Radical Reels is back, and organizers say they hope this year’s selection of adrenaline-fueled adventure films will inspire visitors and local residents while raising funds to support wildlife and recreation in the area.
Eight short films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival series that feature athletes taking on gravity and the elements in countries across the world will be screened on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Grand County High School auditorium, 608 S. 400 East.
“There are going to be some really good ones,” organizer Dave Erley said. “I’m really looking forward to the free-flying guys.”
He’s referring to “Give Me Five,” an 11-minute video by French filmmaker Arnaud Longobardi, featuring “a madcap group” of French free-falling flyers performing aerial stunts above the Chamonix Valley in France.
“It’s creative, colorful and of course, cutting edge,” Erley said.
Another aerial adventure is featured in “The Fledglings,” this one starring athletes better known as professional climbers who take up paragliding. The 26-minute film by Cedar Wright, who is also one of the athletes in the film, premiered at the 2016 Telluride Mountain Film Festival.
The lineup is decided by the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Erley said, but it’s a fun coincidence that these features happen to be in keeping with one of the primary beneficiaries from the event’s proceeds, Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation.
The Price-based raptor rescue nonprofit is the only wildlife rescue organization of its kind in southeastern Utah. Last year, Second Chance moved to a new facility, where it is building an expanded 50-foot area where large birds of prey will be rehabilitated before they are released back into the wild, Erley said.
When Erley took over running the festival in its 10th year in Moab, he decided to direct the funds it raises to nonprofits benefiting work in the local area, he said. The festival has been a primary donor to Second Chance ever since.
“I think it’s great for visitors here to get to see a night of entertainment, and in return put some resources back into services for them,” he said.
Second Chance cares for between 17 and 50 animals daily, mostly brought to them by motorists and public lands agencies after impact injuries from motor vehicles, gunshot wounds and other run-ins with humans in the wilderness, according to the organization’s website.
The festival also benefits the Utah Avalanche Center, which monitors snow conditions in the La Sals as part of its overall recreation safety program.
Snow sports are featured in two of the films. “Tight Loose: The Tordrillos Foot-Powered Mission” by Teton Gravity Research follows mountaineers into the Alaskan wilderness where they climb and ski “massive spine lines” on a month-long winter camping trip.
In “La Liste,” by Guido Perrini, Swiss ski phenom Jeremie Heitz rides “the most interesting peaks” in the Alps, following in the tracks of some of his heroes.
Mountain bike enthusiasts may enjoy the daring exploits of four adventurers who get together to tour the highest reaches of the Caucasus Mountains in “The Trail to Kazbegi,” by Joey Schusler.
Climbing and kayaking are also featured during the two-hour lineup for the evening.
This year will be the finale for the Radical Reels series, Erley said. The series is a spinoff of adventure films that has run for five years. The main Banff Mountain Film Festival event will continue to run in the spring, coming next year on March 12-13, and featuring all of the adrenaline films, plus cultural and environmentally themed films.
Tickets are available at Back of Beyond Books, Canyon Voyages, Pagan Mountaineering and Poison Spider Bicycles for $10, cash only, or at the door for $15. All of the films are rated PG.
What: Radical Reels
When: Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School Auditorium, 608 S. 400 East
Cost: $10 in advance, or $15 at the door; cash only. Advance tickets are available at Back of Beyond Books, Canyon Voyages, Pagan Mountaineering and Poison Spider Bicycles
Banff Film Fest’s screening of adventure films to benefit wildlife, avalanche center