The Second Step Takes Grand Prize at
Banff Mountain Film Festival
An inspirational film
about a double leg amputee who defies physical
barriers to achieve a personal goal has taken top
honours at the 2002 Banff Mountain Film Festival. The
Second Step, the story of Warren Macdonald's climb of
Federation Peak in Tasmania, is the winner of the
Grand Prize at the 27th annual festival. The film
follows Macdonald - who lost both his legs in a 1997
climbing accident - on his epic 28-day trek to reach
"The Second Step is a
very stirring and heartwarming film about achieving
objectives against incredible odds," says film
festival jury member Piers Handling. "This film
reveals not only Macdonald's will to overcome physical
barriers, but also his passion and commitment to
protect the environment," adds fellow jury member
The Second Step -
Warren Macdonald's Epic Journey to Federation Peak was
directed by Gary Caganoff and produced by Suzanne
Davies for Kaganovich Productions/Part Animal Part
Machine (Australia). The Grand Prize award of $4,000
is co-sponsored by Leadership Development at The Banff
Centre and Eagle Creek Travel Gear.
The 2002 Banff
Mountain Film Festival jury included French alpinist
and filmmaker Jean Afanassieff;
director of the Cervino International Film Festival
Valeriana Rosso; Bavarian filmmaker Gerhard Baur;
director of the Toronto International Film Festival
Piers Handling; and mountaineer Roger Payne, a
director of the International Mountaineering and
In perhaps the most
surprising award at this year's festival, 15-year-old
Daniel Kingsbury of Roberts Creek, British Columbia
walked away with the award for Best Film on Mountain
Sports. Kingsbury's film The Essence of Adolescence is
a celebration of the exuberance of youth, as expressed
through snowboarding, mountain biking and
skateboarding. "An honest film which shows not only
the jumps, but the failures too," says Gerhard Baur.
"The Essence of Adolescence is youthful, quirky,
spontaneous and energetic," says Piers Handling.
The Essence of
Adolescence was directed and produced by Kingsbury for
Khaos Productions (Canada). The award for Best Film on
Mountain Sports is sponsored by Yamnuska Inc.
In other awards,
Vertical Frontier, directed and produced by Kristi
Denton Cohen for Peloton Productions (USA), took the
Alpine Club of Canada Award for Best Film on Climbing.
The documentary is a comprehensive look at the history
of climbing in Yosemite National Park. "Vertical
Frontier captures the spirit of American climbing,"
says Jean Afanassieff.
Rescue: The Cost of
Risk, directed by Pierre-Antoine Hiroz and produced by
Benoξt Aymon, was awarded the prize for Best Film on
Mountain Culture. "Rescue: The Cost of Risk is a
well-structured, very intelligent film about the issue
of mountain rescue," says Piers Handling. The film was
produced by Tιlιvision Suisse Romande (TSR)/MC4
Production/ARTE G.E.I.E./Espace Production
(Switzerland/France). The Best Film on Mountain
Culture award is sponsored by Petzl.
The award for Best
Film on Mountain Environment went to Cannibals and
Crampons, directed by Bruce Parry and Mark Anstice and
produced by Ed Stobart for Ginger Productions (UK). It
tells the story of a journey through the dense
tropical jungle of New Guinea to climb a remote peak.
"This is a simple film about travelling in harmony
with the environment and people," says Jean Afanassief.
Crampons also takes the People's Choice Award,
sponsored by The Hostel Shop, Calgary,Alberta and
Ortovox. The award is voted on by the festival
Front Range Freaks
[Part 1]: Urban Ape, directed and produced by Peter
Mortimer, was awarded Best Short Mountain Film. Urban
Ape follows Timmy O'Neill as he scales buildings in
downtown Denver and Boulder, Colorado. "This film has
a wonderful sense of self-irony," says Gerhard Baur.
The award is sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-Op.
Atanarjuat took the Best Feature-Length Mountain
Fiction Film award, sponsored by Mountain Culture at
The Banff Centre. Piers Handling praises the film for
its "brilliant use of oral tradition to tell a primal
story." Atanarjuat was produced by Paul Apak Angilirq,
Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk for Igloolik Isuma