Mysterious Mamberamo Wins Grand
Prize at Banff
Mountain Film Festival
Mysterious Mamberamo, a film that tells a compelling
story about the difficult and dangerous journey by two travellers into unknown and
sometimes hostile territory in Irian Jaya, is the Grand Prize winner of the 2000 Banff
Mountain Film Festival. The announcement was made on Sunday, November 5 as the 25th
anniversary festival drew to a close.
The winning Slovakian film was directed and
produced by Pavol Barabas. The Grand Prize award of $4,000 was co-sponsored by the Banff
Centre for Management and Eagle Creek Travel Gear.
"Mysterious Mamberamo depicts a
long and desperate journey over a tropical mountain amongst people never seen before by
outsiders," says jury member Gretel Ehrlich. "A bold, raw, quiet window into a
"The film captures the pure essence of
adventure filmmaking," adds jury member Roger Vernon. "Its a solidly woven
documentary that successfully draws the viewer into the jungle."
Film festival international jury members included: Arlene
Burns (U.S.A.), Mireille Chiocca (France), Giorgio Daidola (Italy), Gretel Ehrlich
(U.S.A.), and Roger Vernon (Canada). They selected the grand prize winner from 40
finalists in six categories. A pre-screening committee chose the finalists from 213
entries representing 24 countries.
Other 2000 Banff Mountain Film Festival winners include:
Alpine Club of Canada Award for Best Film
on Climbing: $2000 sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada
Annapurna, l'histoire d'une légende
History of a Conquest)
Director: Bernard George, Producer: Luc Martin-Gousset
On the 50th anniversary of Maurice Herzogs first
ascent of Annapurna, this film approaches the adventure from a new point of view
that of the historian.
"A strong and engaging
documentary," says jury member Mireille Chiocca. "This film is a fine analysis
of an exploit that afterwards became a national event in France. The filmmaker has
explored the very different motivation of the Annapurna climbers with exactitude and
Best Film on Mountain Culture: $2000
sponsored by Petzl America
The Saharas Secret Garden
Director: Gauthier Flauder, Producer: Manuel Catteau
This film travels to northern Chad, in the
heart of the Sahara Desert, where a forgotten mountain massif shelters a flora and fauna
of breathtaking beauty in its secret canyons.
"A perfect cocktail of respect for
history, culture, true sense of discovering and exploration," says jury member
Best Film on Mountain Sports: $2000 sponsored by
Shishapangma A Celebration of Life
Producers: Michael Brown, Claude Merkel, Kara Klein, Cherie Silvera, Executive
producer: John Wilcox
This celebration of life in the mountains
follows a trip to climb and ski on Shishapangma in Tibet. Tragically, Dave Bridges and
Alex Lowe were lost in an avalanche on this expedition.
"The film captures the
expeditions social dynamics and enables us to understand the climbers
invigoration and celebration of expedition life," says jury member Arlene Burns.
Best Film on Mountain Environment: $2000 sponsored
by Canadian Mountain Holidays
Director/Producer: Rob Harrison-White
In the mountains of South Africa, black
eagles must compete with their age-old rival, the caracal, who hunts the same prey. This
is the true story of their desperate struggle to survive.
"This fine example of wildlife
filmmaking exhibits the great patience required to photograph such challenging
species," says jury member Roger Vernon.
Best Short Mountain Film (15 minutes or
less): $2000 sponsored by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture
Directors: Didier Lafond, Dominique Perret, Producer: Vertical Zoo
Dominique Perrets time-travelling
ancestor takes a trip to the Film Library of planet Earth, where she relives a Y2K ski
"This futuristic approach
reminds us of how special the fluid dance down the vertical white world is, and how much
we would truly lose if all the snow melted," says jury member Arlene Burns.
"Beautiful skiing footage with a unique perspective."
Best Feature-length Mountain Fiction Film:
$2000 sponsored by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture
Premier de cordée and La
Directors: Pierre-Antoine Hiroz, Edouard Niermens, Producer: Dominique Rappaz,
Production Companies: Gaumont TV, J.M. Henchoz Prod., RAI, F2, TSR
Based on the classic Roger Frison-Roche
novel, La grande crevasse, these two films tell a story of bravery, tragedy,
loyalty and love in the community of Chamonix at the end of the 30s.
"Beautifully filmed and full of
beautiful heroines, these are brilliant films that weave in a variety of issues that haunt
the mountain life," says jury member Arlene Burns.
Special Jury Awards
The Dizzy Heights Knights
Directors: Fulvio Mariani, Gianluigi Quarti, Producer: Krysia Binek, Rebus; TSI
The three peaks of Lavaredo, in the
Dolomites, feature the largest concentration of impressive overhangs in the Alps. Here,
two climbers, Hugo Weber and Albin Schelbert, recall a competition that brought together
top alpinists in an exciting challenge with an unexpected twist.
"This film exhibits wonderful
storytelling in a humorous way, using archival footage and modern perspective by the old
characters who, urged by local pride and a fair dose of testosterone, wanted to be the
first to set routes on their local cliffs," says jury member Arlene Burns.
Yosemite Ascending Rhythm
Directors/Producers: Sterling Johnson, Ron Kauk
An elegant and poetic look at the art of
rock climbing filmed in Yosemite, featuring world-renowned rock climber Ron Kauk, with
Lynn Hill, Steph Davis, Dean Potter and Jerry Moffat.
"A beautifully photographed film.
Its evident that the filmmakers spent many hours looking for the best places to
shoot in the best conditions," says jury member Roger Vernon.
Peoples Choice Award: $2000
sponsored by The Hostel Shop, Calgary, Alberta
A Higher Calling
Director/Producer: Neal Michaelis
This film tells the story of six friends, whose goal is to fly cross-country
together in western Nepal. Finding launches and landings develops into a daily routine,
and the paragliders become vehicles into Nepalese culture as the group experiences instant
immersion upon landing.