KETCHUM — Twin Falls has BASE jumping off the Perrine Bridge.
The crazy Flying Frenchies combine BASE jumping with its unlikely cousin: surfing. And to do it, they must thread a line atop their surf board that should strike abject terror into most sane mortals.
You can see it for yourself when the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings “Surf the Line” to Ketchum. The festival will offer 27 films that spotlight mountain culture, travel and human interest over three nights: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3 and Monday, Feb. 5.
“The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an inspiring international film competition featuring the world’s best footage on mountain subjects,” said Michael Boge, who has brought the festival to Sun Valley since 1999. “Mountain culture, humor, life, sport—it’s all captured in this year’s array of films.”
The festival will be held at Ketchum’s year-old Limelight Hotel since its traditional venue, NexStage Theatre, has been demolished to make way for a new performing arts center. Doors open at 6 p.m. each night with films starting at 7 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds will again support the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center and The Satipo Kids Project, which educates children living in Satipo, Peru. The Friends of the Avalanche Center will offer its raffle featuring countless prizes of outdoor gear, yurt stays and helicopter skiing packages.
This year’s lineup includes “The Last Honey Hunter,” which features the last man in the remote Nepal village of Saadi to risk dangling off a 300-foot bamboo rope ladder to harvest “mad honey” that provides himself and his village a means of living.
“Denali’s Rave” features the story of a woman who learned to fly in the Alaska wilderness to balance her adventurous spirit with the demands of being a parent. And “Johanna” follows freediver Johanna Nordblad as she dives under the ice in a film that was shot in Finland in temperatures of minus-14 degrees.
“This year, the films are once again being driven by many women filmmakers,” said Boge. “It used to be a common question as to why there weren’t more female leads and filmmakers. Not an issue anymore, as they are well represented.”
Proceeds from the raffle help fund avalanche forecasts put out by the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, as well as avalanche awareness and education classes, said Scott Savage, the avalanche center’s director.
Ketchum residents Luanne Mandeville and her husband, Buzz, are regulars at the festival year after year.
“We look forward to it. The films are awesome and inspiring with spectacular scenery from around the world. And they’re so fun to see with a packed audience,” she said.
Tickets are $19 in advance and $24 at the door. They’re available at The Elephant’s Perch, Backwoods Mountain Sports, Sturtevants, Ski Tek and Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum.
Here’s a lineup of each night’s films, which vary in length from a few minutes to much longer:
Friday, Feb. 2
Ice Call —Backyards Project – Try to keep up with freerider Sam Favret as he gives a new perspective of the mythical Mer de Glace at the heart of Mont-Blanc in this French film.
Dreamwalkers—The Faroes Project—Four friends set out on an adventure to be the first to highline in one of the most unlikely of places — the Faroe Islands — in this Australian film.
Denali’s Raven – For climber, skier, and guide Leighan Falley, the mere sight of the Alaskan wilderness elicits an insatiable wanderlust. To reconcile her adventurous spirit with the demands of parenthood, she would need to learn to fly.
Dugout – Ben and James decide to travel to the Ecuadorian Amazon, live with an indigenous community, learn from them how to build a canoe from scratch, then take that canoe on a journey… What could go wrong?
Intersection: Micayla Gatto – Mountain biker Micayla Gatto takes the viewer into her world as a painter and as an athlete, riding through beautifully created masterpieces where colors come to life and reality blends with art.
Kilian – Kilian Jornet, considered the greatest mountain runner ever, attempts to ski and run the Seven Summits of Romsdalen, Norway, in a single day. Never mind that it entails 77 kilometers with 9,000 meters of elevation gain.
Johanna – Freediver Johanna Nordblad finds that diving under the ice provides a surreal, calming environment that helps heal her injuries.
Above the Sea – Chris Sharma takes it to the next level while deep-water soloing on the island of Mallorca.
The Frozen Road – Ben Page sought an adventure of perfect solitude in the Canadian Arctic. Yet the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable environment were a long way from the romanticisms of a Jack London book.
Saturday, Feb. 3
Where the Wild Things Play – This is a homage to adventurous ladies in big mountain skiing, climbing and whitewater kayaking who are out there BASE jumping from high desert cliffs, performing tricks on slacklines, climbing granite routes and shredding single track.
Ascend – Jon Wilson gets back in life via mountain biking after losing his leg to cancer.
2.5 Million—American skier Aaron Rice sets out to ski 2.5 million, human-powered, vertical feet in the backcountry and set a new world record.
Why – French kayakers tackle a cold, rugged and forbidding Icelandic landscape where powerful rivers plunge through bedrock gorges, over massive waterfalls toward the sea.
The Last Honey Hunter – Maule Dhan Rai is the last man in the remote Nepal village of Saadi who’s been visited in a dream by a wrathful forest spirit called Rongkemi. If no one else in the village has the dream, a generations-old tradition may die.
Plant Earth II – Mountain Ibex—Only a few pioneering animals have what it takes to survive in the world’s highest mountain ranges and they tend to be some of the most elusive and mysterious animals on the planet.
The Space Within – This film takes you on a journey of imagination into a space filled with beautiful, soft, Japanese powder snow.
Pedal – Starting out from her rural Dutch village, Hera van Willick has ridden her bicycle through 43 countries and she shows no sign of stopping.
Safety Third – Brad Gobright recovers from a backbreaking fall to attempt some of the hardest ascents of his career.
Imagination: Tom Wallisch – This film has its genesis in that little kid sitting in the back seat of his parents’ car, wishing he was somewhere else, as he begins commanding back flips, improbable rail slides and huge airs on skis with his fingers.
Monday, Feb. 5
Surf the Line – Thinking out of the box isn’t a choice for the Flying Frenchies — it’s a way of life as they combine BASE jumping with surfing.
Edges – Celebrate a life lived well through the eyes of Yvonne Dowlen, who, at age 90, has been ice skating for as long as she can remember.
Dreamride 2 – This film is a poetic, artistic, inspiring ride through volcanic fields, hidden lava caves and down rivers of ice.
Into Twin Galaxies – A Greenland Epic – Three National Geographic “Adventurers of the Year” embark on a kayaking mission in Greenland, using kite skis to tow their whitewater kayaks over a thousand kilometers of the Greenland Ice Cap to reach the most northern river ever paddled.
La Casita Wip – Two girls from Ecuador have a dream of building their own dirt jumping track in their backyard.
Sky Migrations – Ecologist and filmmaker Charles Post shines a light on the network of backcountry scientists and sentinels at the front lines of raptor conservation in a film that chronicles migrating raptors who depend on two hemispheres of wild and healthy ecosystems.
My Irnik – This film focuses on a young father passing on the native traditions and ancestral culture of the Canadian Arctic to his son, as he learns them himself.
Stumped – Maureen Beck has never let the fact that she is missing her lower left arm hold her back from climbing.