Wednesday evening went to the annual Banff Film Festival in the Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Canterbury. Third time and each time it has been a great experience. For those not in the know the Banff Film Festival is held each year in Banff , Alberta.A variety of short documentary films are screened covering stories of  a wide range of outdoor adventure activities from climbing to well basically anything physically challenging in the (preferably wild) outdoors. These films “compete” for awards in different categories and a selection of the winning films are then toured round the world.As indicated the range of activities is increasingly eclectic and included this year what for me was the highlight of the festival – a film titled “Unbranded” ,  about four American college graduate friends who adopt train and ride a string of wild horses on a 3000 mile journey from the Mexican to the Canadian border. Absolutely riveting. Films shown also  included an amazing account of the first ever Fitzroy Chain  traverse in Patagonia – extreme alpine climbing at its most surreal. And for runners there was the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc 100 mile  Endurance race. Having hiked the classic  Tour of Mont Blanc trail itself a few years ago  (albeit with a huge inc kitchen sink rucksack on my back) and knowing the severity of the gradients and  terrain this must be up there with the most challenging of the  world”ultras”. Have no plans to have a go but might be persuaded to marshal !!

A big plus was the accompanying music score to all of the films. If you get the chance to go to the festival grab it – you won`t be disappointed !