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2018 NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival

The 2018 NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival will be held in Wanaka, Queenstown and Cromwell from June 29 to July 7.

The event will feature prominent international and New Zealand guest speakers, award winning films and books, and writing and filmmaking workshops. The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival will celebrate adventure sports and lifestyles, in three towns over 9 days, with one of the most impressive guest speakers yet, Conrad Anker.

Conrad Anker’s name is synonymous with first ascents in the biggest mountain ranges in the world, the Himalayas, Antarctica and Alaska. With over 30 years of experience, Conrad is still chasing first ascents. In 2011, he summited the Shark’s Fin, one of the last unclimbed Himalayan peaks, and in 2012, led an expedition to recreate the historic 1963 American Mount Everest expedition. At 55, Conrad is still climbing at his best. He is a visionary, a champion for the environment, a pioneer and considered to be the best comrade you’ll find at 25,000 feet.

His list of achievements include the first ascents of Sharks Fin on Meru, the East Face of Vinson Massif, Continental Drift, El Capitan, Ellsworth Mountains and Rakekniven Peak, Snow Petrel Wall and Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. He is the Captain of The North Face athlete team and he has completed three summits of Mt Everest, one without supplemental oxygen.

Joining Conrad will be Mark Sedon, the Festival Director, to speak about his 55-day Antarctic expedition. Alongside 2017 keynote speaker Leo Houlding, Mark kite skied 1,700km across Antarctica to climb Mt Spectre. It is thought to be the first time anyone has done this style of expedition in Antarctica where kites have been used to access the mountains. Only a few days of man-hauling were required because of a combination of the team’s kite skills and the high performance kites allowing them to ‘tack’ upwind.

The team was dropped 220km from the South Pole on November 20, climbed the Spectre on December 8 and made it 1,400km back to the Union Glacier camp on January 10. “It was bloody hard,” said Sedon, “and cold, but I loved every minute of the trip. It was such an amazing experience, it really was!”

Operating as a non-profit Charitable Trust, the NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival strives to promote healthy and active lifestyles, encourage and assist youth and people with disabilities into the outdoors, and to promote NZ arts, film, culture, environment and outdoor lifestyles. The Festival’s Grant Scheme is funded by an auction of donated goods during the Festival, in 2017 raising $3,790. These funds were distributed to Forest & Bird, Kahu Youth, Touchstone, Plastic Bag Free Wanaka and Te Kakano.

Funding supported Kahu Youth to run a Youth vs Wild outdoor survival camp. Kahu Youth representative Jacobson said, “Two of the young men that came had never camped without their family before, making it all the more special. Kahu Youth sends a huge thank you to the NZ Mountain Film Festival for supporting these programmes - you guys really made it happen!”

The Trust invites applications at from 29 June to 30 August.

Audience members’ contributions to the auction help to realise the intention of the Grant Scheme, while audience participation also supports the Trust’s ethos of participating in a zero waste event. To achieve this objective the festivalgoers are encouraged to bring their own cups and enjoy free tea and coffee, and to fill their own drink bottles from a free drinking water fountain. Digital tickets are provided and the event will only sell recyclable and compostable products. The goal for the 2018 event is to reduce waste to one blue QLDC rubbish bag.

General tickets will be on sale, and the programme launched on June 1. Entries have closed for the literature events. The Trust is still receiving entries to the film competition and entries close on April 30. The full festival programme will be announced when tickets go on sale on 1 June. The 2018 festival runs in Wanaka from Friday 29 June to July 4, Cromwell on July 4 and Queenstown July 5 to 7.

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