Sir Edmund Hillary gets film fest love

Last updated 12:53 31/07/2013
Beyond the Edge
Beyond the Edge will make its debut at TIFF.

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Could Sir Edmund Hillary be due some Oscar love?

A movie that recreates his ascent of Everest with Tenzing Norgay will premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

New Zealand-based writer and director Leanne Pooley's  Beyond the Edge mixes archival footage and dramatic recreations so the audience can see the difficulties and details of the climb.

TIFF has been the launching pad for several Oscar-winning films, including The King's Speech and last year's Silver Lining Playbook.

Hillary's son, Peter, said the family was delighted the 3-D movie had been accepted for the festival.

"Ed Hillary was a remarkable character but he was an indelibly New Zealand character too, so this film speaks volumes about the attributes of our national psyche and our competitive and yet congenial personality," he said.

"The film is a fine tribute to the spirit of the man and selection for TIFF is a great fillip to the prospects of the film. We are very proud of this achievement."

Pooley said Hillary's climb was a wonderful opportunity for a film-maker to bring to life one of the great adventure tales of all time.

"Sir Ed's story comes with all the elements of an epic journey: personal sacrifice, high stakes, political intrigue, and extreme risk, all set in an extraordinary landscape," Pooley said.

"It is important to me that the audience really goes on this journey experiencing with the young Ed what it means to reach beyond what we know to be possible."

The film was financed by the New Zealand Film Commission in association with NZ On Air's Platinum Fund, TVNZ, Digifilm and Rialto Distribution.

It was produced by Matthew Metcalfe.

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