Film reaches festival peak
Tale of friendship wins prize
A film that follows two friends travelling a Slovakian ridgeline with more than 130 extreme peaks in winter has won the grand prize at this year’s New Zealand Mountain Film Festival.
Festival director Mark Sedon said the standard of submissions for this year’s festival was world class and the 74 films to be screened during the July festival were of the highest calibre seen in 12 years of the event.
The winning film Footprints on the Ridge took the viewer on a breathtaking journey along the Western, High, and Belianske Tatras in Slovakia, Sedon said.
‘‘The story follows two friends as they traverse the entire ridge alpine style, in winter, unsupported, in one single push.
‘‘The journey itself is incredible and this mammoth challenge is matched by stunning cinematography and a mindboggling effort by both the filmmakers and the adventurers.’’
Slovakian filmmakers Alena Koscova and Palo Baraba´ sˇ accepted the accolade with appreciation and fond memories of the perils of capturing the footage.
Koscova said they spent several days in the saddles, ridges and peaks freezing to make some pictures of the two friends in harsh conditions.
‘‘It was an extraordinary experience to be there and to see how strong friendship and will power can be.’’
The best snow sports film was Mission Antarctic directed by Swiss Guido Perrini and following extreme snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue, on a small boat on his search to find steep, unridden terrain in the Antarctic.
It revealed ‘‘adventure, travel, friendship and exploration, within a quest to snowboard in an obscure land,’’ Sedon said.
The Last Great Climb by United Kingdom director Alastair Lee was awarded this year’s best film on climbing.
Also an Antarctic adventure, it followed a team attempting to climb what seems like the impossible, a remote spire in Queen Maud Land.
Seven New Zealand finalists were vying for the prestigious Hiddleston/ MacQueen Award and $1000 in prize money for the best New Zealand-made film.
The films will be screened at the Festival in Wanaka where a winner will be chosen.
From 17 entries Lachlan Humphreys, Jase Hancox, David Walden, Tim Pierce all of Wanaka along with Guillaume Charton, of Queenstown, Blair Trotman and Aaron Smart have made it into the final round.
The best film on adventurous sports and lifestyles went to The Cave Connection – Into the Unknown, a story set in New Zealand’s deep unexplored caves systems.
The best short film went to 35, a story of a unique way to celebrate your 35th birthday and the best
The friendship of Adam Kadlecik and Miso Sabovcik takes centre stage in Footprintsonthe film on mountain culture and environment went to High Tension, a dramatic story of conflict high on Mt Everest.
The award winning films would be accompanied by a blend of environmental, cultural and social films, all linked with the common theme of adventure, to make up this year’s festival programme. ◗ This year’s programme is officially released today with ticket sales opening via: mountainfilm.net.nz.
The climb: A scene for the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival’s grand prize winning film FootprintsontheRidge.