PRESS RELEASE: Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns to Durango March 15-16


Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is the largest, and one of the most prestigious, mountain festivals in the world. Hot on the heels of the festival held every fall in Banff, Canada, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour hits the road!

Join Rocky Mountain Wild and Durango-based San Juan Citizens Alliance when the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings some of the world’s best mountain sport, culture, and environmental films to Durango at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College on March 15 and 16.

The Durango stop of the festival will take attendees on an adventure – 16 to be more precise – where they can experience the thrill of mountain biking across peaks, the passion of protecting Yellowstone grizzlies, the determination to complete a six-month ski traverse in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, the camaraderie of overcoming racial barriers to party on a mountain, and the joy of an adventurous life well-lived. And that’s all on Friday!

In celebration of Women’s History Month, here is a snapshot of some of the brilliant female athletes and filmmakers attendees can see at the Durango stop:

This Mountain Life: Coast Range Traverse Segment tells the story of a mother-daughter team, Tania and Martina Halik, who set out on a six-month ski traverse in the coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada in celebration of Tania’s 60th birthday! Despite hardships, including lost food drops, a dangerous river crossing, and a monstrous storm, together, the pair traversed some of the rockiest terrains during one of the harshest winters in recent history and in doing so, strengthened their bond. This Mountain Life: Coast Range Traverse Segment will play on Friday, March 15.

The Frenchy is brought to you by the filmmaker Michelle Smith. Jacques Houot, a charismatic resident of Carbondale does it all: mountain biking, skiing, and cyclocross racing. This documentary shows how he inspires us with his contagious love of life, epic tales of survival, and his ability to counter aging through laughter.

Michelle Smith moved to the Rocky Mountains from the east coast in 2002 to pursue a lifestyle that revolved around a passion for challenging herself with mountain adventures. As she immersed herself into this lifestyle, she discovered that what engaged her the most was not her own quest, but the community and characters that she encountered in the mountains. The Frenchy will play on Friday, March 15.

Follow Lee and Rickie in a raw and real portrayal of the places we go emotionally when under extreme duress while riding 190 kilometres a day from Banff to Mexico in the film Divided.

In 2017, Rickie Cotter and Lee Craigie rode the Tour Divide, a 2,745 mile self-supported mountain bike race from Canada to the Mexican border. This film documents the journey the two friends made in a way the filmmakers hope inspires and encourages the watcher to get out there and have their own adventure! Fear of failure can stop all sorts of adventures before they even start, but what if failing is the best part? Divided will play on Saturday, March 16.

The Beaver Believers: Meet Sherri Tippie not only tells the story of Sherri Tippie, a woman who is working to restore the North American beaver, but is also made by Sarah Koenigsberg – the director of Tensegrity Productions, a filmmaker, photographer, and educator whose work focuses on stories of art, the environment, and community in the American west. Her films illuminate the power of storytelling as a medium through which to explore complex science and policy issues.

The film we will be screening follows Sherri Tippie – a self-described “city person” who doesn’t like camping but is a lover of all living things. For the past two decades, she has been trapping unwanted beaver in the great Denver area and relocating them to happier homes in the mountains of Colorado. Nationally recognized for her expertise in trapping and re-locating beaver, Sherrie explains how she learned her craft: “Hey, it’s not that hard. I’m a woman. I read the directions that came with the traps.” The Beaver Believers: Meet Sherri Tippie will play on Saturday, March 16.

Advanced tickets are sold at the Community Concert Hall’s Downtown Ticket Office within the Durango Welcome Center at 8th and Main, online at, or by calling 970-247-7657. Tickets may also be available at the door. Be aware that tickets do sell out, so it’s best to get them early.

Proceeds from this event benefit Rocky Mountain Wild and San Juan Citizens Alliance, and are used to keep Wolf Creek Pass wild.


Media Contacts:

Erika Brown, San Juan Citizens Alliance, 970-259-3583 Ext 3,

Chris Talbot-Heindl, Rocky Mountain Wild, 720-577-5575,

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