Epic adventure film festival flies into Brecon

By Luke Williams   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 13th March 2022 9:00 am
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Markus Eder skiing the picturesque glaciers around the high peaks of Zermatt in Zermatt, Switzerland in May 2021 © Red Bull Media House.
Markus Eder skiing the picturesque glaciers around the high peaks of Zermatt in Zermatt, Switzerland in May 2021 (© Red Bull Media House )

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A film festival showcasing some of the world’s most extreme expeditions is dropping in for a screening at Theatr Brycheiniog next week.

The Brecon venue has been chosen as one of just four venues in Wales that will host the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for the Welsh leg of its journey.

Starring intrepid characters, daring expeditions and stunning cinematography, the tour features two new collections of inspirational films from the wildest corners of the planet.

“We are so excited to be sharing these awe-inspiring new films with audiences around the UK and Ireland - up on the big screen!” said tour director Nell Teasdale.

“As well as adrenaline-packed stories from the world’s best adventure filmmakers, Banff events are a celebration of the great outdoors with a vibrant atmosphere - and we guarantee audiences will leave inspired to have an adventure of their own too.”

In addition to the thrilling films, each event features a free prize draw for outdoorsy goodies from the tour’s partners.

Neil said: “After a long pandemic-enforced wait, we can’t wait to be back in Brecon at the wonderful Theatr Brycheiniog with a brand-new collection of the world’s best adventure films for 2022.

The tour features two sets of films, each with their own set of incredible stories and adventures. The Theatr Brycheiniog will screen the Red Film Programme at their showing next week.

“The Red Film Programme transports us to some amazing locations with spectacular cinematography,” added Neil.

“The adventures that we join really test the endurance and the determination of these inspirational characters and athletes.

“The films feature world-class skiing, climbing, mountain biking and more, and we guarantee they will inspire you to have an adventure of your own as well!”

One of the films featured on the programme is Follow the Light - which transports us to the unique landforms of Cappadocia in Turkey.

Boasting narrow canyons, dramatic sunsets and illuminated hot air balloons, the unique landscape is the dream setting for a mountain biking spectacular.

The film phenomenal skills from top riders Kilian Bron, Pierre Henni, Pierre Dupont and JB Liautard, framed by mesmerising and colourful cinematography.

Pierre Henni, 27, the man behind Follow the Light, is a sports and adventure self-taught filmmaker.

Pierre, who lives in Annecy, in the French Alps, said that the team love searching for ‘atypical landscapes’ to film mountain biking.

“In about ten days we did pretty much every single sunrise and sunset,except for one, so that we could get the best light,” he said.

“The Imam of the city sings before sunrise so we didn’t even need alarms.”

Pierre said that using a flare on the drone was one of the most challenges aspects of the filming process.

“It took us three evenings and we had to experiment a lot,” he said.

“It was almost pitch black so the only source of light for the drone pilot and the rider, as well as the filmer and photographer, was that flare on the drone, so it had to stay close to Kilian (the rider) and as soon as the flare was ending we needed to jump on our headlamps so Pierre (the first-person view drone pilot) could see the landing zone.”

Another of the films on the programme is Markus Eder: Ultimate Ski Run - in which the Italian freeskier set his sights on a seemingly impossible goal.

Markus pushes the boundaries of three freeski disciplines in one ultimate top-to-bottom run.

The result is a near-perfect ride, where the former Freeride World Tour champion takes us from the high peaks of Zermatt, Switzerland, to the valley bottom of Luttach, Italy, in a display of mind-blowing tricks and cinematic excellence.

Tobias Rendl, one of the filmmakers, said “A highlight was filming in the glacier world of Zermatt, in Switzerland.

“We had the opportunity to capture never seen stuff, including riding into a glacier cave and jumping out.”

Tobias added that with the help of a local man, Sam Anthamatten, that were able to turn the glacier into the ‘ultimate playground’.

The filming team encountered plenty of challenges throughout the process, including battles against the harsh natural elements and a global pandemic.

“The easiest shot on our shot list did never work out,” said Tobias.

“We built one particular jump six times and never got the shot. It would have been a highlight of the clip, as it was in a special location, but relatively easy to do compared what else was planned.

“But first weather, later the Covid lockdown, and last but not least a small avalanche in the landing somehow kept us from getting this shot!”

The Banff Mountain Film Festival (12A) visits Theatr Brycheiniog on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. The screening begins at 19:30 (doors open half an hour before).

To book tickets, visit www.brycheiniog.co.uk/en

To tour will also visit Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre on March 17, Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on October 1, and Llandudno’s Venue Cymru on November 11.

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