VIMFF leaves impression

The Bulkley Backcountry Ski Society and Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition hosted the VIMFF for the fifth year in Smithers

The impossible wall. The incredible will to ski. Up mountains and down rapids. Just a few dreamy adventures featured at this years Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, presented in Smithers, May 24.

Celebrating outdoor adventure sports, the Bulkley Backcountry Ski Society and Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition hosted the VIMFF for the fifth year in Smithers as a way to get stoked for another season of hiking, biking and climbing.  Since its inception in 1998, the VIMFF has attraced more than 20,000 viewers each year and is one of the leading film festivals in the country. Spread over nine days and four venues throughout Vancouver, the festival now travels to more than 30 communities in B.C. and Canada.

For Smithers residents, last year was an especially good year. Awakening the Skeena, a film featuring Ali Howard’s swim down the Skeena, premiered. It was the first year the festival was co-hosted with the SWCC.

“That came about because of Ali’s film and they had actually shown the film at the festival and it just seemed like a good fit for them to co-host it with us,” Bulkley Backcountry Ski Society chair, Leanne Helkenberg said.

Now in it’s fifth year the VIMFF is gaining attention in Smithers and is growing, leaving Helkenberg thinking how to make it even better.

“We had a fairly good turn out this year, but I’d like to see more people,” she said.

“Something we could do is have more space where sponsors could have a booth like the Skeena Watershed and maybe make it more interactive.”

The 2012 Best of Features included: Freedom Chair, Josh Dueck’s epic journey to the sit skiing World Championship.

Whitewater, Black Gold, a tale tracing water used to extract oil from tar sands bitumen to its source and the race against time to save a river.

Vertical Sailing, a mountain climbing adventure about a bunch of Belgian hooligans and their English captain going to the unscalable wall on the Greenland coast.

Seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring, gave the audience a vision of the changing seasons and the kayaking heros that follow them.

Finally the last film of the evening was definitely a fan favorite. CARCA: the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association, featured the intriguing world of cat rescuers and their handlers as they try to earn respect, saving one avalanche victim at a time.