by Greta Yeoman

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is bound for Aoraki.

The annual film festival, which is held in Banff, Canada before touring the world, will show a selection of mountain films at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre in Aoraki-Mt Cook Village on Saturday, June 2.

The New Zealand screenings are being organised by the New Zealand Alpine Club, as a fundraiser for the branches around the country.

Club general manager Karen Tait said the Aoraki-Mt Cook screening had been organised by NZAC volunteer and local resident Pip Walter, who also helped organise events in other parts of the country last year.

Aoraki would be a good venue for showing the mountain films, particularly as it would be winter by the time the screenings rolled around, Ms Tait said.

“[It will be] a pretty fantastic location.”

While the funds raised from the Banff film screenings usually went back to the club in the same area, the North Otago branch would receive the money raised from the Aoraki event.

This was because the South Canterbury branch received the proceeds from a Christchurch showing, Ms Tait said.

The North Otago club, based in Oamaru, was working towards buying new crash mats for the bouldering section of its volunteer-run climbing wall in the town – and proceeds from the screening would go towards that.

The “Green Programme”, on offer on June 2, included films on a rock-climbing Nepalese honey hunter, a mountain-biker and painter who combines outdoor pursuits and art, a profile on ice free-diver Johanna Nordblad and a group of friends attempting to be the first to highline on Denmark’s Faroe Islands.

Films on some French kayakers taking on the rapids of Iceland, a cyclist following the snow-laden path of dog sledders in Yukon and Alaska and free-riding skier Sam Favret’s exploration of Mer de Glace, at the heart of Mont-Blanc, would also feature.

Coming south . . . Belgian-born Australian Chris Eyre-walker’s film “Dreamwalkers – The Faroes Project” will screen at the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Aoraki debut in June. PHOTO: CHRIS EYRE-WALKER

Also screening would be Kiwi film Waters Of The Greenstone, featuring two women tackling the Coast to Coast, “through the lens of one of New Zealand’s cultural symbols – pounamu”, in the words of its producers.

Ms Tait said she expected a good turnout from South Canterbury residents for the region’s sole Banff session, particularly as the event fell on Queen’s Birthday weekend.

“[We] hope that people will make a weekend of it.”

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