The Banff Mountain Film Festival features eight short films highlighting outdoor adventure around the world.


Banff Mountain Film Festival benefits international students

The Colorado Mesa University community’s passion for outdoor adventure runs deep, so it’s fitting that an upcoming film festival celebrating the outdoor lifestyle will support the university in part. On Feb. 20, the Grand Junction Rotary Club hosts the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Avalon Theatre. Proceeds benefit CMU’s international programs and services, as well as the nonprofit Colorado Canyons Association.

The festival includes eight short adventure films, including a movie about Grand Junction resident Travis Winn and his work saving wild rivers in China. Other films include features about skiing, trail running, climbing, mountain biking and a moving story about a cancer survivor and his faithful dog, Denali.

The Rotary Club is hosting the event thanks to the work of Rotarian and longtime CMU supporter Max Krey. Last year Krey made a substantial donation to CMU, a portion of which was designated specifically for the international students program. He inspired his colleagues to raise funds to renovate Rotary Hall, the building where CMU’s international programs and services are located.

“[Max Krey] is a strong believer that peace comes from understanding,” said Rick Adleman, associate director of development for the CMU Foundation. “He knew that having foreign students on campus and getting to know one another is a good thing for the world.”

At present, 70 international students from more than 30 countries attend the university — up from 42 international students enrolled for the 2014-15 academic year. The three nations most highly represented are Nigeria, Brazil and Nepal, followed by Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Annie Gingerich, associate director of international programs and services, helps international students when they first inquire about the university and again after they arrive to campus. Some students have culture shock or need help in adjusting to their new environment.

“I work on retention of those students by addressing concerns and issues early on,” Gingerich said. “The proceeds (from the film festival) will go toward creating programming for international students.”

Gingerich hopes to connect international students with the larger community through her ties with Rotary and Friendship Force of Western Colorado. She also plans to offer various opportunities for the students through CMU’s Outdoor Program, such as sledding in the wintertime and hiking in the fall.

“We want to get students out to see what our area has to offer,” Gingerich said.

General admission tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour are $20 for community members and $15 for students. More information about the festival and tickets are available online or by calling the CMU Foundation at 970.248.1525.

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)