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Your Guide to 2019’s Best Adventure Films

The best of adventure films hits the big screen this autumn as Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Japan. With inspiring stories from the far-flung corners of the world, the film festival will showcase more than 15 films. 

Follow Jochen Merle and Max Kroneck on an ambitious six-week “bikepacking” trip through the Alps in Ice & Palms. A 100% self-powered adventure, the 1,800-km. journey starts from their home in southern Germany and ends on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In between, they ski iconic peaks and pedal along endless empty roads.

You can’t have an adventure film festival without a feel-good ski movie. In Life of Glide, big mountain rider Jeremy Jones dissects his lifelong passion for the simple and sacred feeling he calls the glide.

Age is but a number for 12-year-old ski prodigy Kai Jones. Far Out: Kai Jones follows this preteen grom around his hometown in Jackson, Wyoming as he scales the Tetons, backcountry skis at Jackson Hole and fills in the rest of his time with climbing, cross-country running and wake surfing. 

On the other end of the spectrum, 97-year-old runner George Etzweiler dons his lucky ancient green running shorts in For the Love of Mary. This touching documentary follows Etzweiler as he races up the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. in memory of his late wife.

Drone technology has literally taken adventure films to a whole new level. Skier vs. Drone features electrifying footage chasing 2018 Olympic Bronze Medalist skier Victor Muffat-Jeandet as he competes against two-time World Drone Racing Champion Jordan Temkin at Snowbird, Utah.

Even in the best of conditions, Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole is nerve racking enough for skiers and snowboarders. Cam McCaul and Casey Brown decide to mountain bike Corbet during icy conditions in Rogue Elements: Corbet’s Couloir

To appreciate mountain biking, we need to go back to its roots. Twenty years in the making, The Movement is a homage to free riding. While the mountain bike industry was moving towards competitive racing, three small, but dedicated, crews of Canadian extreme mountain bikers were changing the MTB sport in the backwoods of British Columbia.

Thirty feet away from a grizzly bear, Doug Peacock’s standoff with one of North America’s fiercest creatures changed his life. After serving in the Vietnam War, the author and eco-warrior dedicated his life to observing grizzlies in Wyoming and Montana. As the protection of Yellowstone grizzlies are now under a threat, Peacock pushes to advocate for wild causes in Grizzly Country

Tierra del Viento (Land of the Wind) takes us on a road trip to the vast wilderness of Patagonia. National Geographic Traveler Argentina’s exclusive photographer Eliseo Miciu sets out to capture Patagonia’s moving soul: the wind. Going to the extremes to photograph condors, elusive wild horses and harsh outdoor weather, Miciu captures the world in his trademark black and white style.

In Notes From the Wall, three of world’s best climbers try to free climb one of Patagonia’s hardest routes: El Regalo de Mwono, a 1,200-meter-high climb on the east side of Torre Central.

Family is a recurring theme at Banff, as the heartwarming film This Mountain Life: Coast Range Traverse Segment documents a mother-daughter team set out on a six-month ski traverse in the Coast Mountains of Canada for the mother’s 60th birthday.

Nine-year-old Janibek is a Boy Nomad in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains. With a passion for racing horses, Janibek is faced with the harsh reality of nomadic living as he and his family face a “zhut,” a hard winter blocking the passes and their winter migration.

Join photographer Ben Thouard in Surface as he aims to go beyond typical wave shots to capture original moments in surf photography.

In high-end modern rock climbing, 5.15 is the top of the difficulty scale. In Reel Rock 12, 19-year-old climber Margo Hayes moves to Europe to train to be the first woman to climb two of the most iconic 5.15s in France and Spain.

Purchase tickets here.

SCHEDULE

  • Oct. 11-14: Gate City Osaki, Tokyo
  • Oct. 19-20: Shiretoko Nature Center,  Hokkaido
  • Oct. 27: Sapporo Kyosai Hall, Hokkaido
  • Nov. 10: Higashikawa Cultural Arts Exchange Center, Hokkaido
  • Nov. 16: Asahi Community Hall Azalea, Toyama
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