I just got back from attending the Banff Mountain Film Festival and I have to say I had an awesome time. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship from the Banff Centre to attend the Adventure Filmmakers Workshop and also get Icebreaker on board as a sponsor. Icebreaker were a sponsor of the workshop and actually gave all attendees a free Icebreaker top. They make the best gear for the outdoors, check them out www.icebreaker.com
The workshop was run by Michael Brown and Keith Partridge, what these guys don’t know about adventure filmmaking isn’t worth knowing. We had an awesome group of people from beginner filmakers to adventure film veterans and everyone in between. I personally got a lot out of the workshop as it was a chance to meet people who are successfully forging a career in this field which is really inspiring for a young guy just starting out. I made heaps of contacts and also made a lot of new friends and I am just hoping I can come back next year and have a film in the festival and see what everyone from the workshop has done over the year.
Highlights of the week were attending a National Geographic workshop aimed at filmmakers who want to pitch an idea to the network, a great insight to how TV documentaries are made and funded. Also we had a camera session with Panasonic and Sony reps taking us through their latest and greatest HD cameras, I definitely want a new camera now. And for a bit of fun we were put into groups and all given the same footage and given 2 hours to edit together a short story. I was in a group with 3 sponsored adventures Greg Hill, Andy Maser and Renan Ozturk and we were given footage of rock climbers trying to get a date whilst out on a climb. Somehow we managed to warp that footage into a home-erotic adventure film, probably not what the course convenors were expecting when it was played for the Banff Mountain Film Festival Coordinators but that’s what we came up with in the 2 hours, go figure.
And to cap the week of I was asked to get up on stage at the Awards night and accept the award for best mountain sports film on behalf of an Australian production called SOLO. It’s a pretty harrowing story about the adventure sea kayaker Andrew McAuley and his fatal attempt at paddling from Tasmania to New Zealand, drowning only 30 kilometers from the New Zealand Coast. The dirctor/producer Jennifer Peedom had written a heart felt acceptance letter which I read out to the crowd. I was then able to hang out in the VIP green room reserved for the sponsors, film jury, festival staff and award winners and drink free booze while the rest of the awards night kept going. Then it was off to the wrap up party and a great night as everyone really let their hair down and celebrated a great festival. Hoola hoops on the dance floor were a big hit, I even had a go but not for long as there were some hool hoop gurus out there and I was pretty poor in comparison.
The best part of my whole experience is that I am now full of ideas for my next project and totally inspired to get them going plus I madea few contacts with other film festivals and THIS IS KASHMIR might get a few more festival screenings which would be nice.