THESE extraordinary short films are the best from the annual prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival, held annually in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

Now in its ninth successful year, this world tour features 105 screenings in over 60 venues across the UK and Ireland, again packing out Christchurch Regent with fans of action sports, amazing cinematography, and adrenaline-fuelled danger.

Ranging from two to 42 minutes, these profound films are awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, and utterly inspirational.

A particular personal favourite is Brendan Leonard’s Ace And The Desert Dog, featuring 60-year-old photographer Ace Kvale and his delightful dog, exploring Utah’s canyon country and the moving relationship between man, dog and location.

Chillingly thrilling is Johanna, featuring tough Finnish free-diver Johanna Nordblad, holding the world record for a 50-meter-deep dive and swim under thick ice.

A much longer movie at 42 minutes, Benjamin Sadd’s Dugout, filmed in Ecuadoria, features a couple of young British artists living with the locals, learning how to build a huge wooden canoe and then sailing it down the dangerous Amazon.

Another favourite is Scott Hardesty’s Pedal, featuring Hera van Willick, a solo long-distance cyclist from Holland (where else?), travelling unsupported across forty-three countries via deserts, mountains and the Arctic.

All these short films are beautifully photographed, enjoy well-chosen sound tracks –funky to surreal, and feature real courageous people, not cosseted actors.

The unforgettable Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Christchurch Regent May 1.