SOMERVILLE, MA – The historic Somerville Theater in Davis Square seemed packed but according to Paul Fitzpatrick Nager this was “a small crowd.”

Nager became involved with the Banff Mountain Film Festival about 20 years ago while climbing in Utah when he joined a few of his climbing friends along with an audience of about 25 people to see the film showing in Salt Lake City. Now he’s in charge of organizing the Boston stop of the Banff World Tour.

Since his first experience with the film festival in Utah, Banff has become an important part of Nager’s life. “It’s about the simple life…it’s about the spirit of adventure,” Nager says. The most important part to him is spreading mountain culture. To Nager, “what’s up high is as important as what’s down here.”

Clearly Banff has grown tremendously since the Salt Lake City show. Now just the Boston stop of the tour boasts three nights of a full theater of viewers with popcorn and beer in hand, cheering for the adventurous energy of the films. According to Nager, the film festival is so popular that he doesn’t do much advertising for the event since he can only reserve three nights at the theater.

When asked where he saw Banff in the future, Nager replied, “It’ll be here forever.” The crowd’s enthusiasm and the quality of the featured films surely confirmed that Banff won’t disappear anytime soon.

Here’s a look at our favorite films from the Somerville stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour:

Danny Macaskill: The Ridge

The Ridge is a short film directed by Stu Thompson from Cut Media starring biker Danny Macaskill as he rides through the Black Cullin ridge off the western coast of Scotland. The film inspires a story told through Macaskill’s adventurous ride.

 

Pilgrim Films: Tashi and the Monk

Tashi and the Monk tells the story of a thrilling social experiment by Buddhist Monk Lobsang in the foothills of the Himalayas. Declared Best Film for Mountain Culture by Banff, Tashi and the Monk demonstrates the power of family and community through the eyes of troublemaking Tashi, a 5 year old girl staying at Lobsang’s school.

 

Sweetgrass Productions: Afterglow

This film takes skiing multimedia to a new level, as pros Pep Fujas, Eric Hjorleifson, Daron Rahlves, and Chris Benchetler tackle difficult powdery Alaskan spines at night, while wearing massive LED customized suits. Afterglow introduces a new medium for skiing cinematography.

 

And Then We Swam

Winner of the Best Exploration and Adventure Film by Banff, And Then We Swam chronicles the story of Ben Stenning and James Adair as they attempt to become the first pair to cross the Indian Ocean without a support boat. This film, chalked full of humor and adventure, was definitely a crowd favorite at the packed Somerville Theater.

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