Banff Mountain Film Festival Fall Weekend Getaway in Canada


Banff National Park Alberta Canada

 'Tis the season for a Fall Weekend Getaway in Banff National Park Alberta, Canada!

Banff National Park Alberta Canada! A weekend getaway in Banff, with friends? A Mountain Film Festival? Morning hike up Sundance Canyon? Warm RV camping in Canada in November?

Yes, yes, yes, yes – please!

It all started at 11:57 am on October 5th. Ticket sales opened at noon. Two friends and I were logged on to the Banff Mountain Film Festival website ready to purchase tickets. This year's live Festival was scaled down in comparison to past festivals. As a result of the need for a safe event, capacity for the live shows was 37%.

For this reason, cell phones sat close to laptops in three separate locales as we began the quest of making sure we got the tickets we wanted without overbooking. In short, less than an hour later we had our entire weekend planned with tickets to three different sets of films and campsites reserved. Let the adventures begin!

Enjoying the start of our weekend getaway in Banff before the snow starts to fly! (Photo Credit: Megan Kopp)

"Who knew that when we entered into the world of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, we would still be battling, adapting, and facing unseen challenges over a year later. Our human resilience has been tested, and our outdoor community has been forgiving, stronger, and determined to conserve wild places more than ever before. Being outside has never meant as much as it does now."

Quote Credit:

Joanna Croston, Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival Director

Fall RV camping in Banff National Park! (Photo Credit: Megan Kopp)

The Banff Mountain Film Festival

We set up in Tunnel Mountain Village II (open year-round). Since temps dropped and snow fell overnight, the heated washrooms and power hookups were appreciated. The 2021 Banff Mountain Film Festival ran from October 30th– November 7th with virtual screening options as well as 30 live events including more than 70 films. During our weekend getaway we watched nine! Certainly, all were excellent. In fact, six of the nine films had strong Canadian connections.

The Fortress Ghosts

 The Fortress Ghosts was a fave simply because it was filmed in an old haunt of ours in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Fortress Mountain Ski Hill closed in 2004. Almost 20 years later, two chairs and a battered day lodge remain. Likewise, Rockies Repeat revisits old haunts. In this film, a group of artists follow in the brushstrokes of Catharine Whyte painting familiar scenes in the Canadian Rockies. It's a race against time as they attempt to capture what is left of our glacial environment before climate change erases it from sight.


Although Sonder is filmed mainly in the Langtang Valley, Nepal, it follows the journey of a Canadian man. This touching story follows a son as he reconciles the loss of his parents – both residents of Edmonton, Alberta. They were hiking the Langtang circuit when the deadly 2015 earthquake hit. Unfortunately, neither one survived.


Blueprint is a fun visual run with mountain bikers and trail builders as they mold and create trails before our eyes in Cumberland, BC. This Banff Mountain Film Festival movie was filmed on the West Coast, Weaving the Path follows the rebirth of a cultural tradition for the Coast Salish people

Long Live Chainsaw

 Long Live Chainsaw was filmed mainly in Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island. Who knew we had a World Cup champion downhill mountain biker in our country? This film follows the inspiring story of a young boy who rose to fame and inspired everyone he met to believe their dreams. As a result – even after his untimely death in a motorcycle accident – his passion lives on. Truly an inspiring film.

What's not to love about a Banff Mountain Film Festival morning sunrise? (Photo Credit: Megan Kopp)

Be Inspired by More of These Amazing Outdoor Films Yourself

Although the Banff Film Festival is over for 2021, the World Tour is just gearing up. There will a virtual edition coming November 25th. Moreover, there will be not one but two unique World Tour programs available online from November 25, 2021 to October 23, 2022.

Even more fun are the live programs that will start touring throughout Canada and the USA starting December 1, 2021. You can check tour schedule pages for Canada, the USA and International for dates and locations.

Also, Mountain Film Calgary (my local fave) has announced their program. It will run from January 19 – January 22, 2022 at Mount Royal University. There will also be showings at the University of Calgary on January 23, 2022. It is hoped that ticket bookings will be ready for early December. 

Hiking Sundance Canyon Trail in Banff National Park. (Photo Credit: Megan Kopp)

More things to do in Banff Alberta Canada

To be sure there are a multitude of things to do in Banff but a hike to break up hours of sitting watching films was a no brainer. In between film screenings we took a short hike up Sundance Canyon. Other great options close to the campground and Festival venues include a stroll up Tunnel Mountain or a steeper climb up Sulphur Mountain. Be sure to pack ice grips if walking in winter on the trails and watch your footing.

Finally, plan a meal or two out to make the most of your Banff weekend getaway even if you are RV camping. We enjoyed Maclab Bistro in the Banff Centre. The spectacular views from the floor to ceiling windows coupled with the convenience of not having to drive anywhere in between films as well as the savoury food options make it a triple-win.

A weekend getaway in Alberta for the Banff Mountain Film Festival along with time spent outdoors in Banff all punctuated with good food – how can you say no? Adventure on!

Banff Mountain Film Festival 

Weekend Getaway Canada Adventure Seekers

Location (Map)

Banff, AB, Canada
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Comments 1

EH Canada Marketing Group on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 07:43

Great films Megan. Canadian too.

Great films Megan. Canadian too.
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