Female adventurers have come out top in the 2019 UK & Ireland Banff tour’s People’s Choice Award, with audiences voting This Mountain Life as best from the red film programme, and Break on Through as their favourite from the blue film programme.
This Mountain Life featured mother and daughter duo Martina and Tania Halik as they tackled a gruelling six-month ski traverse of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, and Break on Through followed US climber Margo Hayes on her journey to become the first woman to climb the daunting grade of 5.15.
"I’m so happy to hear the reception the film has gotten from people around the world - it's something we never dreamed would happen when we decided to do the trip," says Martina Halik, who starred in This Mountain Life with her mum Tania. "It was my secret hope that the photos, videos and stories that came from our trip would inspire people to care about the gorgeous wild landscapes of the Coast Mountains of BC and Alaska and take an interest in protecting this region.
"I hope people are inspired to take their own trips with the people they love most in the world into beautiful places like that - even if it's just for a weekend," she adds.
While This Mountain Life was the clear winner from the red films, with 73.4% of voters including it as one of their top two films, the contest was much tighter in the blue films: 60.6% of viewers included Break on Through in their two favourites, with Surviving the Outback, the tale of Mike Atkinson’s survival expedition in the Australian wilderness, just behind on 56.1%.
“We’re grateful that so many people took the time to tell us their favourite films from 2019, and huge congratulations to everyone involved in This Mountain Life and Break on Through – both well-deserved winners as they tell such inspirational stories featuring remarkable yet wholly relatable characters,” says Nell Teasdale, director of the Banff Mountain Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour.
“Audience feedback is really important to us when we choose the films each year and we’re already excited to see what 2020’s film selection will include!”
Anyone voting for their favourite film was also entered into a prize draw to win a five-day ski trip in Canada thanks to tour partner Banff Lake Louise Tourism, and the winner out of over 2,500 voters was Louanne, who attended the Banff show in Stockport.
The film selection for 2020’s UK & Ireland tour will be announced after the 2019 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, which runs from 26 October - 3 November. Sign up to the Banff newsletter to hear about the films as soon as they are announced, at www.banff-uk.com.