Press Release – Mountain Film Festival
NZ Mountain Film Festival 2015 – It’s a jungle out there.
Key Points: 2015 Programme Launched, Tickets on Sale & Grand Prize filmannounced.
The NZ Mountain Films Festival connects adventurers to audiences through the art of imagery, storytelling and filmmaking. This year is no exception as the Grand Prize winner takes viewers on a visceral journey to the depths of the Myanmar jungle, to the heights of what might be South East Asia’s highest summit and deep into unexpected and unprecedented cultural immersion. The official programme launch is scheduled for June 3rd when tickets officially go on sale.
The winner of the coveted Grand Prize in the 2015 NZ Mountain Film Festival goes to Myanmar: Bridges to Change. This film offers more than first expected as it tells a tale beyond the mountain climbing expedition first posed. Although the group of 7 climbers’, 5 Americans and 2 Burmese, principal goal was to ascend Gamlang Razi, they soon realize they are travelling through some of earths most untouched corners and connecting with some of humanity’s most remote and unaffected people. The team travel 300km on foot and stay with villagers along the way who have never seen westerners before. Myanmar, a nation just recently released from over 50 years of military rule, provides these adventurers an astoundingly unique glimpse at an untouched culture living in a hot, wet, creature-filled jungle environment. The award winning film offers an exceptional insight into this remarkable journey.
The festival’s keynote guest speaker Alex Honnold also features in a very distinct and special short film. In ‘El Sendero Luminoso’, Director Renan Ozturk captures Honnold at his best as he free-soloed a 2,500 foot big wall in El Portrero Chico, Mexico in a little over 3 hours. In true Honnold fashion there are some heart stopping scenes as well as a lighthearted edge to the journey. This short clip is a Festival must-see and features in both Wanaka and Queenstown. El Sendero Luminoso’ takes home the Best Short Film award for 2015.
Snow Sports enthusiasts will not be disappointed in the line up of skiing and snowboarding films at this years’ event. The winner of the Best Adventurous Sports and Lifestyles morphs elements of skiing with parachute flight in an action packed masterpiece called ‘The Unrideables: Alaska Range’. Director Derek Westerlund beautifully presents a fast paced speedriding adventure set in some of the most inaccessible, steep and remote Alaskan mountain ranges. Less than 10 years old, this sport requires athletes to combine high velocity and intensive aerial and skiing skills. The relatively new sport is fast, graceful, scary and captured wonderfully in this piece.
The Best Film on Mountain Culture takes a humbling look at the life and adventures of Jeff Lowe. ‘Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia’ tells the heart wrenching story of the dual challenges Lowe has faced, solo climbing Metanoia on the North Face of Eiger 20 years ago and more recently battling a debilitating
terminal disease. Director Jim Aikmen’s offers an insight into the parallels, the triumph and the mental and physical journey of both these undertakings. This story is poignant and touching.
Best Snow Sports film goes to Mica to Greenland. Inspired by a small, pixelated photo of an unknown peak in Greenland, a skier and a boarder plan the perfect expedition to this unidentified glacier in pursuit of Greenland’s most epic descent.
The festival will play over 70 films this year made by filmmakers from Iran, Brazil, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Russia, USA, Nepal and New Zealand. The full festival programme will be revealed on June 3rd online at the festival website where tickets can also be bought. mountainfilm.net.nz.