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Banff Mountain Film Festival set for return to qathet region

Competition winners to be screened at Max Cameron Theatre
COMMUNITY EVENT: Banff Mountain Film Festival world tour is returning in January 2023 and Brooks Secondary School, organizer of the event, is hoping for another sellout.

Banff Mountain Film Festival’s world tour is gearing up for another set of screenings in early 2023, including a stop in the qathet region.

The film festival productions will run January 13 and 14 at Max Cameron Theatre. Both nights feature different showings, so people can attend the Friday and Saturday sessions and not see the same films.

Brooks Secondary School vice-principal Tanya Larkin said the school is happy the film festival can continue at the theatre.

“It’s great to bring the community back together after COVID-19,” said Larkin. “This is a big community event and we’re happy to have it and host it here at Brooks.”

The film festival was coordinated for years by former Brooks teacher Jim Palm, who has retired. The school decided to continue with the film festival and take over its organization.

Brooks does not yet have the selection of films that will be shown during the two nights. Larkin said the actual judging of the films concluded recently, so now, the film festival is putting together the packages that will be shown. The school expects to have that information in mid-December.

“The best part is our community comes together and we sell out prior to even knowing what the shows are, simply because people want to support the students,” said Larkin, adding that all proceeds from the film festival will go to the Ian Cowan Fund.

“That fund was set up to help students in need,” said Larkin. “The need is vast. If a student approaches us or a family approaches us, or a teacher, the student may need funding to go on a sports trip, replace a lost book, or to buy a city bus pass because our school district transportation doesn’t go to their location. We make sure students have everything they need so they can be successful in learning.”

Larkin said there are food programs happening, but in the past, if someone needed additional supplements, the school would make sure the student received them. She said come wintertime, if a student is noted not having a jacket, and no means for purchasing one, and all other avenues are exhausted, the fund may be tapped so the student has what they need for the conditions outside. 

Graduation is another big area where students can be supplemented, according to Larkin.

“We want to make sure every grad has the opportunity to attend the ceremony so we’ll make sure that is covered out of the Ian Cowan Fund,” said Larkin.

Larkin said the film festival is a great night out. There will be a pianist playing prior to the event and during intermission. Vancouver Island University’s culinary students will be preparing complimentary appetizers for the intermission. The Brooks Interact club will also be selling beverages during intermission.

Doors will open at 6 pm and the films will start at 6:30 pm. There will be an intermission at 7:45 pm, with the second round of films to be shown at 8:15 pm. The presentations are scheduled to end at 9:45 pm.

Tickets are scheduled to go on sale at Brooks, the Peak and TAWS on December 1.

In years past, the Banff festival has sent what they called their road warriors to help with presentations, but this year, there will not be one in attendance. Master of ceremony duties will be handled by the school.