In the world of adventure films, a selection at the Banff Mountain Film Festival is roughly equivalent to an Oscar nomination. This year, no less than four Quebec films are selected for the official competition, an exceptional performance.

Nicolas Bellavance was particularly surprised to see the festival retain two of his creations, The Balkans Mirage – A Journey on Wheels and Le Toit de Ben. The first, an 11-minute short film, follows, in a style reminiscent of Wes Anderson, the journey of four friends in the Balkans.

“It was ambitious to submit it to the Banff festival because it came out of this idea of ​​an adventure film where we follow people who have just accomplished an exploit. Because there, it was quite the opposite, comments Nicolas Bellavance. So I was very happy that it was selected. As for Ben’s Roof, I didn’t expect it to be so far-reaching since it’s a local story. »

This latest 14-minute short has an interesting genesis. Amandine Geraud, a marketing specialist at Arc’teryx, had to meet with a former climber, now 91 years old, Bernard Poisson, to obtain permission to use an old climbing photo taken at Mount King, in Val-David, at late 1950s. She found the character so fascinating that she floated the idea of ​​making a film about him.

It was the beginning of climbing in Quebec, when equipment and techniques were still rudimentary. Bernard Poisson, a pioneer, then noticed an extraordinary line on Mount King, a roof with a crack in it.

“Usually, climbing is vertical,” notes Amandine Geraud. There, it was horizontal. He was amazed. »

Using the artificial climbing technique, which involves using equipment to progress, he made the first ascent of this route in 1958. It was named Ben’s Roof in his honor. It took 30 years before we managed to free climb the route, that is to say without equipment to help progress (but with protection in the event of a fall).

The film recounts this feat, also showing magnificent images of a contemporary climber achieving this route with modern techniques.

Director Ariane Moisan also had the pleasure of seeing the Banff festival select her film D’amour et d’eau frette.

Ariane Moisan has been working in the field of television for around fifteen years, she knew the Gémeaux, but she had never had the opportunity to direct a film that corresponded to the niche of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

D’amour et d’eau frette, a 13-minute short film, follows the adventures of Alexis Boudreau, a young Madelinot who is passionate about surfing.

“I met Alexis eight years ago when I didn’t know there was surfing in the Magdalen Islands,” says Ariane Moisan. He made us discover the little secrets of his territory. When [Urbania] offered me this film project, it was obvious that he was the one who was going to carry this story. He had all the essence of the Madelinots, all the essence of surfing in him. »

For its part, the AKOR Expedition team admitted to having been taken by surprise by the selection of its film Canada Vertical, a 44-minute medium-length film directed by Laurent Poliquin.

The film retraces the exploit of Nicolas Roux and Guillaume Moreau who traveled across Canada from north to south in 2021, a journey of 7,600 kilometers which required 234 days of expedition first on skis, then by canoe and by bike .

“We documented the [experience] as best we could, but we are not videographers,” declares Nicolas Roux. We didn’t think it was going to make it to Banff. If we had wanted to maximize our chances, we would have made a 20-minute film, but we wanted to make a film for us, for our sponsors. The fact that it was taken anyway proves that our story has something to contribute. We are super happy. »