2011 Banff Mountain Film Competition Grand Prize winner a visceral image of the world at 8,000m

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Banff, Alberta, November 14, 2011 -- Climber and adventure photographer Cory Richards is the first American to summit one of Pakistan’s 8,000m peaks in winter. His successful ascent of Gasherbrum II earlier this year, with climbing partners Simone Moro and Denis Urubko, was a spectacular alpine victory, sought by many other climbers over decades of attempts. But the footage Richards brought back in his small, hand-held camera showed the full story – the intense, shattering cold at altitude, the exhaustion and fear, and the sheer emotional highs and lows of the expedition. Filmmaker Anson Fogel took Richards’ footage and created Cold, a haunting and visceral film about the climb, which has won the Grand Prize at the 2011 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.  

“We were awed by this film,” says filmmaker and jury member Jacki Ochs of the Grand Prize winner, sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op, “its sensitivity, humility, great storytelling, and technical achievement.”  

Created 36 years ago, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The Festival showcases the world’s best films, books, and photographson mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment, exploration and adventure, and sport – and attracts the biggest names in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking, and extreme sports as presenters and speakers. More than 70 films were screened during the nine-day festival, and an international jury awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes in 12 categories.  

Category winners for the 2011 Banff Mountain Film Festival include:

The Banff Centre Award for Creative Excellence (provided by The Banff Centre)   The Wolf and the Medallion 
Producer / Director: Jeremy Collins (USA)   

Best Feature-length Mountain Film — Sponsored by Town of Banff   All.I.Can     
Producer: Malcolm Sangster, Director: Dave Mossop, Sherpas Cinema (Canada)

Best Film — Exploration and Adventure – Sponsored by Nemo  Kadoma   
Producer / Director: Ben Stookesberry, Clear H20 Films (USA)

Best Film — Mountain Culture – Sponsored by Icebreaker Merino Products  The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom    
Producer / Director: Ritu Sarin, White Crane Films (Canada)

Best Film — Mountain Environment – Sponsored by Y2Y Conservation Initiative  SPOIL   
Producer / Director: Trip Jennings, EP Films (USA)

Best Film — Climbing – Sponsored by Alpine Club of Canada  Cold    
Producer / Director: Anson Fogel, Forge Motion Pictures (USA)

Best Film — Mountain Sports – Sponsored by Live Out There   The Freedom Chair    
Producer / director: Mike Douglas, Switchback Entertainment (Canada)  

Best Film — Mountain Wildlife and Natural History – Sponsored by Bowmore Single Malt Whisky   Broken Tail     
Producer / Director: John Murray, Crossing the Line Productions

Best Short Mountain Film — Sponsored by The North Face   Chasing Water     
Producer: Anson Fogel, Director: Peter McBride (USA)

Special Jury Mention   Journey on the Wild Coast    
Producer / Director: Greg Chaney, Flaky Productions (USA)

People’s Choice Award — Sponsored by V.I.O.   On the Trail of Genghis Khan   
Producer: Richard Dennison, Director: Tim Cope (Australia)

People’s Choice Award for Radical Reels — Sponsored by The Banff Centre   Reel Rock: Race for the Nose
Producer: Nick Rosen, Director: Peter Mortimer, Sender Films (USA)  

The Audio Post-Production Award, chosen by Dolby Digital sound engineer Charlie Robinson, was given to Fogel as well, for Cold. The purpose of the award is to help filmmakers produce surround DVD soundtracks for their projects while helping The Banff Centre further its goals in audio education and quality sound. The award provides $10,000 in studio services and staff expertise in the Centre’s facilities.  

Jury members in 2011 included National Film Board of Canada executive producer Tracey Friesen; mountaineer Jakub Brzosko, artistic director, Meetings with Mountain Film in Zakopane, Poland; French film producer/distributor Manuel Catteau; Sundance Award-winning producer and educator, Jacki Ochs; and Colorado-based big-mountain skier, author, and photographer Chris Davenport.  

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About the Banff
Mountain Film and Book Festival:
 Created 40 years ago,
the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its
kind in the world. The Festival showcases the world’s best films, books and
photographs on mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment and natural history,
exploration and adventure, wildlife, and sport – and attracts the biggest names
in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking, and extreme sports as presenters and
speakers. More than 80 films screen during the nine-day festival, and an
international jury awards over $50,000 annually in prizes.  

About
The Banff Centre:
 The Banff Centre's mission is
inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders, and researchers from
across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre
every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides
them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make
the impossible possible. Moving forward, the Centre will disseminate the art
and ideas developed in Banff through initiatives in digital, web, radio, and
broadcast media.