'Best of the Fest' to be shown

Best of the Fest, a two-hour highlight film from the 24th Annual Banff Festival of Mountain Films in Banff, Alberta, Canada, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St. Best of the Fest features footage of high-altitude rock and ice climbing, a trek from Russia to Canada through the North Pole, extreme mountain biking and the first crossing of western Nepal by paraglider. Admission to the event, sponsored by the Bates College Outing Club, is $3 for adults and free for seniors and children under 12.

Best of the Fest at Bates features segments of several award-winning films at the Banff Festival of Mountain Films. 118 Days in Captivity of Ice, directed and produced by Pavol Barabas, presents the story of four Slovak and Russian explorers who traversed the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada on skis and without aircraft support. The film portrays the journey’s hardships and captures the grandeur of the stark polar landscape.

Oceans of Fear, directed by Nic Good, features rock climbing in the Klein Winterhoek Mountains of South Africa’s western cape and BASE jumping. New World Disorder, directed and produced by Jeff Lawrence and Derek Westerlund, portrays mountain biking at its most extreme. From Nowhere to the Middle of Nowhere, directed and produced by Alun Hughes, presents the raw adventure of the first paraglider crossing of western Nepal by John Silvester in May, 1999.

The Best of the Fest tour is produced by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture and kicks off following the Banff Mountain Film Festival, a three-day event held every November in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The festival received 138 entries representing 22 countries in this year’s competition. Thirty-seven finalist films were considered by an international jury that named winners in four categories and a grand-prize winner. The 7,000-member festival audience crowned “The People’s Choice Award.”

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