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Banff Film Festival Returns to E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium Jan. 25

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival annual world tour —  which holds screenings in more than 40 countries — will stop at SUNY Plattsburgh Monday, Jan. 25.

“It’s always fun. I’m always inspired by the films,” said Jerry Isaak, associate professor and chair of the expeditionary studies program at SUNY Plattsburgh. “It’s a great way to kick off the spring semester.”

The films, which range in duration from four to 46 minutes, document various outdoor recreational activities including rock climbing, skiing, kayaking and biking. The screening, which begins at 7 p.m. in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, will include seven to 10 separate films.

“I think that’s often what has made it successful is the variety of films,” Isaak said. This year’s screening is in its 15th year on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.

The often-visually stunning footage in each is shot in diverse settings — some near water, others by rugged, mountainous terrain. Some of the films include an educational component or cultural experience, Isaak said.

As such, they appeal to a wide variety of viewers, not just outdoor enthusiasts.

“It’s for everyone,” Isaak said.

About 300 people attended the event last year, Isaak said, adding that about half were students, and the other half were faculty, staff or community members.

Ticket sale proceeds will go to the Laurence Soroka and Cerise Oberman Expeditionary Studies Endowment, which provides direct financial support for expeditionary studies students’ senior expeditions.

Senior expedition trips are part of a capstone course for expeditionary studies majors. Leading up to their expeditions, students produce a planning document of some 60 pages that includes a detailed itinerary for the trip. Students have completed their expeditions throughout North America as well as in locations like Cambodia, Vietnam and Mexico.

“I think the combination of those films in that setting is something that we think fits well with raising money for our student scholarships and the endowment,” Isaak said.

The event is sponsored by the Student Association and College Auxiliary Services.

The original version of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is a nine-day event in the fall of each year that features more than 75 films. It is held in Banff, a small resort town in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta. The festival celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

Tickets are $5 for SUNY Plattsburgh faculty and staff, $8 for general admission and free to SUNY Plattsburgh students.

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