The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival welcomes feedback such as the published letter to the Rocky Mountain Outlook last week.
I am grateful for the positive remarks regarding our opening night Climbing Through Barriers program. These are small, but important steps for us in a move to present alternative narratives in the outdoor adventure realm.
She is indeed correct about the lack of diverse narratives in our Snow Show program. Our intention is to showcase as many diverse voices as possible in the content submitted to us through our film competition.
It should be noted that the films selected for our Snow Show were not exclusively male and white by choice, these are the films that are available to us. Had there been more films submitted to our competition that included people of colour and women, we would have shown those but the harsh reality is that they are few and far between.
The gender gap is still huge in ski films and in diverse lifestyles or ancestral storytelling, even greater.
Eleonore Lebeuf-Taylor also chose to watch the perhaps least diverse program available to her, the Snow Show. Our all-day film programs on both weekends featured many more women athletes, people of colour, Indigenous narratives and same sex relationship stories.
I think she would have been pleased to watch these high quality films.
Feedback from Eleonore Lebeuf-Taylor helps us in our programming decisions, but ultimately we are at the mercy of what filmmakers produce and submit to us for consideration.
I would suggest that her remarks are a call out to filmmakers in the industry to adapt and consider portraying the diversity and often ignored voices that are riding to the fore in our mountain communities.
We too would welcome those films with open arms.
Festival Director, Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival