As a freelance sports journalist, I attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for many years in my hometown of Munich, Germany, and then last October I had the opportunity to experience the Festival live. From the 80 films shown there I’ve seen about 50, reporting on them for German newspapers and magazines. In the morning hours, before the public screenings, I made trips and walks in and around Banff, went to the Sulphur Mountain gondola, hiked up Tunnel Mountain, had a nice swim at the Hot Springs, a fabulous cake at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and worked on my blogs in the Maclab Bistro (they have great double espresso and breakfast there).
I particularly enjoyed the unique atmosphere at the Festival: discussions with enthusiastic visitors, the filmmakers, the journalists, the athletes themselves, and the jury. I interviewed mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner in Banff – though I knew her before from Germany – and we met like old friends on a fun holiday together. The interview I did with Gerlinde and her husband Ralf Dujmovits in Banff was really special, very intense and honest. I also met Swiss filmmaker Hans Urs Bachmann, who won a prize with his film 1st Afghan Ski Challenge and back in Germany, I was able to place a great article about his film in Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of the largest newspapers in Germany.