Everyday Activist - Shift (BMBFF 2016)

Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 at 05:00 PM

Shift (BMBFF 2016)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

Winner at Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016: People's Choice Award

The audience choice award winner this year at the Banff Mountain Film Festival was a tight race, unlike last year where Unbranded was the clear favorite. I helped count the ballots and even after counting there wasn’t a clear winner, because the ballots have to be divided by the people who had the opportunity to watch the film. For me, because I spend so much time in the Yukon, I was happy with this year’s selection. Shift talks about integrating the aboriginal community with their tribal lands with a modern twist; instead of hunting, fishing and trapping, they are building world class bike trails in Carcross, Yukon.

Carcross is actually known for its sand desert with the mountain back drop, which you pass on your way from Whitehorse to Skagway, Alaska, a major cruise ship port. Behind the town is where the magic alchemy of aboriginal youth, exercise and employment takes place. For the casual observer, this seems like a great way to use the natural resources to benefit the community. With people coming from all over the world to ride trails in Carcross, the surrounding communities such as Whitehorse, where the airport is, also benefit; however, the elders often have a differing opinion. What I loved is that film mentioned that when the community of Carcross gets together they can work out their problems.

The positive experience that the aboriginal youth have working on these bike trails needs to be duplicated across the country. This is where healing begins with meaningful work, connection to their tribal lands and having fun with other young people. The documentary spent a lot of time interviewing the youth who actually build and maintain the trails year after year. Each year the new crew comes back stronger and more motivated to work hard.

Documentaries like Shift and Off the Rails, which was featured at CUFF.Docs 2016, herald a new era in documentary film making. Both films were made by first time Canadian film makers, Kelly Milner, an alumni from the Banff Film Makers Program and Adam Irving, respectively. They have been recognized in front of international audiences, Off the Rails making the Oscar long list. The new crop of up and coming directors care a lot about their communities and hard issues that we so often gloss over. Shift’s most endearing quality is its positive message, especially from a place where we almost always associate with tragedy, as aboriginal youth have high substance abuse and suicide rates.

Shift will be on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2016/17 #1 & #2 Schedule A which will take place in January at the University of Calgary Rosza Center. Tickets are already on sale and I recommend getting them quickly as they often sell out. 

Calgary Showtimes: Shift >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.