International film festival returns to Great Lakes Bay Region on annual world tour

Short films about horses, nonagenarians and extreme sports. As disparate as these themes may seem, each of these films and several more hold something in common: mountains and the great outdoors.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is returning to Midland this weekend, featuring 16 mountain-themed short films over the course of two nights. Eight films bisected by a lemonade-and-cookies intermission will be shown each of the nights of Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at Bullock Creek Auditorium.

The Chippewa Nature Center has been responsible for bring the Banff film festival to town each year since 2004. The event nearly always produces a sell-out crowd on both nights.

"Our whole purpose is to connect people to the natural world, to show that there are lots of opportunities for connection to nature," says Jenn Kirts, Director of Programs at Chippewa Nature Center.

"This is an opportunity to bring a world-renowned film festival that focuses on the natural world. It’s a neat opportunity to see how others connect with nature."

The movies vary in duration, with the shortest clocking in at four minutes and the longest at 39 minutes. While each is related to the outdoors in one way or another, the films range from feel-good and inspirational tales to adrenaline rush-inducing spectacles.

Banff Mountain Film Festival occurs in November of each year in the ski resort town of Banff, Canada. The international festival then goes on a world tour, making stops around the globe, including in Midland.

Tickets go fast, so Kirts recommends that people purchase them online in the days leading up to the event.

"I think we have a lot of return attendees because of the quality and diversity of the films. These are truly compelling stories," she says.

"It’s a great opportunity to get out and do something really different. This is not something that happens here every day."

Visit the Chippewa Nature Center online for tickets and movie information.

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