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Film Takes Top Prize at Banff Mountain Film
film that explores the value of wilderness in a modern
world takes top honors at this year's Banff Mountain
Film Festival. "Yellowstone - America's Sacred
Wilderness" is the Grand Prize winner at the 26th
annual festival. The film portrays both the exquisite
beauty and the savage brutality of the natural world
in Yellowstone National Park.
festival jury member Sharon Wood says
"Yellowstone" "tells the story of
an ever-balancing ecosystem beautifully. This film is
a very direct and intimate story about wildness."
Fellow jury member Antonio Cembran calls the film
"all-encompassing" and notes that it
examines all aspects of the value of
wilderness-ecological, economical, philosophical and
was directed and produced by Hugh Miles and Shane
Moore for ABC/Kane Productions (U.S.A.). The Grand
Prize award of $4,000 is co-sponsored by Leadership
Development at The Banff Centre and Eagle Creek Travel
film festival's 2001 jury included: George Band
(U.K.), Gauthier Flauder (France), Antonio Cembran
(Italy), Harish Kapadia (India) and Sharon Wood
(Canada). Two hundred and fifty films from 27
countries were entered in this year's
2001 Banff Mountain Film Festival winners
Club of Canada Award for Best Film on Climbing:
"Desert Friction" (South Africa) Director:
Nic Good, Producer: Brian Valentine, Production
Company: Fresh Air Crew "Desert Friction"
follows two leading South African sport climbers as
they attempt to reach the summit of a 500-metre-high
granite slab set in the desolate landscape of the
Film on Mountain Culture: "Mustang"
(Slovakia) Director/Producer: Pavol Barabas,
Production Company: K2 Studio
"Mustang" follows two friends who travel
along an ancient trade route over the main ridge of
the Himalayas in order to reach Lo Manthang, the
capital of Mustang, and secretly shoot a film. Jury
member Antonia Cembran comments: "This film
lovingly rendered in images and words the living
conditions of a mountain people who have maintained
Film on Mountain Sports: "Jump!" (U.S.A.)
Directors /Producers: Allen Hill/John Catto,
Production Company: Alpenglow Film & Video
"Jump!" profiles the remarkable sport of
tower jumping in the fairytale-like countryside known
as the Czech Paradise.
Film on Mountain Environment: "Wild Asia: At the
Edge" (New Zealand)
Producer: Alan D'Arcy Erson, Production Companies:
Natural History New Zealand Ltd./NHK/Discovery
Channel/NDR Naturfilm Studio Hamburg Fernseh Allianz
Set in Ladakh in northern India, "Wild Asia"
is a rich portrait of life and
death at the vertical limit of mammalian life on
Earth. Jury member Gauthier Flauder praises "Wild
Asia" as "a rare documentary on an unknown
Short Mountain Film (15 minutes or less): "Will
Gadd - This is Your Life" (Canada) Directors:
Melissa Forman, Pat Morrow, Producer: Melissa Forman,
Production Company: Sun Bear Productions "This is
Your Life" is a quick, humorous introduction to
multi-talented athlete and adventurer Will Gadd
of Canmore, Alberta.
Feature-length Mountain Fiction Film: "A Time for
Drunken Horses" (Iran) Director/Producer: Bahmar
Ghobadi, Production Company: Mongrel Media Inc.
"A Time for Drunken Horses" tells the moving
story of five orphaned siblings struggling to survive
in Iranian Kurdistan, very close to the border with
Iraq. Jury member Harish Kapadia commends the young
actors in this film for "their strong
performances in conveying a very human story".
Jury Award "Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2"
(U.K.) Producer: Mick Conefrey, Production Company:
BBC/TLC Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2 chronicles the
pioneer climbers of K2, Fritz Wiessener and Charles
Houston, and their battle with the second-highest
mountain in the world.
Choice Award: "Berserk in the Antarctic"
(Denmark) Director: Kaare Skard, Production Company:
TV2 Denmark "Berserk" is the incredible
story of a 19-year-old from Norway who, with no prior
experience at sea, sets sail for Antarctica in a small
yacht named Berserk. The result is an adventure film
like no other.
Banff Mountain Film Festival is an international
competition featuring the world's best films and
videos on mountain subjects. The annual event,
organized by Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre,
also features world-renowned guest speakers, seminars
on current mountain issues, an adventure trade fair,
mountain art and craft sale, and a climbing wall.