It’s funny how watching a 20 minute short film can totally shift your perspective on life. The Banff Mountain Film Festival was in town last night. So I decided to stopped by. Of course, me being me, I showed up without a ticket, thinking, “this is Leamington Spa, surely there can’t be that many people interested in extreme sports and adventure travel in this town.
I was wrong.
They were sold out. All 188 seats gone. Now what happened next I would normally chalk up to coincidence, but as James Redfield said in the Celestine Prophesy, there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. I’m still unpacking what that reason might be. I’ll get back to you on that.
Just as i’m about to be told, “Sorry pal, you should have booked your ticket weeks ago.” A lady stops next to me and asks out loud if anybody needs to buy a ticket. I signal that I do and then she says:
“I recognise you. We met a few months ago at that thing. Anyway I follow you on Twitter.” Hurray for Twitter.
She sold me the spare ticket.
If you’ve not been to Banff Mountain Film Festival, it tours around the UK and Ireland to different venues. There’s a red programme and a blue programme. So in essence, you could see it twice and have a different experience each time. Last night in Leamington Spa, it was the blue programme, which consisted of seven short films:
Doing It Scared – about a man returning to climb the Totem Pole in Tasmania after a catastrophic accident he had 18 years prior that left him partial paralysed.
DreamRide – takes you on a magical mountain bike adventure across several awesome landscapes.
Give Me Five – a madcap group of French free falling flyers try to perform the aerial stunt of a lifetime in the Chamonix valley.
La Liste – Swiss skier Jérémie Heitz attempts to conquer a list of the gnarliest, steepest skiing descents in the Alps, many of these faces have only been skied once and never tackled again because the slightest mistake would have terrible consequences.
Locked In – Deep in Papua New Guinea’s rainforest, a team of kayakers attempt a committing 13-day first descent in one of the most remote corners of the world. It’s a daunting 40km section of the Beriman River that is lined with sheer limestone walls, so the only way out is to ride it to the ocean.
Mira – Mira Rai, out of money and about to abandon her dream, makes a last-minute decision to enter a local 50km race shows that her tough mountain village upbringing, plus a stint in the Maoist army, prepared her perfectly for the hardy sport of mountain running.
The Super Salmon – This film uses the journey of one particularly determined king salmon, plus the animated and passionate narration of fisherman and activist Mike Wood, to illustrate the importance of Alaska’s Susitna River to the area’s wildlife, tourism, economy and lifestyle. In a stunning setting, the story examines the potential consequences of constructing an enormous and outdated technology to meet Alaska’s need for renewable energy.
La Liste and Locked In tickled my adventure bone and now have me itching to be in some wild place doing some wild thing. But the one that moved me the most psychologically was Doing It Scared. Made me think, I’ve got to do more with the blessings, gifts, and grace I’ve been given.
I feel like getting ‘seize the day’ tattooed across my forehead to remind me to maximise every single day that I draw breath!
It’s been mostly a head day apart from a couple of hours this morning spent working on Devon’s freelance photography website. I’m helping him get ready for life after university. I think these millennials have the world by it’s short hair. If they’re smart and have grit to hustle, they can write their own pay check and now have to become indentured servants to a big corporation.
One another note, I’m pretty sure Chivas Regal isn’t a cure for a head threatening a migraine. But hell, I’ll give it a shot.
So the lesson I learned from Banff last night is this: Do More! Oh and make life about adventure, friends and experiences.
Random cat photo: