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Banff Mountain Film Festival coming to Downieville

by Pam Jung

The Banff Mountain Film Festival from Canada is coming to Downieville with films about climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking, culture and the environment from all over the world.

The tour is produced by Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, which chooses 30 award-wining films from its famous film festival in early November. The festival received more than 300 entries. The host towns on the tour get to pick the films that are best suited for their locale. The tour is sponsored, in part, by National Geographic.

Out of the 250 screenings across North America, the world tour team has chosen Downieville – a town of 325 inhabitants and no mayor, the smallest venue on the tour – for the past nine years because they love the town. “The Banff Centre,” says Karen Donaldson of the Sierra County Arts Council, “feels that our town is a good match for the content and emphasis of the films, which is international mountain culture.” Plus they seem to like the friendly reception and comfortable 1940s-era Yuba Theatre.

For the most part, films will not be repeated, except for the Sunday “Best of the Best.” Films range between four minutes and an hour in length.

WHAT: Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, showing begins at 7 p.m. and feature a 2 1/2 hour program (different program each night). Sunday is a special sponsor screening, starting at 5 p.m and including the spectacular film, “Alone Across Australia”

WHERE: Yuba Theatre, Downieville, on Highway 49.

ADMISSION: Advance tickets are $15 (to order with credit card, call the Downieville Grocery at 289-3596); at the door $18. Children 12 and under are half price.

INFORMATION: Call the festival sponsor, Sierra Arts Council, 289-9822; on line at http://www.sierracounty.org. Or visit http://www.banffmountainfestivals.ca/tour for information about the films themselves. Because the theater only seats 200, it is best to call first.

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