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Program Information

Adventure Filmmakers Workshop 2023

Adventure Filmmakers Workshop 2023. Photo by Rita Taylor. 


The Adventure Filmmakers Workshop is an exceptional chance for independent and emerging filmmakers to advance their skills under the guidance of two of the world’s premier and proven adventure filmmakers. During a jam-packed 10 days in the fall, participants will hone their craft, strengthen their skills, and network and mingle with fellow filmmakers, industry insiders, and decision-makers. 

This all takes place within the core of the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, where epic stories are told through the eyes of adventurers, authors, photographers, and filmmakers from around the globe. 

What does the program offer?

Workshop sessions will help participants sharpen their narrative, vision, organize their workflow, develop audio and editing techniques, and perfect their pitches. Our faculty promote an open, interactive, and creative atmosphere. 

We pack the days with hands-on practice, lively discussion, and brainstorming. We’ll welcome industry insiders as guest speakers, offering rare access to potential mentors, collaborators, sponsors, and backers. The workshop includes on-campus lodging and meals — all participants have to do is focus on their craft and soak up the inspiration.

Who should apply?

This workshop was designed for filmmakers. To get the most from the program, applicants should have a strong desire to take the next step in all aspects of their filmmaking, including pre-production, pitching, location skills, the handling of the edit, and distribution. Past participants have included elite athletes transitioning to filmmaking, adventurers wanting to expand to different media platforms, and established filmmakers wanting to break into the adventure genre. 

This program is aimed at those committed to filmmaking as a life choice. A strong knowledge of technical sound, camera, and editing is essential. Applicants are encouraged to focus on one specific film project they would like to develop and be prepared to share it with the group with a view to moving that idea into production in the near future. 

Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.


An indicative schedule is:

Arrival: Thursday October 24

Day 1 –  Friday October 25
Welcome, orientation
Introductions, group allocations, group and individual feedback
Film viewings and discussion: the good, the bad, and the ugly…

Day 2 – Saturday October 26
Anatomy of success: What makes a successful film?
Production development and planning before the camera rolls
Budgeting and funding options for distribution

Day 3 – Sunday October 27
The art of storytelling and narration
Storytelling resources 
Indigenous Guest Speaker – oral storytelling practices
Making the perfect pitch workshop
Technology, sound on location, and appreciating the mix
Post production sound and music

Day 4 – Monday October 28
Pitching workshop
Interviewing, and editing workflow
Secrets for staying organized for small and large projects
The black art of lighting

Day 5 – Tuesday October 29
Legal considerations; releases, talent, music and post-production
Social media 

Day 6 – Wednesday October 30
Group film project - Shoot Day! Get out there and get your film in the 'can'.

Day 7 – Thursday October 31
Editing and post-production; turn your 'rushes' into a finished film
Filmmakers have evening access to the VIP Screening Room at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival 

Day 8 – Friday November 1 
Filmmakers will have access to the VIP Screening Room at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival 
Attend workshops (tba)

Day 9 – Saturday November 2
Filmmakers will have access to the VIP Screening Room at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival 
Guest speakers (tba)

Day 10 –  Sunday November 3
Review participants' short films
Presentations from guest lecturers (tba)

Departure: Monday November 4

This schedule is subject to change and additions will be guided by the needs of participants.

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Technical Requirements

Camera - You are encouraged to bring a camera to the workshop. If accepted into the program, please indicate the brand and type of camera you would bring in your cover letter.  
Software - Experience in editing software such as Adobe Creative Suite-Premiere Pro or AVID are assets, but not required.

What's Included

Single Room Read more Close

Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

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Full Flex Meal Plan Read more Close

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay. Banff Centre can respond to most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is equivalent to $70 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

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Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Read more Close

Participants have access to the VIP screening room to view films and attend Festival workshops.

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Participant Resources Read more Close

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

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Group Seminars/Workshops Read more Close

Group seminars and workshops.

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Showcase Your Work Read more Close

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress.

Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Read more Close

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email or for more information or assistance.

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Gym Membership Read more Close

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Fees & Financial Assistance

You pay (fee after scholarship applied)
Total fee (Tuition, Accommodation and Meal Plan)
$4 368.00
Scholarship amount applied*
$3 444.00

Application fee: $65 for individuals or groups ($35 for applicants who identify as Indigenous). Application Fees are non-refundable.

*Scholarship of 100% is available and will be applied to cover tuition, and 50% is available to offset meals and accommodation costs.

Scholarship of 100% is available to Canadian Indigenous participants and will be applied to cover tuition, meals and accommodation costs.

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials. 

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre. View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


A one-page resume or CV describing professional education and achievements, including your most recent projects and your role in them, as well as where your films have been shown, and relevant academic, personal, and professional experience.

Cover Letter

In 500 words or less, explain both your background and your long-term goals as a filmmaker, and outline your current project. If you have requested a scholarship as part of your application, explain how this would benefit you. 

You are encouraged to bring a camera to the workshop. If accepted into the program, please indicate the brand and type of camera you would bring in your cover letter.  

Project Proposal

A 250-word pitch for the project you'd like to focus on during the program. Include the basic story line, what stage of development you are in, what kind of funding you require, and how this project is meaningful.


Please provide a URL link that showcases your work.

Learning Objectives

Provide a short summary of your learning goals for the program and how you hope to contribute to the workshop.

Financial Assistance

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, scholarships are available for this program. Be sure to complete the Financial Aid question to be eligible for financial assistance.


Adjudication is based on artistic merit, the potential impact of the program on artists’ practice and careers, project feasibility and the capacity of Banff Centre to help realize the project, and the project’s fit with Banff Centre’s values and strategic directions as described in its strategic plan. Banff Centre respects the need for artists to plan ahead for their visit; applicants will be notified as soon as adjudication is complete.

International Applicants

Banff Centre welcomes domestic and international applicants for this program. Please note, Banff Centre programs do not meet Canadian Student Visa eligibility requirements, you must obtain a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. Accepted individuals are responsible for identifying and complying with the immigration requirements to enter Canada as a visitor from their country of origin. Current wait times to receive a visa are much longer than normal, so applicants who require a Visitor Visa should check the current expected processing times prior to applying.


Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date.


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)