Belief all the way from Bannff

This past Thursday night, my wife and I attended a local showing of the Bannff Film Festival Word Tour. The showing was at the beautiful Paramount Theater in downtown Denver. It was a packed house and full of excitement and energy for the collection of amazing experiences that were to be shown on the screen that night.

All the films from the festival are adventure related and show some of the amazing potential of the human body and spirit. The feats performed in the films were not only truly incredible, but also displayed something more. As we watched one of the films called Sketchy Andy (more on that in a minute) the main character, Sketchy Andy oddly enough, was talking about how he did some of the amazing actions that he performed in the film. Basically he said that he just knew that he could do it and so he figured out how to do it.

With that said and after I had just written on my blog the previous day about belief, my wife leaned over and whispered in my ear “talk about the power of belief”.

“Yes”, I enthusiastically replied.

That got me thinking about the other films that were being shown as well. These people were doing things that many of us would only dream of and most would never even think of. Yet they had a dream or a vision, however crazy or far fetched it was, and they made it happen because they believed that they could.

You can check out descriptions and links to previews of all the films at Bannff Film Festival World Tour and Reel Rock Tour, but here are some that stood out to me.

Freedom Chair

One of my favorites was called the Freedom Chair. It was the story of a Freestyle skier who at one time was an Olympic hopeful and then bagged it all and became a coach. One day while testing out a jump that they were building for a competition the following day, he crashed and severed his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Long story short, he started sit skiing and eventually won several medals in Olympic sit skiing events. Check out the film below and be sure to hang around for the sick freestyle sit skiing action at the end.

Origins: Obe and Ashima

This film showed a 9 year old phenom in the bouldering community. She is amazing on the rocks and at the climbing gym; you have to check out the preview. It will blow your mind. The story followed Obe who was a gifted climber that traveled the world perfecting his craft until one day he got burned out, moved back home, got a job as a bartender and became depressed. Then after wallowing in that for a while he decided to move to New York and coach kids at a rock climbing gym. He had found his true passion…his calling. Then he met and started coaching Ashima. The two together is like lightning striking a fuel tank. It is very unlikely to that the two would come together, but explosive to watch when it does.

Sketchy Andy

This guy is crazy yet brilliant. What he puts his mind to and figures how to make happen is incredible. You may have seen him walking the slackline with Madonna at the 2012 SuperBowl. I can’t even describe this guy; just watch the videos.

Ski Bums Never Die

This group of … let’s just call then advanced in age people. I can’t call then senior citizens or elderly because they have more life in them than most people. They ski 100 days or more a year and they do it with such love and enthusiasm it is contagious. They continue to believe that they can do it and so they do. These folks remind me of the quote “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, but we grow old because we stop playing”.

Ski Bums Never Die from Switchback Entertainment on Vimeo.

Towers of Ennedi

Mark Synnott had a dream to be the first to climb the spires of the Ennedi desert which is deep, deep in the center of Chad, Africa. This involved days of driving through harsh conditions in the desert just to reach the spires. They do and the results are amazing. Check it out.


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