February 27, 2013
by Holly Scott
Friends of the Smokies Marketing Director
Four years ago on a warm spring evening, my colleague Sarah Weeks and I were invited by our friends at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports to set up an information table for a screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Friends of the Smokies was to receive the proceeds from the event, after expenses were paid by the host.
It sounded easy enough. We set up the table, then went for dinner before people began to arrive. Being dog owners, we both were looking forward to the end of the evening when we could get back home and treat our pups to a stroll. (See gratuitous dog owner pics below).
The doors opened at the venue, and the buzz started.
People actually stopped at our table and talked to us rather than gliding by seemingly unaware and hopeful that we wouldn’t ask them for money! Everyone there seemed to truly love the outdoors, and couldn’t wait to see these films. I began to understand what a huge deal Banff really IS when a couple excitedly told me that they had driven down to see the screening from Louisville, Kentucky.
When the program began, Sarah and I slipped into a pair of seats just as the lights went down. Looking back, I am pretty sure I ignored it if someone announced that the “Captain has turned on the fasten your seatbelt sign.”
Immediately the screen was filled with images of extreme beauty of spectacular places remote and wild, and of fast-moving people demanding unimaginable things of their bodies and their hi-tech sports equipment. My adrenaline was pumping about 3 minutes into the first movie. I wanted to climb mountains. I wanted to re-learn to snow ski. I wanted to quit my job and become a sherpa. OK — not really.
Here are some images from some of the Banff films on tour this year; we don’t know yet which films will screen here in Knoxville.
I haven’t missed a Banff since. This year’s Knoxville screening is on March 25th at the Bijou Theatre. Tickets are $15 each. If you love nature in its many wet, cold, hot, sunny, dangerous, furry, and fantastic forms, you will be exhilarated by Banff.
Buy your tickets now, then treat yourself to a night on the town in Knoxville on March 25th. Have dinner. Go shopping. Arrive a little early at the Bijou so you can get yourself a cold beverage to sip on. Then take your seats. Stay to the end. There will be giveaways and prizes. You will have fun.
And it all benefits Friends of the Smokies thanks to the generosity of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports who makes this whole thing possible.
Step 1- Buy your tickets online from the Bijou Theatre’s website, or stop by either Knoxville location of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports.
Step 2- If Step 1 is hanging you up, just tweet #KnoxBanff for automatic entry into a drawing for a pair of Banff tickets and dinner from the Tomato Head, courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports & the Tomato Head.
Step 3- Vote on your favorite Banff selections at the Pre-Banff Bash at the Bearden Beer Market on March 21st. The outdoor screens will give you a sneak peek of what’s in store for you at the Bijou.
Step 4- You already have your tickets, so join us on March 25th at The Bijou Theatre. Stop by our table and say “Hi”. We really are as friendly as our name implies.
Step 5- Do something on your phone like tag us in a photo on Facebook, or check-in at the Bijou, or Tweet that you are at #KnoxBanff planning your next adventure.