19th Annual VIMFF Gearing Up To Be The Best Program Yet

Climbing into its 19th year, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival might just have assembled its best lineup to date. Kicking off Friday, February 12, the festival runs until the final show and awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20th, with nightly showings and guest speakers. Tickets are available here.

This year’s VIMFF will feature photo exhibits, inspiring speakers, forums, instructional seminars and of course, the films. And what a collection of films it is. Here are some of the highlights:


From “Citadel”


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Set in B.C.’s dramatic Coast Range mountains, ‘Snowman’ is a familiar tale of dreaming big and the barriers—both benign and catastrophic—to realizing a childhood fantasy. It’s the story of a friendship forged in the mountains, and a lifestyle where the greatest risk is not daring to dream at all. GUEST SPEAKER: Mike Douglas



A great injustice is being done on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., the sacred and traditional territory of the Lax Kw’alaams people for over 10,000 years. The B.C. provincial government is trying to green light the construction of a massive LNG terminal on the island – Pacific Northwest LNG, backed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, without consent. GUEST SPEAKER: Farhan Umedaly



‘Hadwin’s Judgment’ chronicles the tormented transformation of Grant Hadwin from expert logger to environmental terrorist, a man who dared to challenge the destruction of the world’s last great temperate rainforest. GUEST SPEAKER: John Vaillant



In the summer of 1986, several dozen alpinists from all over the world met to climb K2, second highest mountain on the planet. Very soon the season transforms into a series of tragic events called “black summer”, leaving 13 climbers dead. Almost 30 years later, Eliza Kubarska, the director of the film and alpinist herself, together with an international group of grown-up children of acclaimed climbers, sets out on an expedition to reach K2 base camp. GUEST SPEAKER: Eliza Kubarska



When pro kayaker Rafa Ortiz makes the decision to paddle over Niagara Falls, he sets in motion an incredible series of events that eventually takes on a life of its own. To prepare for this mission, Rafa enlists the help of world-renowned paddler Rush Sturges and a tight team of their friends. Together they go on a remarkable three-year journey from the rainforest rivers of Mexico to the towering waterfalls of the U.S. Northwest. Their journey concludes in Canada where the team plays a cat-and-mouse game with local police before Rafa’s mission comes to a heart-stopping climax at the iconic Falls.


When Will Gadd and Gavin McGlurg decided they wanted to define a bold new style in paragliding, they could not have picked a more vegetated, convoluted and downright burly route to test their concept. With one simple rule of only being able to make forward progress in the air, they set off on a 700-kilometer traverse of the Canadian Rockies. In terrain where bears outnumber people, roads are non-existent and flying conditions push them to their limits, they break all the typical rules of paragliding in an attempt at the longest pure paragliding flight ever. GUEST SPEAKER: Gavin McClurg



The world’s first mountaineering doc shot entirely in 4k.

Dubbed ‘The Mountain God’, the Citadel is a stunning 3000m peak in one of the remaining untouched corners of the Great Alaskan Range: The Neacola Mountains which due to their typically poor conditions and remote location are largely unexplored. The Citadel is beautiful but deadly, plagued by bad weather and prone to avalanche.

Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey are one the UK’s most formidable partnerships in alpine climbing with many world class ascents to their names from the UK to the Alps and the greater ranges.  Their objective is to make the first ascent of the extraordinary 1200m long north-west ridge.



There will also be guest speakers the likes of Kevin Jorgenson, Heather Mosher and Doung McLeod, Wade Simmons, Justa Jeskova & Steve Storey, Paul McSorley, Markus Pukonen, John Vaillant, Bill Hawley, Spencer Seabrook, Katrina Van Wijk, Lynn Hill, Eliza Kubarska, Anthony Bonello, Gavin McClurg, Eliza Kubarska and Leo Houlding


Freeriding Kaza Spiti Valley. Mountain Bike Night is February 13.


Since 1998, VIMFF has evolved from a three-day event at one venue with an audience of 1,700 to a 9-day event in North Vancouver and Vancouver in 3 to 4 venues with live presentations, films, photography, live music, and international film and photo competitions. Additionally, VIMFF now travels to about 30 communities with the Best of the Fest Tour, and runs additional shows at the Fall Speaker Series in North Vancouver. The combined Festival events now attract more than 20,000 viewers each year in North Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and the rest of Canada.

Driven by a passion for film, culture, and the outdoors, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) Society seeks to advance appreciation of films and film-making while inspiring, informing, and educating the public in these areas.
VIMFF achieves its aim by producing film festivals and photo exhibits, and providing a forum for film-makers and photographers to present and discuss their works. Its instructional seminars on films, film-making, and photography provide further education for those seeking to develop their skills.

By presenting unique outdoor and mountaineering films that illustrate experiences and cultures from all corners of the globe, VIMFF brings communities together to promote positive values and active lifestyles.

The Society is aligned with the philosophy of the North Vancouver municipalities to promote, both locally and internationally, the natural beauty of North Vancouver and its status as one of the best places to visit and live – a place where nature and culture meet.


Kevin Jorgenson, from “The Dawn Wall”, showing opening night.