snowmobiling from Minnesota to Moscow in “Wild Bill’s Run”; “The Denali Experiment”, following pro skiers as they attempt a descent of North America’s highest mountain; and “Huck”, showcasing local paddler Evan Garcia’s addiction to big waterfalls.

“We’re looking for films that tour audiences would like based on past experiences in towns,” Stewart said. Their goal is also a balanced program that’s appealing to a wide range of interests, and this year’s diverse lineup is sure to please.

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