12th annual Rossland Mountain Film Festival – Mountain culture hits the big screen

Mountain enthusiasts will be taking in a festival of films that will likely get them more pumped up for this ski season.

Mountain enthusiasts will be going to great heights this week to take in a festival of films that will likely get them more pumped up for this ski season.

The Rossland Mountain Film Festival is celebrating its 12th annual show that continues to live up to its reputation of the biggest little film festival.

“It’s basically to celebrate living in the mountains and all the stuff that we have here at our fingertips – there’s mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, hiking and, of course, skiing and snowboarding,” said festival chair Roxanne Piette.

“Normally in November it’s kind of that lull time, your biking is done – it’s too cold or there’s too much snow on the ground – but there’s not enough to go skiing.”

The traditional four-day event kicks off early this year with a presentation by Ron Shearer, a native Rosslander and UBC professor. The Rossland Historical Museum presents “The History of Skiing Before Lifts” tonight at 7 p.m. at the Rouge Gallery.

The festival will then be in full swing from Wednesday through Sunday, with a variety of films showcased at various locations.

Piette suspects the Flying Steamshovel will have a full house Thursday during the 8 p.m. showing of “The Art of FLIGHT.”

The much-anticipated film follows snowboarders as they dream up new global adventures and progress the sport to new levels.

The gala evening will be underway Friday at the Prestige Mountain Resort, where films will be accompanied by music from Dominique Fraissard. For $35 a ticket, viewers can also enjoy appetizers, a glass of wine and a silent auction.

Saturday will be the biggest day for the festival, starting with cinematographer Christian Begin hosting a workshop at the Rock Cut Pub from 10 a.m. until noon to a new version of the under-19 festival that afternoon at the Miners’ Hall from noon until 1:30 p.m.

The REEL Youth Film Festival will showcase 75 per cent content from young filmmakers from North America and beyond but still leaves room for local talents to show their work.

Fourteen-year-old Liam Barnes is one of the youth who sits on the under-19 committee, led by the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology and the Rossland Council for Arts in Culture.

He and fellow filmmaker Justin Zimmer, 18, have submitted “Urban Acrobatics,” a film that highlights the up-and-coming sport, free running.

They use city and rural landscape to perform movements on foot, inspired by skiing, in this action-packed short.

“For me, making videos is a way to almost document sessions of my life,” said Barnes, who adds the four-month project involved a lot of trial and error around getting solid shots.

“When you’re running with a camera, that’s challenging,” he said. “You have to come up with some creative ways to film smoothly.”

James Klemmensen, 14, said making films is easy for youth nowadays, who really only need a camera, laptop and editing software.

His films “A Walk in the Forest,” an artistic narrative, and “More Than Just the Music,” a documentary of behind the scenes of the Kaslo Jazz Festival, will also debut at the festival.

“As a kid, I always kind of had stories to tell, they’re not necessarily true stories, but I had kind of a wild imagination, which is where I started,” he said, adding that his films have matured over time to provoke a feeling.

“I’ve always been kind of a thinker and I have a lot of emotions,” he said. “For the most part when I make a film, I try to express something and have a sort of meaning to the film.”

Saturday night will be capped off with a late-night show followed by a night of dancing to Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out and Vancouver’s Five Alarm Funk at Rossland Secondary School.

For a complete schedule of events visit, www.rosslandfilmfest.com