Festival celebrates ‘radical’ adventures on film

John Akal, Avenue Flashes

If you think about Golden and all the words to describe our fair city, one word that probably doesn’t come to mind is “radical.”

After all, this is a pretty laid back place with nice easy going people, located in a gorgeous tranquil setting and is probably the last place on earth that anyone would think of as “radical.” That is, until you take a moment and think about the sports we seem to gravitate towards.

When it comes to radical sports, Golden is one of the epicenters for them. White water kayaking, mountain climbing, hang gliding and parasailing, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, even our skateboarders seem to take things to the extreme by running long boards down steep mountain roads.

And don’t forget, there is a pretty wild motocross playground located on Rooney Road.

So, for those of you who tend to think it’s not a sport unless you could die doing it, the Colorado Mountain Club has just the thing for you! It’s the upcoming 37th Annual Banff Mountain Radical Reels Film Festival that will be happening on Oct. 4, 5 and 6 at the American Mountaineering Center’s Foss Auditorium.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I love these films. I got hooked on them when I saw my first Warren Miller ski film back when I was about 8.

There is just something more exciting and thrilling about seeing people actually throw themselves off a cliff or hang by their fingertips 1,000 feet off the ground when you know it’s for real and not just a Hollywood stunt. Radical Reels should pretty much get you stoked up for adventure when it features the best and most outrageous films of the year.

The Radical Reels Tour runs every spring and fall and spans all of North America. It features a great variety of mountain sport films but the films are brought to you from all over the world.

Some of the highlights are Being There, a film from Norway that explores freestyle ski jumping, Endless Roads that follows a group of female long boarders as they do some crazy downhill runs in Spain, Of Souls + Water — The Shapeshifter that is a kind of supernatural kayaking film from Quebec, Reel Rock 7 La Dura Dura, a freestyle mountain climbing film set in Catalunya and Wing Suit Downhill Target Punch with one those truly insane guys who launches himself off of cliffs with a wing suit and glides like a flying squirrel. There are about a half dozen more of these films scheduled for the festival, so by the end of the night your adrenaline should be pumping pretty good.

These are short films, so they will all be shown together each night. It’s not one of those things that has a different program every night that you need to spend the whole weekend at. Just pick one night and head over there.

The radical Reels Tour is hosted by the Colorado Mountain Club. Tickets are $15 and the show starts at 7 p.m. each night.

The American Mountaineering Center is located at 710 10th Street in Golden. You can get more information on their website at www.cmc.org or call them at 303-279-3080.

To check out the entire Radical Reels line up and find out more about the whole tour visit www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/worldtour/radicalreels/.

Now, somewhere around here I have my old vintage 1975 Hang Ten skateboard with original Road Rider wheels and Chicago trucks.

I wonder if I can still make it down the Washington Ave. hill from the Foothills Art Center to Woodys without having to call 911... Probably not.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production.

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