2012 Banff Mountain Film Competition Winners

Grand Prize

Crossing the Ice

Best Film — Exploration and Adventure

Crossing the Ice

Best Film — Mountain Culture

Nomadic Nights

Best Film — Mountain Environment

Hell’s Miners of Potosi

Best film — Climbing

REEL Rock 7: Honnold 3.0

Best Film — Mountain Sports

1st Afghan Ski Challenge

Best Short Mountain Film

REEL Rock 7: Wide Boyz

Best Feature-Length Mountain Film

Ready to Fly

Best Film — Mountain Wildlife and Natural History

Untamed Americas: Mountains

People’s Choice Award

Crossing the Ice

People’s Choice Award for Radical Reels

REEL Rock 7: La Dura Dura

Dolby Audio Scholarship

Of Souls + Water: The Shapeshifter

The Banff Centre Award for Creative Excellence

Petzl RocTrip China

Special Jury Mention

Industrial Revolutions

Special Jury Mention

Gone Curling

Required*

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival

 


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Complete list of 2012 film entries

  • Grand Prize

    Sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op | $4,000
     

    Crossing the Ice

    (2012, Australia, 44 minutes)
    Director: Justin Jones
    Producer: Justin Jones, Greg Quail, Doug Howard
    Production Company: Quail Television

    From the film Crossing the Ice

    Australian adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, dare to tackle the perilous journey across Antarctica to the South Pole and back again, completely unassisted — just two men dragging their food and shelter across 1140 kilometres of barren ice. Many have tried;, all have failed. After much planning and preparation, Cas and Jonesy arrive to tackle one of the last great Antarctic odysseys, but discover an eerie similarity to Captain Scott’s race to the South Pole: there’s a Norwegian on the ice. He’s more experienced, he’s tackling the same record, and he has a head start.


    “We found the humour and humanity in the face of incredible adversity an important element in this film. What could have become a competition, evolved into a greater example of camaraderie and friendship — reflecting the true spirit of the Banff Mountain Festival. ”

    — 2012 Jury member Tommy Heinrich

  • Best Film — Exploration and Adventure

    Sponsored by Nemo | $2,000
     

    Crossing the Ice

    (2012, Australia, 44 minutes)
    Director: Justin Jones
    Producer: Justin Jones, Greg Quail, Doug Howard
    Production Company: Quail Television

    From the film Crossing the Ice

    Australian adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, dare to tackle the perilous journey across Antarctica to the South Pole and back again, completely unassisted — just two men dragging their food and shelter across 1140 kilometres of barren ice. Many have tried — all have failed. After much planning and preparation, Cas and Jonesy arrive to tackle one of the last great Antarctic odysseys, but discover an eerie similarity to Captain Scott’s race to the South Pole: there’s a Norwegian on the ice. He’s more experienced, he’s tackling the same record, and he has a head start.


    “The category for Best Film on Exploration and Adventure had plenty of excellent contenders, but there was one film that shone above the rest. Crossing the Ice encapsulates the true spirit of adventure that this award was designed to embrace. This is a film with perfect story telling featuring incredible characters — a 'bro-mance'. It’s a story that conveyed unbridled enthusiasm, humour, and heartbreak created by the filmmakers and the loveable lunatics who walked unaided across Antarctica to the South Pole and back.”

    — 2012 Jury member Dale Templar

  • Best Film — Mountain Culture

    Sponsored Bow Valley Power | $2,000
     

    Nomadic Nights

    (2012, France, 90 minutes)
    Director / Producer: Marianne Chaud
    Production Company: ZED — Zoo Ethnological Documentary, Arte France Cinema

    From the film Nomadic Nights

    This could be Tundrup’s last migration, the end of his nomadic life on the high plateau of the Himalaya. He and his family will have to decide whether to sell their herd and abandon their lands as so many others have done before them, or stay in Karnak. Where will they be happiest? Director Marianne Chaud lived for months amongst these nomads, capturing their words and gestures to create unusually intimate portraits. The film's magic builds slowly as individual musings become universal questions.


    “The film we chose for this category was a beautifully filmed, observational film with a strong, deep sense of people and place. The filmmaker built a remarkable trust with her subjects, and their conversations demonstrated at once a specificity and universality of human experience.”

    — 2012 Jury member Cindy Witten

  • Best Film — Mountain Environment

    Sponsored by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative | $2,000
     

    Hell’s Miners of Potosi

    (2010, France, 52 minutes)
    Director: Jean Queyrat
    Producer: Manuel Catteau, Jean Queyrat, Jérôme Segur
    Production Company: ZED — Zoo Ethnological Documentary, Arte France Cinema

    From the film Hell's Miners of Potosi

    Located in the Potosi Mountains of Bolivia, Cerro Rico is known as the highest and most dangerous silver mines in the world. Rumour has it that the mines have killed eight million men, either by accident or illness, over the past 500 years. Proud of his miner’s destiny, 22-year-old Eduardo, is ready to embrace the risky life of a Potosi worker, but also dreams of a better life with his girlfriend, far from his daily reality. A gripping story of fear and despair, we’re asked to consider a different view of mountain life, not one of the joys of ascent, but one where the horrors of burrowing down into the belly of a mountain come to light. Hell’s Miners of Potosi will send shivers down your spine but have you cheering for a young man’s dreams.


    “This film provides an alternative and sometimes disturbing view of a mountain environment. It captures the visceral and claustrophobic conditions inside a mountain and gives a real insight into the lives of thousands of miners in Bolivia. The cinematography leaves the audience gasping for breath and we commend the risks the crew took filming in such dangerous and difficult conditions.”

    — 2012 Jury member Kathryn Bonnici

  • Best Film — Climbing

    Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada | $2,000
     

    REEL Rock 7: Honnold 3.0

    (2012, USA, 33 minutes)
    Directors/Producers: Peter Mortimer, Josh Lowell, Alex Lowther, Nick Rosen
    Production Company: Sender Films, BigUp Productions

    From the film REEL ROCK 7: Honnold 3.0

    Alex Honnold is a bit of an enigma. He’s become known as the boldest soloist of his generation, but how does he balance pure ambition with self-preservation? Honnold wrestles with this question in preparation for his biggest adventure yet — the Yosemite Triple.


    “With so many great films, the climbing category was very hard to evaluate. Reel Rock 7: Honnold 3.0 rose above all else with its great imagery, editing, and storytelling. It is gripping, and made our hands sweat, most likely yours too. It is a simple portrait of a young man who keeps breaking unimaginable boundaries over and over.”

    — 2012 Jury member Tommy Heinrich

  • Best Film — Mountain Sports

    Sponsored by Live Out There | $2,000
     

    1st Afghan Ski Challenge

    (2011, Switzerland, 17 minutes)
    Director: Hans-Urs Bachmann
    Producer: Alec Wohlgroth
    Production Company: HalsundBeinbruch Film

    From the film 1st Afghan Ski Challenge

    In a quiet corner of this conflicted country, gutsy first-time skiers learn to ski through trial by fire! Racing with a true spirit of camaraderie, they take part in the first-ever downhill racing competition in Afghanistan.


    “This was a very competitive category with a great range of strong films. In the end, we chose a story about a gutsy group of first time skiers in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. It is funny and full of great characters. It is about giving back… and turns everything we thought we knew about the place on its head.”

    — 2012 Jury member Cindy Witten

  • Best Short Mountain Film

    Sponsored by The North Face | $2,000
     

    REEL Rock 7: Wide Boyz

    (2012, USA, 12 minutes)
    From the feature film directed and produced by Paul Diffley & Chris Alstrin
    Director/Producer: Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell
    Production Company: Sender Films, BigUp Productions

    From the film REEL ROCK 7: Wide Boyz

    Meet UK off-width crack climbing specialists Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall who train hard and play harder. Wide Boyz is about suffering in a dodgy Sheffield basement, the ethics of style, and big payoffs in the Southwestern US.


    “The Best Short Mountain Film award goes to a film with two of the most charming, talented, tenacious, oddball Brits you’re ever going to meet. Their giddy enthusiasm is infectious, their never-say-die attitude is inspiring, and their training methods are just peculiar.”

    — 2012 Jury member David Brenner

  • Best Feature-Length Mountain Film

    Sponsored by Town of Banff | $2,000
     

    Ready to Fly

    (2012, USA, 76 minutes)
    Director: William A. Kerig
    Producer: Scott Zeller, William A. Kerig
    Production Company: Salt Mine Storyworks

    From the film Ready to Fly

    Full of pluck and determination, a woman battles massive obstacles not only to achieve her dream, but also to help change the world for other women. The triumphant story of Lindsey Van and her women's ski jumping family takes us along on their 15-year fight to achieve gender equality in the Olympic Winter Games. An emotional journey with more ups and downs than a ski jumping competition itself, Ready To Fly will have you cheering wildly.


    “This was probably the hardest category to judge, but in the end, one film overwhelmed us with its superb storytelling, inspiring characters and — most importantly — had the judges cheering at the finish. The filmmakers spent years following this story, the pacing was spot on, and the images simply beautiful.”

    — 2012 Jury member Kathryn Bonnici

  • Best Film — Mountain Wildlife and Natural History

    Sponsored by ExOfficio | $2,000
     

    Untamed Americas: Mountains

    (2011, USA, 48 minutes)
    Producer: Karen Bass, James Byrne, Erin Reuss
    Executive Producer: Jonathan Halperin
    Production Company: National Geographic Television

    Magnificent cinematography delivers an epic view of the geography and wildlife along the longest mountain chain on earth — from Alaska through the Rockies, and on to the Andes. Yet, it’s so intimate that we see individual hairs on the ears of the bighorn sheep and might even feel their breath as they prepare to do battle during rutting season. We share the wolf’s frustration as he strikes out over and over while chasing caribou across miles of uneven terrain. More spectacular wildlife footage you may never see!


    “This award goes to a film that grabbed us by the tooth and the claws right from the first few minutes. It’s a natural history film with real drama and pace, a stunning sound track, and compelling stories. All this topped by stunning photography filmed by patient and truly dedicated natural history camera operators. The Americas - wild and untamed like you've never seen them before.”

    — 2012 Jury member Dale Templar

  • People’s Choice Award

    Sponsored by Buff | $2,000
     

    Crossing the Ice

    (2012, Australia, 44 minutes)
    Director: Justin Jones
    Producer: Justin Jones, Greg Quail, Doug Howard
    Production Company: Quail Television

    From the film Crossing the Ice

    Australian adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, dare to tackle the perilous journey across Antarctica to the South Pole and back again, completely unassisted — just two men dragging their food and shelter across 1140 kilometres of barren ice. Many have tried;, all have failed. After much planning and preparation, Cas and Jonesy arrive to tackle one of the last great Antarctic odysseys, but discover an eerie similarity to Captain Scott’s race to the South Pole: there’s a Norwegian on the ice. He’s more experienced, he’s tackling the same record, and he has a head start.

  • People’s Choice Award — Radical Reels

    Sponsored by Bergans of Norway |$2,000
     

    REEL Rock 7: La Dura Dura

    (2012, USA, 27 minutes)
    Director / Producer: Josh Lowell, Brett Lowell, Peter Mortimer, Alex Lowther, Nick Rosen
    Production Company: BigUp Productions, Sender Films

    From the film REEL ROCK 7: La Dura Dura

    Chris Sharma vs. Adam Ondra. This is a tale of two rock climbing superstars each using their own methods in a gentlemen’s battle for the first ascent of Catalunya’s La Dura Dura, which was to be the world’s first 5.15c.

  • Dolby Audio Scholarship

    Sponsored by Dolby | in-kind services at The Banff Centre $10,000
     

    Of Souls + Water: The Shapeshifter

    (2012, USA, 6 minutes)
    Director: Skip Armstrong
    Producer: Anson Fogel
    Forge Motion Pictures

    From the film Of Souls + Water: The Shapeshifter

    The supernatural... does it exist? Featured in artful cinematography, legendary white-water kayaker Ben Marr shreds waves in some of Quebec’s most notorious rapids.


    “This film stood out for its unconventional approach to sport film audio. The voice, sound design, and music interact with imagery to create a surreal interpretation of the power of nature and the thrill of sport.”

    — 2012 Jury member Charlie Robinson

  • The Banff Centre Award
    for Creative Excellence

    Sponsored by The Banff Centre | in-kind value $10,000
     

    Petzl RocTrip China

    (2012, France, 23 minutes)
    Director: Vladimir Cellier, Julien Nadiras, Guillaume Broust
    Production Company: Petzl

    From the film Petzl RocTrip China

    Being stuck in traffic has never seemed so enchanting! A superb soundtrack of traditional music takes us to a remarkable spot that offers climbers from all over the world no fewer than 250 pitches on delicious limestone walls.


    “The Banff Centre Award for Creative Excellence goes to a film that can best be described as an outrageous panoply of rhythm, music, jaw-dropping visuals, mischievously clever effects, laugh-out silliness, and a sheer, unbridled love for the sport of climbing that transcends race, culture, age, and gender. This film is utterly unique and a joy to behold.”

    — 2012 Jury member David Brenner

  • Special Jury Mention
     

    Industrial Revolutions

    (2011, UK, 5 minutes)
    Director: Stu Thomson
    Producer: Mike Christie
    Production Company: A Cut Media Production for Renegade Films

    From the film Industrial Revolutions

    World renowned trials rider Danny MacAskill is at it again — only this time he uses an abandoned ironworks as his playground!


    “This Special Jury Mention is for a film that takes us on a whimsical jaunt through the past. It is joyful…beautifully shot and impeccably edited. The music is pretty cool too.”

    — 2012 Jury member Cindy Witten

  • Special Jury Mention
     

    Gone Curling

    (2011, New Zealand, 25 minutes)
    Director/Producer: Rachael Patching, Roland Kahurangi

    A zealous cast of disparate — and utterly charming — characters bound together by their love of outdoor curling, attempt to uphold the sport. But a changing climate in the highlands of New Zealand could mean that outdoor rinks may soon become a thing of the past.


    Gone Curling, awarded a Special Jury Mention, was quirky, unexpected…and a heartfelt homage to a sport from times gone by. It also featured the best hats of any film we saw!”

    — 2012 Jury member Cindy Witten