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Mount to Once Again Host Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Courtney Twigg, C'17

In 1976, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity debuted its first film festival, which was created to promote and showcase various artists and filmmakers in the Alberta, Canada area. Since then, Banff has taken the festival global, creating the Banff Mountain Film Festival's World Tour.

banff-by-courtney-twigg.jpgEvery year, filmmakers, athletes and artists make adventure films and send them to the Banff Mountain Institute. A panel of critics then judge each film, select the most impressive ones and choose these to include in the international festival.

The tour visits approximately 305 cities in 20 countries, reaching over 220,000 audience members. The only two locations in Maryland that the festival chooses to visit are Baltimore and our own Mount St. Mary’s University campus. “Hundreds of people come to the Mount to watch the film festival,” says Chris Duffy, the director of the Mount’s Outdoor Adventures. “They travel from as far as Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philly and Pittsburgh.”

For nine years, the Outdoor Adventures program has hosted and shown the films in Knott Auditorium. “The Mount, as well as the surrounding area, has a vibrant outdoor community and so we knew it would thrive here on campus,” says Duffy. Student run organizations such as AMP and CRUX encourage and offer students the opportunity to partake in various trips to experience the beautiful landscapes of Maryland. These trips include overnight hiking and camping adventures, rock climbing, white water rafting, skiing, canoeing and so much more.

Not only this, but the Mount’s campus is nestled in the side of a mountainous terrain, giving the campus a rich alpine setting, which proves to be the perfect location for the Banff Film Festival.

All the short films and documentaries are centered on the mountainous culture of Canada, bringing a visionary perspective on skiing, mountain biking, the rugged and beautiful terrain, and appreciation of the environment that makes Banff such a stunning place to experience. The festival gained momentum and support and eventually expanded into the international film festival it is today.

Over this two-day event, 19 short films will be showcased, highlighting wildly exciting and beautiful outdoor experiences. A few of the film selections include:

Northbound - Four skateboarders head north above the Arctic Circle to the cold Norwegian coast to apply their urban riding skills to a canvas of beach flotsam, frozen sand and pastel skies.

Four Mums In A Boat - When four middle-aged working British mums announced they wanted to row the Atlantic Ocean, their families thought they had lost their minds.

Ace and the Desert Dog - For his 60th birthday, adventure photographer Ace Kvale and his dog, Genghis Khan, set out on a 60-day trek in Utah’s canyon country.

Event Details

Monday April 24 & Tuesday, April 25 in Knott Auditorium.

Doors open at 6 p.m., live music starts at 6:30 p.m.


Mount students: $5 in advance and at the door.

Non-Mount students: $13 in advance, $16 at the door.

General adult: $16 in advance, $19 at the door.


Banff Film Festival: admission ticket includes you in the chance to win a ski trip to Banff.

Outdoor Adventures: purchase a ticket to include you in the chance to win over $1,000 worth of prizes from Trail House in Frederick, Maryland.

This event is open to the public and sells out every year – buy your tickets now! Tickets can be purchased in the Outdoor Adventures office with cash, check or Mount Money. Email Chris Duffy or call 301-447-7437 for more details.

Image of Banff, Alberta by Courtney Twigg.

Courtney Twigg, C'17