by Greta Yeoman
Mountaineering equipment and courses are set to be funded through the debut Timaru screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival next month.
Organised by the South Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Alpine Club, the Timaru screening on June 15 would be the first time the club had brought the festival to the town, South Canterbury branch chairman Gary Brehaut said.
New Zealand Alpine Club general manager Karen Leacock said the club was “so excited and proud” to bring the festival back to New Zealand for its 17th year.
Members of the South Canterbury section have run a matinee screening in Christchurch for the past few years to raise funds for the activities and training of the mountaineering group.
The other Christchurch screenings are organised by and fund the main Canterbury section.
South Canterbury members also helped organise the first event at Aoraki/Mt Cook last year, alongside the North Otago branch.
The combination of these two events had prompted the branch to test the waters of Timaru for interest in the outdoor adventure film event, Mr Brehaut said.
“Word’s getting out.”
Funds raised from the South Canterbury section-organised events would go towards mountaineering courses, ski touring lessons and buying gear for members to hire, he said.
All the screenings nationwide are organised by branches of the New Zealand Alpine Club as fundraisers for the overall national organisation and regional branches.
The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is held in Banff, Canada every year.
A world tour of the top films takes place in the months following the festival, including the annual screenings around New Zealand.
Mr Brehaut said ticket sales for the Timaru screening were going well and could be bought online and through Macpac.
The June 15 programme will feature nine films across a range of disciplines.
The Christchurch matinee, Timaru and Aoraki events all have different programmes, meaning most, if not all, screenings will vary between titles.
This enabled residents to go to several screenings if they wished, Mr Brehaut said.
The Aoraki/Mt Cook screening will be held on the Saturday of Queen’s Birthday Weekend (June 1) at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at the Hermitage.
Timaru’s event on June 15 will be held at the Mountainview High School auditorium.