B.C.–based online festivals offer surfing and outdoor recreation films with environmental awareness

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      With journeys in and out of the Lower Mainland reduced to essential travel at the moment, and travel throughout B.C. discouraged by health officials, a jaunt over to Vancouver Island or into B.C. mountains isn’t an option right now.

      However, viewers can still enjoy views of the great outdoors and recreational activities with these screen festivals based in B.C., which also have strong environmental components.

      Surfrider Short Film Festival

      Surfing film festival

      From Tofino, Surfrider Pacific Rim’s 5th annual Short Film Festival will run online, starting Friday (November 20) and continuing until Sunday (November 22).

      The festival, which launched in 2016, aims to bring local and international short films about surfing, often with environmental or social issues intertwined.

      This year’s program includes 10 short films and one feature film presentation, and can be watched from anywhere online.

      All proceeds will benefit Surfrider Pacific Rim's work to address plastic pollution and to help efforts to shift to a circular economy on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.

      There’s also an online silent auction fundraiser, and residents of Tofino and Ucluelet can also enjoy film festival kits.

      Full details are available at the Surfrider website

      "Valhalla, Rock Sky"
      Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

      Mountain film festival

      The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) is presenting its VIMFF 2020 Fall Series, all of which can be viewed online from Friday (November 20) to November 29.

      As all offer views of the great outdoors, they can provide the opportunity to take in what may not be accessible due to travel plans being suspended during the pandemic.

      The series consists of five programs, including the Snowsports Show, the Climbing Show, the Mountain Culture Show, and the Colour the Trails Show, each of which offer a collection of four or five short films and include some world premieres.

      The fifth series is the Environmental Show, presented in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.

      This series brings various environmental and ecological issues and struggles to light, including big horn sheep fighting an infectious disease (“Wild and Wool”), a bid to save a threatened river in Russia where a mythical 55-kilogram (120-pound) trout lives (“River Tigers”), and filmmakers and scientists documenting an orca population in Norway to protect them from oil exploration (“Echoes in the Arctic”).

      The program also includes the world premiere of “Forever is Now”, which follows 10 of Zion National Park’s keepers and caretakers through the seasons.

      Full details are available at the VIMFF website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.