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Banff World Tour


If you are in the UK and love adventure, then I urge you to go and see the Banff World Tour when it comes to a cinema near you in the coming weeks. It’s heading all over the country (dates/venues here).

My film Into the Empty Quarter is showing at half the events (the red dates here) so it’s a chance for you to enjoy that on the big screen. But, far more than that, it is a chance to see some truly varied, inspiring and wonderful films that will get you feverishly hatching plans of your own. Leon and I attended Banff when our film was a finalist there, and it honestly was one of the most exciting, inspiring, wonderful events I have ever been to. So to have our film chosen for their world tour was ridiculously exciting.

Go along! Get inspired! Take your friends, make an evening of it, drink beer and hatch plans…

The first screening was in Edinburgh at the weekend. There’s a nice review of the event here. I’ve picked out an excerpt of the review, totally at random (ish)…

Into the Empty Quarter followed two adventurers, Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron, as they traced the footsteps of British explorer and writer Wilfred Thesiger though the Empty Quarter – the world’s largest sand desert. Watching the ambitious men push their way through the blistering desert heat with a homemade cart to carry all their essentials provoked a couple of reactions from me. Firstly, I questioned their sanity and reasoning – in a moment of emotional truth the presenters do acknowledge that there is no real reason for their journey. Secondly, the film presents a view of the Arabian Peninsula that isn’t quite in line with the usually representation presented to British audiences. Alistair states that this is the real world, a place full of kindness and generosity that is the direct opposite to “what you see on CNN”. It was refreshing to have new eyes on the scene, looking in from a very different perspective. Lastly, looking at the process of creating this film is where the beauty of it really struck me. This film was created entirely by the two men who feature in it. In practice this means they had to walk to where they were setting up the camera, record, walk back to their path, walk forwards, then walk back to the camera, cut and finally return to their path. Extreme in every sense, their efforts pay off and the film is packed with gorgeous images – and the impact of the constant natural lighting that the desert sun provides should not go unnoticed. To be unimpressed by what is achieved by Humphreys and McCarron is impossible.

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