Hey adventure lovers! Buckle up because we’re about to spill the beans on the thrilling backstory of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival’s jaw-dropping signature image for 2023/ 2024. Get ready to be transported to the heart-stopping highline action featuring Hael Somma, courtesy of the talented photographer and filmmaker, Antoine Mesnage.
Now, we all know the Banff Festival never settles for the ordinary, and this year is no exception. Antoine’s snapshot of Hael Somma defying gravity on a highline in Chamonix, France, is the face of the 48th annual Festival and its epic World Tour – hitting screens in over 50 countries!
Picture this: a moody mountain backdrop at sunset, Hael Somma highlining in the Periades of the Mont Blanc range. Talk about an adrenaline-packed scene! The Festival organisers were on the lookout for an image that perfectly balanced the thrill of adventure with the breathtaking beauty of nature, and Antoine’s click nailed it.
This isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill adventure snapshot. The Festival received a flood of fantastic submissions, from crevasse-jumping skiers to ice climbers in the Rockies and Iceland, but the highlining masterpiece rose above them all. The selection team was captivated by the unique combination of the epic mountain setting and the sheer energy and excitement exuding from the photograph.
Antoine Mesnage, the man behind the lens, isn’t just your average photographer. He’s a thrill-seeker, a highliner, and a filmmaker living in Annecy, France. Mesnage’s passion for outdoor sports led him down the highlining rabbit hole over a decade ago, and he’s been on a quest to walk between any gap he could find ever since.
In his own words, “I was frustrated not to have amazing photos while rigging new lines with my friends, so I began taking pictures and making videos, and have slowly become a professional photographer.” Well, Antoine, your frustration has certainly paid off, because this signature image is nothing short of legendary!
The photo was taken during the filming of “Out of Frame,” directed by Jordan Manoukian. Mesnage and his team spent three intense days reaching, rigging, and opening a new highline in the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif. The result? A mind-blowing snapshot of Hael Somma suspended more than a hundred metres above the ground, surrounded by the majestic peaks of Mont Blanc.
Mesnage’s passion doesn’t stop at photography – he’s also a filmmaker. His directorial debut, “Arves en Ciel,” made waves as a finalist in the 2021 Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival and earned a spot on the World Tour. This guy is the real deal!
If you’re itching for more of Antoine Mesnage’s adventures, head over to his Instagram: @antoine.mesnage. Trust us; you won’t want to miss the behind-the-scenes action and breathtaking shots that define his life in the world of highlining and outdoor filmmaking.
If you missed hearing the story about the 2022/2023 signature image you can read all about it HERE two female aussie climbers made us proud in this one!
Mark your calendars for the Australian tour of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival hitting screens from May 2024! Secure early access to your tickets HERE– it’s sure to sell out fast.
Get ready to be inspired, amazed, and immersed in the spirit of outdoor exploration like never before!