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Whitley Bay Playhouse welcomes return of Banff Mountain Film Festival

Festival films of hair-raising adventure in the great outdoors are heading for Playhouse Whitley Bay

Alastair Humphreys Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron go Into the Empty Quarter
Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron go Into the Empty Quarter

Action junkies and couch potatoes alike will find plenty to appeal in a special film festival cinema programme coming to Whitley Bay.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place every November in the town in the Canadian Rockies, celebrating the work of some of the world’s best film-makers and outdoor adventurers.

More than 370 films were entered for the last festival, in November 2014, with the very best of them making it to the programme.

But now comes the tour of the festival. Every year, in acknowledgement of the fact that most people who love this kind of hair-raising cinema can’t make it to Alberta, a specially selected festival highlights programme is sent out on an epic tour.

It is very much in the spirit of those whose exploits feature in many of the films.

The UK first became one of the 40 countries on the festival itinerary back in 2010 and this year audiences at Playhouse Whitley Bay can share in the excitement.

A scene from Drawn
A scene from Drawn

This year’s Banff Tour offers audiences the chance to shre in the adrenalin rush of paragliding through the Alps, Mountain biking on the Isle of Skye, surfing inside the Arctic Circle, skiing in Patagonia, kayaking in British Columbia... and much more.

Sixteen festival films are featured on the tour, divided into two separate programme, red and blue. The red programme will be screened at Whitley Bay on May 7 and the blue programme on May 8, both at 7.30pm.

Chris Burkard Still from Arctic Swell
Still from Arctic Swell

The films include The Ridge, in which trials rider Danny MacAskill returns to his native Skye to ride a mountain bike along the dangerous Cuillin Ridge.

Then there’s Into The Empty Quarter, showing the attempt by Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron to drag a home-made steel cart loaded with supplies more than 1,000 miles through a desert in the footsteps of great adventurer Wilfred Thesiger.

Drawn charts four adventures in four years by acclaimed climber and artist Jeremy Collins. They took him from the Amazon in Venezuela to northern Canada and to the Yosemite Valley of California.

Scott Serfas Unrideables, a film about speedriding which is a hybrid sport involving skiing and paragliding
Unrideables, a film about speedriding which is a hybrid sport involving skiing and paragliding

More than 400,000 people around the world draw inspiration from the Banff Mountain Film Festival on tour and about 45,000 are expected to see this year’s offerings.

To book tickets for the Whitley Bay screenings tel. 0844 2481588 or book via www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk

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