Local master falconer Shawn Hayes will be guest speaker at 23rd annual event in Bishop
The 2017 Banff Film Festival tour will kick off in the Eastern Sierra on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. This is the 23rd year the festival has run in Bishop, and, as in years past, it features short films about outdoor recreation and the environment. Film topics include a winter traverse of Siberia, a runner’s tale of the Arizona Trail, three British Moms’ experiences navigating the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat, and a couple of guys who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in order to pick up hiker trash along the way.
This year’s festival will also feature a special guest speaker, local falconer Shawn Hayes. Hayes stars in the film, “The Perfect Flight.” The film, produced by the San Francisco-based firm Speculative Films, features imagery of Hayes practicing falconry in the Eastern Sierra.
Hayes has lived in the Eastern Sierra since 1983, and is a master falconer. He first discovered falconry when he was 8 years old, living in Riverside, California, out of a fascination with the raptors that populated his urban landscape. “I was fortunate enough to live in an area where I was able to see raptors in city parks, mountainous areas outside the city, and river basins,” said Hayes in an interview.
Hayes said he has always been fascinated by birds and how they interact with the landscape. In the teaser for the “The Perfect Flight,” he calls falconry “a way of life.” Hayes said that falconry is not just a hobby or a sport, and becoming a master falconer requires years of training that often includes an apprenticeship.