2011 Banff Mountain Film Competition Winners

Grand Prize

Cold

The Banff Centre Award for Creative Excellence

The Wolf and the Medallion

Best Film — Exploration and Adventure

Kadoma

Best Film — Mountain Culture

The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom

Best Film — Mountain Environment

SPOIL

Best film — Climbing

Cold

Best Film — Mountain Sports

The Freedom Chair

Best Film — Mountain Wildlife and Natural History

Broken Tail

Best Short Mountain Film

Chasing Water

Best Feature-Length Mountain Film

All.I.Can

People’s Choice Award

On the Trail of Genghis Khan

People’s Choice Award for Radical Reels

Reel Rock: Race for the Nose

Audio Post-Production Scholarship

Cold

Special Jury Mention

Journey on the Wild Coast

Required*

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival

 


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Complete list of 2011 film entries

  • Grand Prize

    Sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op $4,000
     

    Cold

    Producer / Director: Anson Fogel
    Forge Motion Pictures (USA)

    From the film Cold © Forge Motion Pictures

    Experience Gasherbrum II in the middle of a deep, dark winter, as seen from the raw, honest perspective of alpinist and photographer Cory Richards. The film deftly captures the interweaving of pain, doubt, and fear — and reveals a harrowing descent that amplifies the isolation and exposure.


    “ First, we want to congratulate all the filmmakers. It’s very competitive out there and you should know that if you’re in this Festival you’re already a winner. Jurying is a tough task. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that there’s been a lot of discussion and debate throughout the week. When it came to the grand prize we all agreed. We are awed by this film: its sensitivity, humility, great storytelling and technical achievement.”

    — 2011 Jury member Jacki Ochs

  • The Banff Centre Award
    for Creative Excellence

    Provided by The Banff Centre (approximate in-kind value of $10,000)
     

    The Wolf and the Medallion

    Producer / Director: Jeremy Collins (USA)

    From the film The Wolf and the Medallion © Jeremy Collins

    A father writes home to his four-year-old son from the summit of a new climb on the China-Mongolia border, to teach him life lessons and invite him to run from a life of complacency.


    “In the category of creative excellence the jury selected a film that stood out for its originality and impressed us with its artistry. It combines compelling footage with animation and is driven by a genuine personal motivation. A climbing film with heart.”

    — 2011 Jury member Tracey Friesen

  • Best Film — Exploration and Adventure

    Sponsored by Nemo $2,000
     

    Kadoma

    Producer / Director: Ben Stookesberry
    Clear H20 Films (USA)

    From the film Kadoma © Clear H20 Films

    “Kadoma” is the nickname for Hendri Coetzee, a legendary South African kayaker known for exploring some of Africa’s wildest rivers. In December 2010, American pro kayakers Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesberry followed Coetzee on a first descent of Africa’s Lukuga River, where seven weeks later, tragedy struck.


    “The definition of exploration is facing the unknown with courage and integrity. The winning film this category has plenty of both. From the suspenseful opening scene, through its strong character development, to its final tragic conclusion, this haunting film simply stays with you.”

    — 2011 Jury member Tracey Friesen

  • Best Film — Mountain Culture

    Sponsored by Icebreaker Merino Products $2,000
     

    The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom

    Producer / Director: Ritu Sarin
    White Crane Films (Canada)

    From the film The Sun Behind the Clouds © White Crane Films

    A uniquely Tibetan perspective on the complicated forces tugging at the Dalai Lama and his people. The filmmakers had intimate access to the Dalai Lama, following him for an eventful year and finding him caught between peaceful solutions and the impatience of a younger generation.


    “ These filmmakers have taken a gut-wrenching and complex political topic, and crafted a clear, thoughtful, heartfelt and masterfully balanced portrait of a divided culture’s struggle to survive. We learn so much because we, the audience, are allowed to think for ourselves.”

    — 2011 Jury member Jacki Ochs

  • Best Film — Mountain Environment

    Sponsored by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative $2,000
     

    SPOIL

    Producer / Director: Trip Jennings
    EP Films (USA)

    From the film SPOIL © EP Films

    Photographers join the Gitga’at First Nation on the west coast of British Columbia in an attempt to photograph the elusive spirit bear with the help of a local guide who is deeply connected to the bear and its environment, a place threatened by a proposed oil pipeline.


    “The winner in the category of best mountain environment film is timely and important. The imagery is gorgeous, story engaging and the stakes couldn’t be higher. That the film ends in pure magic is, well, perfect.”

    — 2011 Jury member Tracey Friesen

  • Best Film — Climbing

    Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada $2,000
     

    Cold

    Producer / Director: Anson Fogel
    Forge Motion Pictures (USA)

    From the film Cold © Forge Motion Pictures

    Experience Gasherbrum II in the middle of a deep, dark winter, as seen from the raw, honest perspective of alpinist and photographer Cory Richards. The film deftly captures the interweaving of pain, doubt, and fear — and reveals a harrowing descent that amplifies the isolation and exposure.


    “Mountains teach a climber humility. They are an arena of boundless emotions and the loneliness of man in the face of nature’s power can be frightening. The icy hand of God seizes our hearts and ignites the will to survive in conditions where no one has the right to exist. As U2 once said ‘through the storm we reach the shore.’”

    — 2011 Jury member Jakub Broszko

  • Best Film — Mountain Sports

    Sponsored by Live Out There $2,000
     

    The Freedom Chair

    Producer / director: Mike Douglas
    Switchback Entertainment (Canada)

    From the film The Freedom Chair © Switchback Entertainment

    Josh Dueck was an aspiring skier and coach until a ski accident in 2004 changed his life. Despite his comeback, and success in the world of competitive sit-skiing, Josh’s dream is to tackle the backcountry and the steepest and wildest mountains in the world.


    “The mountain sport award goes to the best film featuring any mountain sport except climbing, which of course is its own category. This year’s winner exemplifies the sheer power of will and passion. Its spirit is infectious and leads all of us to look inside ourselves and dig deeper to find meaning in our lives and to pursue our dreams, no matter what hurdles we might have to surmount.”

    — 2011 Jury member Chris Davenport

  • Best Film — Mountain Wildlife and Natural History

    Sponsored by Bowmore Single Malt Whisky $2,000
     

    Broken Tail

    Producer / Director: John Murray
    Crossing the Line Productions (Ireland)

    From the film Broken Tail © Crossing the Line Productions

    In the process uncovering the story of the last wild tigers on earth, one of the world’s leading wildlife cameramen travels through the mountains of India on a personal pilgrimage, piecing together the last journey of Broken Tail, a charismatic tiger cub.


    “ In this film we are presented with a mystery, the passion of one man’s lifework, and wonderfully intimate wildlife photography. The artful combination of these elements sweep us along through landscape and rural culture to the heart of the matter, our responsibility and need to preserve species other than our own.”

    — 2011 Jury member Jacki Ochs

  • Best Short Mountain Film

    Sponsored by The North Face $2,000
     

    Chasing Water

    Producer / Director: Peter McBride (USA)

    From the film Chasing Water © Peter McBride

    Pete McBride grew up on a ranch in Western Colorado, a child of the Colorado River. After a life spent visiting other countries to tell stories as a National Geographic photojournalist, in 2008 Pete decided to follow the water from his family’s ranch to see where it ends up. This is a story about the lifeblood of the American west.


    “…a film that tells a deeply personal story of a man’s journey of discovery. His simple question delicately expands into a broader issue, delivering a strong and sensible awareness on nature preservation. This film succeeds thanks to perfect mastering of the art of story-telling.”

    — 2011 Jury Member Chris Davenport

  • Best Feature-Length Mountain Film

    Sponsored by Town of Banff $2,000
     

    All.I.Can

    Producer: Malcolm Sangster
    Directors: Dave Mossop, Eric Crosland
    Sherpas Cinema (Canada)

    From the film All.I.Can © Sherpas Cinema

    Takes riders around the world, contemplating whether skiing and boarding have a role to play in protecting the environment. The film strives to unite global mountain cultures, and encourages us to be the leaders of the revolution.


    “The mountain feature award goes to the best mountain or adventure film over 70 minutes in duration. When I first saw the work of these film makers a few years ago I knew they were on to something. This year’s winner has continued to evolve and excel in cinematography, taking over two years to shoot this film on six continents. By combining thought provoking issues with mind-blowing action, this film captures the essence of big mountain skiing as it exists today.”

    — 2011 Jury member Chris Davenport

  • People’s Choice Award

    Sponsored by V.I.O. $2,000
     

    On the Trail of Genghis Khan

    Producer: Richard Dennison
    Director: Tim Cope
    Orana Nomad Pty Ltd. (Australia)

    From the film On the Trail of Genghis Khan © Tim Cope

    On an epic journey of truly historic proportions, Australian Tim Cope, his band of horses, and his pup Tigon travel overland 10,000 km from Mongolia to Hungary following the footsteps of legendary warrior and nomad Genghis Khan. Camping on the high plains, traversing ice-capped mountains and treacherous deserts, shedding the sedentary life and drinking a lot of vodka in homes along the way, Cope visits distant parts of the world rarely seen, places on the cusp of modernity yet proud of their nomadic traditions. His humble spirit and dedication to the journey make him a welcome visitor at each stop, allowing unique access in to people’s lives. Cope’s stunning three-year journey is so chocked full of emotions, from fear and anger to love and compassion that his heartfelt and genuine passion for the journey will leave you open-hearted and inspired.

  • People’s Choice Award — Radical Reels

    Sponsored by The Banff Centre
     

    Reel Rock: Race for the Nose

    Director: Peter Mortimer
    Sender Films (USA)

    From the film Reel Rock: Race for the Nose © Sender Films

    Welcome to the wildest competition known to man — the speed record on the Nose route of El Capitan. For 50 years, the best climbers in the world have been one-upping each other on this massive granite monolith in Yosemite National Park, racing up 3,000 vertical feet in under three hours.

  • Audio Post-Production Scholarship

    Provided by The Banff Centre (approximate in-kind value of $10,000)
     

    Cold

    Producer / Director: Anson Fogel
    Forge Motion Pictures (USA)

    From the film Cold © Forge Motion Pictures

    Experience Gasherbrum II in the middle of a deep, dark winter, as seen from the raw, honest perspective of alpinist and photographer Cory Richards. The film deftly captures the interweaving of pain, doubt, and fear - and reveals a harrowing descent that amplifies the isolation and exposure.


    “The audio post production work for this film creates and seamlessly combines the big, harsh alpine environment with the intimate, claustrophobic, first-person story telling that makes it possible to truly see, hear, and feel Cold.”

    — Theresa Leonard, Director/Executive Producer for Audio in Film and Media,
    for Charlie Robinson, 2011 Audio award adjudicator

  • Special Jury Mention
     

    Journey on the Wild Coast

    Producer / Director: Greg Chaney
    Flaky Productions (USA)

    From the film Journey on the Wild Coast © Flaky Productions

    A young married couple with a passion for adventure turn their camera on themselves, even in their weakest moments, as they attempt to walk, paddle, and ski under their own power from Seattle to the Aleutians. Filmed over a period of a gruelling year, this film reveals the rugged beauty of the wild northwest coast of North America — and the true meaning of intrepid.


    “… a rather unique and off-beat film. The protagonists probably made this film the way they conducted their epic expedition… without thinking of what they were doing!  While this is not necessarily the way to make a good film, it certainly brought an authenticity and simplicity that moved the jury. More than an extreme winter adventure film, this film clebrates the ultimate life adventure… love.”

    — 2011 Jury Member Jacki Ochs