Heading into the hospital for my second of two hip replacement surgeries I was more than ready for an emotional pick-me-up. Action film highlights from the Banff Mountain Film Festival are making their way across North America and around the globe in the 2013 Radical Reels World Tour. Offering up the same outstanding cinematic quality of the alpine inspired pics from Alberta, Rad Reels delivers a series of shorts and featurettes meant to drive your pulse to a fever pitch in a two-hour “get psyched mix”!
With exciting scenes from the opening frames through the finish the thrills never stop. On the edge of my seat I couldn’t help but think of the classic line from TV’s “How I Met Your Mother” in which Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) describes the creation of the prefect media stream to get the blood pumping.
“Now people think a good mix should rise and fall,” he said. “But people are wrong. It should be all rise, baby! Now prepare yourselves for an (adventure) journey to the white, hot center of adrenaline!”
Rad Reels is all-rise. Though the order may vary by venue the series includes 11 movies that sweep the action sports spectrum.
“This year’s tour includes films about climbing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, paddling, speed riding, long-boarding, wing suit proximity flying, and buggy rollin’ (see ‘Rollerman’for details.), said Rad Reels program coordinator Meagan Stewart. “We have edits from some of the biggest action sport films of the year, but we’re also showcasing surprising indie content you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.”
In a journey around the globe Rad Reels profiles the cutting edge of extreme adventure. With high flying ariels and big air stunt skiing through the mountain crags of Norway filmmaker Filip Christensen and Field Productions offer an epic vision of the amazing in Being There. Not to be outdone in the search for thick powder the film Further from Jeremy Jones and Teton Gravity Research is part two in the snowboard movie trilogy that aims to explore the most remote alpine ski destinations on the planet from the Alps of Japan to the Wragnell Mountains of Alaska.
On mountain bikes Red Bull rider Andreu Lacondeguy takes us on a tour of his Barcelona training compound as he turns gnarly flips off crazy tall jump tracks and muddy ramps in Lacon de Catalonia. Taking it just a bit further in the film Where The Trail Ends Darren Berrecloth, Cameron Zink, and Kurt Sorge lead a expedition from the red sand slopes of the Utah backcountry to the scorching deserts of central China where they cycle knife edge ridges too steep for mountain goats.
In paddle sports Rad Reels features the dazzling short The Shapeshifter from the Of Souls + Water series from director Skip Armstrong and Forge Motion Pictures. This one of five kayak films follows a spectacular nighttime red flare-lit whitewater sequence by pro waterman Ben Marr. And the movie Whitewater Grand Prix: Big Water Enduro recaps Dane Jackson’s latest victory through the 2012 stage race along the Futaleufu River in Patagonia.
Sharing a section of Sender Film’s REEL Rock 7 Rad Reels includes the hard route ascension struggle between king of climbing Chris Sharma and 19 year-old Czechoslovakian newcomer Adam Ondra in the film La Dura Dura. Less conventional movies in the tour blow the lid off the limits of althetic performance with high speed downhill adventures on tiny wheels and long boards in the film Endless Roads. The theme continues with Rollerman a short in which skater Jean-Yves Blondeauin puts gravity to best effect in an armored suit covered with rollerblades as he launches himself down a dry luge track. And in the ultimate expression of human endeavor adventure takes flight in Wing Suit Downhill Target Punch and sores high on paraglider-assisted skis in Wanna Ride.
From beginning to end you won’t want to miss a single moment of this incredible collection of films. As winter slowly turns to spring the Rad Reels mix builds a sense of anticipation for all the action any season has to offer. Precision curated for maximum impact by Meagan Stewart and her team in Banff the tour aims to deliver a high voltage charge to leave audiences fully psyched!
“I honestly couldn’t be more excited about this year’s program,” Stewart said. “We searched high and low for the best adrenaline sport films of the year, then we worked with filmmakers to custom tailor the films to our program. Rad Reels 2013 is going to be a fast-moving, high-energy, super fun trip around the world.”
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