Jury emerges from marathon film-watching ready to announce winners


Jury members for the Banff Mountain Film Competition include (l-r) David E. Brenner, Dale Templar, Charlie Robinson, Kathryn Bonnici, Tommy Heinrich, and Cindy Witten, with Festival director of programming Joni Cooper, and Jamie Carpenter, who works with the jury during their stay at The Banff Centre.

It’s been a busy week for the Banff Mountain Film Competition jury as they hunkered down with lots of caffeine and strong opinions in the darkness of a secret screening room. They arrived last Sunday, and got right to work Monday morning screening the same 79 films we’ve all been watching this week at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Saturday morning the jury finally emerged from the screening room to enjoy a few pots of coffee over breakfast at Vistas as they wrote, edited, and discussed their comments about the winning films they’ve selected.

I am allowed under the dome of silence, learning the names of the winning films so that I can work with our communications team to send out the news after the announcement tonight. It’s exciting for me, but I can see for the jury that it’s been an intense process.

While I was pretty keen to learn what they thought of the winning films, I was also interested to know how they handled the debate around what had to be some pretty tough decisions.

Dale Templar (UK) sits down with me for a few minutes, eager to share how pleased she’s been with the jury process and the entire Festival, and how well this diverse group of film and program makers has bonded in such a short time.

Templar, who spent 22 years working with the BBC before starting her own TV production company, One Tribe TV, doesn’t dwell on the deep, diverse film and television experience and impressive accomplishments of the jury team, but speaks to something I think everyone sitting in a Banff Centre theatre can share at this moment:  The love of good storytelling.

“Storytelling can transcend even the smallest budgets,” she said. “If you can tell a good story, and you tell it properly, that can win over films with the biggest budgets in the world.”

I love this comment from Templar, as she has been involved with projects large and small around the world. (The largest? That’s likely to be her work series-producing Human Planet, the eight-part series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit, and one of the highest budgeted documentary series ever made, filmed in 75 remote corners of the globe.)

With winners selected, the jury gets to enjoy the remaining day of the Festival, spend some precious time outdoors on a run or a hike, and get ready for the big reveal tonight at Best of the Festival.

Stay tuned… winners will be announced very, very soon!


About Author

Shari Bishop Bowes has 25 years’ experience in media, marketing, and communications, as an editor, reporter, community newspaper publisher, and communications and marketing manager. Currently she is a marketing officer at The Banff Centre, working with arts program recruitment and managing the marketing and communications needs of the Leadership Development and Indigenous Leadership and Management programming areas at the Centre. She lives in Canmore, Alberta, and believes she has one of the most beautiful 25-minute commutes on Planet Earth.

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