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Film Awards at 2017 Banff Mountain Fest

Padma Angdu is ten years old. He is also a Rinpoche — a “Living Buddha” or reincarnate of a high Tibetan Lama reborn in Ladakh, India.

His appointed destiny is to be reunited with his predecessor’s monastic order — but seemingly insurmountable geographic, political, financial, and existential obstacles lie between him and that goal.

The usual trials and tribulations of fifth grader are nothing for Padma as he and his elderly guardian seek to overcome struggles when no disciples from his former monastery in Tibet come to claim him and, as a result, he is expelled from his local monastery.

Becoming Who I Was has won Grand Prize at the 2017 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

“The film takes its viewer on a strenuous journey, a journey begun when its characters are ostracized from their own community,” said Shannon O’Donoghue- Child, a member of the 2017 Banff Mountain Film Festival jury. “Facing immense burdens, including poverty, political upheaval and extreme geography, the protagonists are shown not only in poignant and intimate scenes of daily life, but also as small figures in expansive landscapes.”

She added: “But what comes through from the opening scene to closing credits, more impactful than the hardships, is the overwhelming sense of humanity, the innocence of childhood, and the extraordinary bond between two people, whose love and support for each other transcend all the struggles they face. That element of hope was beautifully captured by the filmmakers.”

Jury members in 2017 included adventure filmmaker Paul Diffley (UK), journalist and filmmaker Gilles Chappaz (France), producer Katie Moore (UK), former Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Director Shannon O’Donoghue-Child (US), and journalist Keme Nzerem (UK).

Category winners for the 2017 Banff Mountain Film Competition include:

Grand Prize – Sponsored by MEC
Becoming Who I Was
(Republic of Korea, 2017, 96 min)
Director: Moon Chang-yong
Producer: Jin Jeon
Production Company: Sonamu Films & Prosum

Creative Excellence Award- Sponsored by The Camera Store
Planet Earth II: Mountains
(UK, 2017, 60 min)
Director and Producer: Justin Anderson
Production Company: BBC Natural History Unit

Best Film – Exploration and Adventure – Sponsored by Treksta
Blood Road
(USA, 2016, 96 min)
Director: Nicholas Schrunk
Producer: Sandra Kuhn
Production Company: Red Bull Media House

Best Film – Mountain Culture- Sponsored by Helly Hansen
The Last Honey Hunter
(USA, 2017, 36 min)
Director: Ben Knight
Producer: Ben Ayers
Production Company: Felt Soul Media

Best Film – Climbing – Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada
Psycho Vertical
(UK, 2017, 64 min)
Director and Producer: Jen Randall
Production Company: Light Shed Pictures

Best Film – Mountain Sports- Sponsored by Experticity
Intersection: Micayla Gatto
(USA, 2017, 5 min)
Director and Producer: Lacy Kemp
Production Company: Juicy Studios

Best Film: Snow Sports – Sponsored by Boreale Explorers
Imagination: Tom Wallisch
(Canada, 2017, 4 min)
Director: David Mossop
Producer: Mitchell Scott
Production Company: Sherpas Cinema

Best Film – Mountain Environment and Natural History – Sponsored by lululemon
Samuel in the Clouds
(Belgium, 2016, 70 min)
Director: Pieter Van Eecke
Producer: Hanne Phlypo
Production Company: Clin d’oeil Films

Best Short Mountain Film – Sponsored by The North Face
Johanna
(UK, 2016, 4 min)
Director and Producer: Ian Derry
Production Company: Archer’s Mark

Best Feature Length Mountain Film – Sponsored by the Town of Banff
Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
(USA, 2017, 95 min)
Director: David O’Leske
Producer: Jason Reid
Production Company: Fred Beckey Film LLC

Special Jury Mentions:

Into Twin Galaxies: A Greenland Epic
(Germany, 2016, 52 min)
Director: Jochen Schmoll
Producer: Nicola McQuiston
Production Company: Red Bull Media House, Drehxtrem

The Frozen Road
(UK, 2017, 24 min)
Director and Producer: Ben Page

People’s Choice Award – Sponsored by Osprey
Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
(USA, 2017, 95 min)
Director: David O’Leske
Producer: Jason Reid
Production Company: Fred Beckey Film LLC

Next Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival: October 27 to November 4, 2018