This year marked the first screening of The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in East Africa, with two packed shows in Kampala, Uganda. We talked with Oliver Woodruff, a consultant engineer and one of the screenings’ organizers, to get the rundown.
How did you choose the film program for these screenings? We wanted to impress those who attended with the quality and epic-ness of the films, but also inspire them to maybe give a new sport a go, so we selected the majority of the films with sports and activities that could all be done right here in Uganda – aside from the skiing ones. Those were just a selfish choice by me!
Did you have any unusual challenges in putting the screening together? One specific problem has to be the power. It’s not unusual for the main power to drop out right at the worst time and you have to rely on the backup generator. Unfortunately this happened an hour before the screening on the first night—and then we found the venue’s generator had run out of diesel. Luckily, with minutes to spare, the lights flickered back into life and the show went on, but there were a few sweaty palms.
How was the screening received? Who attended? We had a great turnout with a huge mixture of foreign expats from all over the world as well as some local Ugandans who were all blown away by the setup and quality of the films. There was a fantastic reaction to the screenings and some amazing feedback at the end.
Was there a crowd favourite? From the early feedback I would say that Crossing the Ice and Unicorn Sashimi were both crowd favourites, although Honnold got some solid laughs and people were seriously impressed with the feats in Industrial Revolutions and Being there.
Is there a culture of outdoor adventure and sports in Uganda? Uganda is truly blessed to have some of the best adventure sports in all of continental Africa, including South Africa. At Jinja, the Nile starts its epic journey to the Mediterranean by spilling over the falls and rapids which have become home to some of the best rafting and kayaking in the World.