“Who knows what freedom is? No one. I often think that we mountaineers get nearest to it, this paradise on earth. Or, to put it another way: the truly free climber is one who obeys no rules.”
The words of Reinhold Messner, the first man to climb Mount Everest on his own, are at the heart of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which is currently on its Chilean leg.
Over the next few months in select venues around the country you will be able to view footage of the world’s premier adventurers pushing the limits of their bodies, minds and souls in breathtaking, world-class documentaries.
Locations nationwide will be showing the festival’s international documentaries, however in Santiago between October 4-7 you will also be able to catch five short films either featuring Chile’s own premier adventurers, or shot on location in the Chilean Andes.
From director Fernando Bórquez, Chile al Kanchenjunga follows a group of Chilean mountaineers attempting to conquer the Himalayan peak Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
For fans of rock climbing, Choriboulder Rocktrip – Chile follows North Face superstars such as Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright tackle bouldering problems and sharing tips along the way in Chile’s Maipo Valley.
Quemasda is a snowboarding documentary from Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Harasic. Watch incredible footage of Chilean snowboarders Manuel Díaz, Daniel Avdaloff, JP Audisio, Cristián Wehrhahn, and boarders from around the world as they pull off outrageous stunts in Chile’s Torres del Paine, Cajon de Maipo, Colina and Farellones.
Another Bórquez installment, Portillo Ice Fest 2012 features all the highlights from the mountain and ice climbing competition held in Chile’s Portillo ski resort this year.
And all that action is just from Chile. The work of filmmakers from countries the world over is also on display at Banff, and the sporting disciplines are as varied: slacklining, mountain biking, skiing, climbing, kayaking and base jumping to name a few. Oh, and the story of a pair who came up with the idea to paraglide off the summit of Mount Everest.
Perhaps the main event that everyone is talking about is Honnold 3.0. In the world of free solo climbing (climbing on one’s own and without ropes), American Alex Honnold is in a league of his own.
The discipline is so dangerous (any error leads to certain death) that less than 1 percent of climbers attempt it, and even then only walls of a few hundred feet. Honnold tackles rock faces of up to 2,000ft. No ropes, no nets, just his climbing shoes and a chalk bag.
Honnold 3.0 follows the climber as he attempts his biggest feat yet: climbing the three main faces of Yosemite National Park in one day, only tethering himself to the rock for a mere 5 percent of the climb. This film is a must-see that can only be watched through the gaps of sweating fingers.
The Banff Film Festival began in 1976 and its world tour goes to 305 cities in 20 countries. The festival comes to Santiago October 4-7, Puerto Varas from November 23-24, San Pedro de Atacama from December 7-8, and Pucon from January 11-12, 2013. You can find more information on scheduling and locations here.