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NZ Mountain Film Festival – Programme Released

Under embargo until 9am Thursday 1 June 2017.

NZ Mountain Film Festival – Programme Released

The 15th NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival programme has been released and tickets are on sale. Of the 78 films featured, seven of the films are world premieres and four are from Wanaka filmmakers. Festival Director Mark Sedon says, “Once again the entries have gone up a notch in quality. Drone footage and phenomenal editing and cinematography have beautifully captured these expeditions. The Grand Prize winner includes some incredible filmmaking but the adventure that this team undertakes really stood out to the judges. We know the crowds will love it.” The Grand Prize and USD1,000 goes to Jochen Schmoll for the film ‘Into Twin Galaxies’.

The film follows three adventurers as they embark on a 1,000km journey across Greenland to access a remote river that has been formed by the ice cap melt. The expedition is particularly unique because it combines two vastly different disciplines, kayaking and kite skiing. The adventure is part polar ice cap expedition, part white water river descent.

Director Jochen Schmoll (Germany) says, “After 20 years of documentary filmmaking, ‘Into Twin Galaxies’ has probably been the most important film for me for many reasons. First of all, the crossing of the Greenland ice cap and the following descent down a raging unknown river has been the most impressive undertaking I have ever had the opportunity to be part of. True exploration and adventure at its best. Pulling a 100kg sled over 1000km and descending an unknown river in a kayak at temperatures below negative 15 degrees Celsius is not for the faint-hearted.

“To be able to share a big part of this experience with Sarah McNair-Landry, Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry was more than inspiring. Sarah, who had injured her back one week into the 46-day expedition, impressed me deeply. I don’t think I have ever met somebody that tough and at the same time with such a warm and fun-loving character. Winning the Grand Prize at the NZ Mountain Film Festival is the perfect affirmation for me that it’s all worth going the extra mile to bring back unusual stories and images.”

‘Into Twin Galaxies’ will be shown on Saturday July 1 following a presentation by Leo Houlding. This will be a New Zealand premiere.

The best NZ Film and winner of the Hiddleston/MacQueen award and $1,000 in prize money is a very Kiwi tale. ‘Waiau-toa Odyssey’ by director Simon Waterhouse (Christchurch) follows five adventurers on a six-day, 300km unsupported journey combining bike-packing and pack-rafting technology. They link together whitewater rivers and backcountry tracks through some of New Zealand’s hidden wilderness areas. The world premiere of the film will be introduced by Waterhouse on Saturday July 1.

New to the event line-up this year is a free family film show at Edgewater Resort on July 1 and 2. The free family show is designed to inspire the next generation of adventurers and ensure participation in the festival is accessible for all ages and all local families. The NZ Mountain Film Festival is run by a Charitable Trust whose mission is to use the power of film, art, spoken word and literature to inspire audiences to be more active. The Trust is dedicated to keeping the festival as a grassroots event with small intimate shows and a friendly social atmosphere. Their mandate is to keep the shows as inexpensive as possible, while putting on world-class events. They aim to inspire people to dream big and take on new challenges suitable to their physical ability and age.

The festival programme will be announced when tickets go on sale on 1 June. The 2017 festival begins in Wanaka on Friday 30 June and in Queenstown on Thursday 6 July.

· Film Festival Wanaka 30 June to 4 July

· Film Festival Cromwell 5 July

· Film & Book Festival Queenstown 6 to 8 July

· Book Festival Wanaka 7 to 9 July


About the New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival

The 15th NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival will run from 30 June to 9 July in Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown. The event will host international and NZ speakers, a world-class line up of films, and a broad range of literary events all honouring adventurous sports and lifestyles. From off-the-cuff storytelling to highly crafted filmmaking and written works, all events champion the love of adventure and the outdoors, the environment and foreign cultures.

The festival holds an international adventure filmmaking competition that receives submissions from filmmakers from all corners of the globe. The finalists make up the festival programme screened in Lake Wanaka Centre and Queenstown Events Centre. The standard is exceptionally high and the event sits on the world stage alongside the well known Banff and Kendal Mountain Film Festivals.

The addition of the Mountain Book competition has broadened the scope to illuminate the theme of ‘adventure sports and lifestyles’. Written work can be submitted under a range of categories to win prize money and go in contention for the Grand Prize. The Mountain Book event also features author readings, old fashion storytelling, writing workshops and children’s events.

The festival line-up includes world famous speakers, a packed programme of adventure, cultural and environmental films, informal storytelling, workshops, author readings, an adventure trade show and a free youth programme.

The festival programme will be announced when tickets go on sale on 1 June. The 2017 festival begins in Wanaka on Friday 30 June and in Queenstown on Thursday 6 July.

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