Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NZ Mountain Film Festival

NZ Mountain Film Festival’s film makers competition closes.
The 2010 NZ Mountain Film Festival’s film makers competition closed on June 2nd with 75 entries from film makers in places as far away as Brazil, Peru, India, Europe, Russia and the USA with another 6/7 late entries expected this week. “The number of entries is less than last year” says Mark Sedon, the festival Director, “but the quality is far higher and our ‘throw out’ box is very small” he continues. Especially noticeable is the level and number of NZ made films. There are several vying for the top prize of $1000 and the Hiddleston/MacQueen Award. A group of local film enthusiasts will help pick the best NZ made film later this week and together with the 40 or so other film finalists, will be screened at the festival from July 2nd to 6th in Wanaka.
The speaker lineup is the biggest ever with four keynote speakers and five workshop speakers. Will Gadd is coming all the way from Canada just to do a talk at this year's festival. Will is a prominent Canadian ice climber and paraglider pilot. He formerly held the paragliding world distance record, with a flight of 423 km. His talk is titled "Canada Exposed" and features: Ice, rock, rivers, clouds, grizzly bears and some other stuff from the last 30 years of non-stop Canadian adventures. Pictures, videos, comics, profanity and attempted profundity, high and low humor and generally good entertainment. 
Also visiting Wanaka during the festival is Adrian Lang from Australia talking on his trip to the Karakoram Range in Pakistan with his Wanaka mates Bruce Dowrick, Jon Sedon and Scott Standen for some high altitude rock climbing. Their audacious goal was an all free first ascent up a remote 1000m high granite pillar. In his video and photo presentation Adrian takes us into a spectacular region of the Karakoram to experience their highs and lows of the trip, and their ultimate success in establishing a ground-up all free ascent with difficulties up to grade 25 at altitudes above 5000m. 
Kylie Wakelin from Twizel became the first Kiwi woman to ski all the way to the South Pole with six other members of the Commonwealth Antarctic expedition after 50 days of trekking through some of the most challenging terrain on earth.
Martin Jones is the fourth keynote speaker who’s talk will appeal to the skiers and snowboarders. Its about skiing and also setting up a ski business in India to help the local Kashmir people learn how to cater for foreign and domestic ski tourists, acquire the equipment, develop their skills, and establish the infra-structure for on-going sustainable ski tourism at Gulmarg Village in the Kashmir Himalaya. 
As well as the speakers, workshops and viewing of the film finalists, the festival also features art displays, ice sculpturing, live music and an outdoor trade show. Tickets will go on sale June 18th when the festival programme will be launched Watch the web page for updates or sign up for the newsletter at www.mountainfilm.net.nz

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