Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival provides inspiration through natural beauty

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Photo courtesy of VIMFF.

Are you finding yourself daydreaming about ditching the books and getting outside? Look no further for escape and inspiration than the 18th annual Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF). Whether you are already an avid mountain adventurer or someone who gazes longingly out at the snowy peaks extending into the horizons from Burnaby Mountain, you will be sure to enjoy this year’s lineup of films.

Starting in North Vancouver in 1998, VIMFF events have grown to attract over 15,000 attendees from North Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, and other cities across the country. The festival provides a venue for the integration of filmmaking, photography, athletics, exploration, and storytelling, the result being an accessible opportunity to learn and walk away feeling inspired by the natural world and those who choose to navigate and document it.

Photo courtesy of VIMFF.
Photo courtesy of VIMFF.

Each event will be focusing on a theme by bringing together films showcasing mountain sports, adventures, culture, and the environment.

These films will engage the viewer in mountain sports and culture from across the globe. There will be films from the Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and of course, Canada. The activities featured in these films include ice and rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain-biking, skiing, snowboarding, trail running, paragliding, and more. The diversity and quality of these films will allow viewers to appreciate the beauty and thrill of exploring some of the highest peaks and strongest rivers in the world, along with the sky above it all.

“I always find that after a week at VIMFF I am more psyched to follow my own dreams,” Tom Wright, the festival’s programming manager, told The Peak. But this feeling is not only reserved for the outdoorsy. For those who may not have spent a lot of time exploring the outdoors, the festival offers a unique introduction or gateway to some new adventures from the comfort of your cinema seat.

In addition to films, Wright explained that many of the events will also be hosting guest speakers who will share their stories: “We also have a lot of live presentations that are a mixture of some local adventurers, local filmmakers, and world-renowned adventurers.”

The list of these speakers includes Will Gadd, a celebrated Canadian climber and paragliding pilot who recently became the first person to climb the iced-over rock wall at Niagara Falls; he will be speaking on February 21 at the Canadian Mountain Adventures show.

There will also be a presentation by Adam Ondra, one of the best rock climbers in the world. He will be making the trip all the way from the Czech Republic to speak on February 16 at the Climbing Show.

As Wright accurately put it, VIMFF is “great for sharing stories and getting inspiration.” This year’s festival will provide nothing less, so if you are looking for a reminder that there is more to the world than school and midterms, get your tickets for VIMFF now.

The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival runs from February 13–21 at various locations. For more information, visit vimff.org.