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Coming back . . . The Banff Mountain Film Festival is set to screen in Aoraki and Timaru this June. PHOTO: BEN TIBBETTS/SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

The Banff Mountain Film Festival will return to Aoraki this June, as well as making its Timaru debut.

The annual World Tour of the Canadian adventure film festival screens around New Zealand each year.

It made its Aoraki/Mt Cook debut last year and will return to the township on June 1, hosted by the North Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club.

The festival will also debut in Timaru on June 15, at the Mountainview High School auditorium.

It is being organised and hosted by the South Canterbury section of the New Zealand Alpine Club, which will receive the proceeds of the Timaru event.

Each screening of the annual, touring film festival – which is a worldwide touring version of the main festival based in Banff, Canada – helps fund regional branches of the New Zealand Alpine Club.

Last year’s screening at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre in the Aoraki/Mt Cook Village helped raise funds for the North Otago club, based in Oamaru, to buy new crash mats for the bouldering section of its volunteer-run climbing wall in the town.

The festival offers an assortment of programmes featuring mostly documentary shorts of a variety of outdoor pursuits, from film-makers and adventurers around the world.

Last year’s film subjects included 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.

Kiwi outdoor adventurers also featured in the programme, which included a screening of Waters Of The Greenstone, featuring two women tackling the Coast to Coast, along with other movies about 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.

While the details for this year’s New Zealand screenings are yet to be announced, those interested can keep an eye out for more details at www.banff.nz. The Banff Mountain Film Festival will also host screenings in Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown, as well as other centres around the country.