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Copyright Ephemere. Credit: M Lang. Courtesy of the Banff Center
Air Time : The short film 'Ephemere' follows five athletes, wherever they may go.

Reely Wild

The Radical Reels Film Fest returns to UC Santa Cruz with a screenful of truly sick sports.

By Curtis Cartier

Have you ever wanted to base-jump from a 1,000-foot cliff, paddle down a raging Rocky Mountain river or scale a sheer granite wall, but worried about ruining your new underwear?

On Saturday, Sept. 27, audience members at the Radical Reels Film Tour can experience all the action of extreme sports without any of Nature's surprises. Born as an offshoot of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which takes place each year about 80 miles west of Alberta, Canada, Radical Reels started as a one-night presentation of action-packed extreme sport films and soon became one of the festival's most popular attractions. In 2004, festival organizers decided to take a selection of these films on the road.

"What's amazing is you see this kind of community turnout in all the cities we go. Whether it's Santa Cruz or some town in the Midwest, there are a lot of people who love to see these films," says Banff World Tour coordinator Seana Strain. "What's fun to think about in these films is, 'Where is the cameraman?' It often involves cameras on zip lines flying through the trees, but it's always something pretty creative."

Adrian Glasenapp is a longtime river runner and filmmaker. His latest film, Light in Liquid: A Kayaking Collage of Light and Sound, will be screened at the festival. The Santa Cruz-born director and producer now lives in Fort Collins, Colo., and was on his way to a river outside Boulder to do some filming when Metro Santa Cruz caught up with him.

"I started shooting [Light in Liquid] about four years ago. I've been trying to add as much creativity and spirituality as possible into the film and really tried to push the artistic envelope," Glasenapp says. "I think a touring film fest is a great idea. It allows independent, unfunded filmmakers to get grassroots work out to audiences. And it allows audiences to see work they could only see if they drove to Banff."

Here in Santa Cruz, Kathy Ferraro, UCSC recreation supervisor, says the screening is a boon for the university's scholarship program and typically brings in more than $2,000 that goes directly to funding rock climbing, kayaking and even women's soccer.

"In Santa Cruz we have a large population who participates in these kinds of sports," Ferraro said. "Or there are the armchair adventurers who love them. Either way, seeing these on the big screen is not to be missed."

Movie Times RADICAL REELS FILM TOUR Saturday, Sept. 27, at 7pm in the UCSC Media Theatre. Tickets are $12 advance/$14 door, $10 advance for students and seniors. For more information visit

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