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4 January 2014

Banff Fest Dhaka

What has four legs, five arms and three heads? “The Gimp Monkeys”. Craig DeMartino lost his leg after a 100-foot climbing fall. Pete Davis was born without an arm. Bone cancer claimed Jarem Frye’s left leg at the age of 14. The three are linked by what they are missing, but they are also linked […]

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What has four legs, five arms and three heads? “The Gimp Monkeys”. Craig DeMartino lost his leg after a 100-foot climbing fall. Pete Davis was born without an arm. Bone cancer claimed Jarem Frye’s left leg at the age of 14.
The three are linked by what they are missing, but they are also linked by what they have – an insanely strong passion for adventure; a passion which led them to successfully complete the first all-disabled ascent of Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan in the United States. There was no cause, no call for awareness, no fundraising. It was just 1800 feet of passion, pain and toughness. In the words of DeMartino: “We are climbers first, disabled second. If you’re a climber, you want to climb El Cap.”
“The Gimp Monkeys” is one of the many award-winning films featuring in the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, the world’s most prestigious adventure film festival. The festival hit Bangladesh on Friday, with 21 films from around the globe being screened at Dhaka’s National Museum. This is the fourth year that local adventure organisation Kewkradong Bangladesh has brought the festival to Bangladesh at no charge for local adventure enthusiasts.
This year’s sold-out festival saw four hours of adventure films from around the world being shown to over 1200 attendees. The event was inaugurated by Canada’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Heather Cruden — an adventure enthusiast herself — who said that the festival inspired her to “remember that adventure is everywhere and it is important to regularly turn off from technology and spend time with nature.”
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is the world’s most renowned and prestigious global celebration of adventure sports. For over two decades, the festival has been inspiring people in all corners of the globe with its annual collection of adventure films. The tour brings the festival to 285 communities and 40 countries around the world, including Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific.
Event organiser Muntasir Mamun, said, “Adventure sports are a growing phenomenon in Bangladesh, and the aim of the Banff festival is to inspire that, to celebrate adventure around the world. It is a call to all Bangladeshis, to get off that couch and turn off that television. It is a call to ignite the spirit of adventure right here, to experience beautiful Bangladesh – climb the mountains of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, cycle the hills of Sylhet, surf the waves of Coxs Bazar.”
Kewkradong Bangladesh also announced that they will soon be launching a competition for the best adventure films made in Bangladesh, to be screened in next year’s film festival.

Sarah-Jane Saltmarsh
The writer is an Australian adventure sports enthusiast currently working in Bangladesh.

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