By Yolanda Ridge, Rossland News
It took five days, three venues, eight board members, 18 sponsors and countless volunteers to bring 20 films to the 14th annual Teck Rossland Mountain Film Festival this weekend.
And for the hundreds of people who attended the events, there was something for everyone—from the heart-pounding adrenaline rush to thoughtful, social commentary—as mountain culture from all seven continents around the globe was brought to Rossland through the camera lens.
According to Tarn Medinski, Rossland Mountain Film Festival board member and film organizer for the past three years, the festival used most of the films submitted to the festival and included all Kootenay-based productions (unless there were issues with formatting).
“This year there were films submitted by filmmakers from France, Germany, and Australia, which is a bit unusual,” said Medinski.
And probably also a sign the Rossland Mountain Film Festival continues to gain momentum, he added.
“The biggest difficulty is grouping the films and deciding what order to present them in so we keep everyone’s interest,” said Medisnski.
Additional events were also incorporated into the film lineup. The Teck Mountain Gala on Friday night featured a cocktail reception, silent auction of work by local artists with proceeds going to the food bank, and music by Brad MacKay.
The sold out Nelson and District Credit Union Saturday Mountain Film Party ended with an electronic combination of DJ sets and visuals by the Funk Hunters who played a mix of music that drove everyone to the dance floor (some for longer than they intended).
But the movies really did steal the show. The weekend’s REEL Youth Film Festival whet the appetite for the U19 Film Festival which will be welcomed back into town next spring by the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture.
Ski films had viewers begging for more of the white stuff to fall on the local mountains and films like Not so Bad gave Rosslanders something to look forward to when the snow is gone and the bikes come out again.
Crossing the Ice, the Banff Mountain Film Festival people’s choice, showed great examples of courage, endurance and friendship that came with a warning to the audience at the family matinee: “It also contains bloody blisters, vomiting, and crying—due to exhaustion.”
Sunday’s event dug even deeper with the feature film Gold Fever, which documented the conflict between Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine in the Guatemalan village of San Miguel and the local people who have lost access to land and clean water in the pursuit of gold.
After the viewing, Jennifer Nielson—a fourth year registered nurse student at Selkirk College who did her practicum in Guatemala last spring with nine other students—and her instructor Mary Anne Morris answered questions from the audience, along with Tim Lapointe who stepped in with his gold mining experience.
Board member Brian Coulter arranged to have Gold Fever included in the festival after seeing it in Nelson. Partnering with Nielson, who meet several of the brave, local women featured in the film, Coulter brought something different to the festival this year by offering a forum for discussion, rather than a question-and-answer period with a filmmaker or professional athlete.
For the organizers of the Rossland Mountain Film Festival, it’s all about mixing it up while at the same time sticking to the formula that’s lead to success for the past 14 years—and adding to the numbers as they prepare to bring mountain culture from around the world back to Rossland again next year.
It’s a Wrap!
Proving that good things come in small (and short) packages, this year’s Aaron Allibone People’s Choice Award went to Nelson filmmaker Kari Medig’s The Fence.
The film proved that the only thing required to become part of our great global ski community is a love for sliding downhill on two wobbly planks, and a bit of courage.
The Teck Mountain Gala’s silent art auction raised $260 for the Rossland Food Bank. Donations at Saturday’s Family Matinee also provided non-perishable items to the community charity partner.