NZ Mountain Film Festival Wanaka and Queenstown To - July 11
Film festivals aren't just reserved for the big cities. Capitalising on the allure of a white winter and an in-built enthusiasm for adrenalin-pumping sports, the Mountain Film Festival is an exciting showcase of nearly 70 adventure documentary films from around the world, about everything from base jumping to mountaineering to cycling.
In its 10th year, the Wanaka-based self-professed "adventurers' festival" (which also holds one day of screenings in Queenstown today) is the perfect vantage point from which to experience the wow of both our Earth's extreme beauty and the passion of those who get out in it. The films are an expert mix of stunning cinematography and gripping action.
Of the 68 entries, 18 are New Zealand-made films, many making their world premiere and some having already won awards. Bikes for Africa charts a Wanaka film-maker's attempt to help implement a self-sustainable bike workshop in rural Namibia with a container load of secondhand donated bikes. A Salt and Pepper Hikoi follows one man's 19-day solo trek through the Urewera and Whirinaki ranges, feeding himself entirely off the land (taking only salt and pepper). Of the international offering, one to catch is Race for the Nose, a 22-minute high-octane film showing professional climbers racing the clock as they scale the 1000m high El Capitan wall in Yosemite Valley, California. A route that usually takes three to four days is done in less than three hours – provided participants don't fall.
The festival is a terrific mix of watching movies and engaging with like-minded souls. There are workshops, art displays, live music, an adventure trade show, and the Adventure Film School, the world's only adventure film-editing competition. There's also the opportunity to listen to guest speakers, including legendary UK base jumper Tim Emmett and local adventurers Christine Byrch, Mal Haskins and Michael Archer.
A selection of the films will be screened in other centres including Greymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Taupo, Franz Josef and Nelson. Keep an eye on mountainfilm.net.nz for the festival programme and ticketing information.
- © Fairfax NZ News