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Great Response to NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival

Great Response to NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival has come to a close after 78 films, 33 speaker presentations and 12 workshops in three towns over 10 days.

A record number of filmmakers attended the festival and introduced their films which included six world premieres and six Wanaka-made films. Over $4000 of prize money went to 10 film and book award winners. Attendance numbers increased on previous years for the film festival at over 4,500 in Wanaka and Queenstown and the book festival events had fewer than expected.

Mark Sedon, Festival Director, explains the audience’s response. “There were some clear favourites in this year’s line-up. Leo (Houlding) brought down the house and feedback was that he was our best speaker ever! We got him out heli-skiing and rock climbing while he was here and he loved our small intimate event and thought it was world class. The NZ made selection of films, the avalanche workshops and all the films on speakers either featuring women, or with women speaking really stood out this year. We were also really pleased to see the response by the audience to help us achieve our goal of zero waste during the event”. Activity to reduce waste included the installation of a water fountain, free tea and coffee for audience members with their own cups, digital ticketing system and a recycling regime.

The free family shows were also well received, as were the youth programmes where schools from around the region were invited to attend free film sessions in both Wanaka and Queenstown. The NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust provided free transport to bus children in from the regions. The free youth programme is part of the non-profit charitable trust’s mission to encourage people, especially youth, to enjoy safe adventures in the outdoors. The trust also provided an impromptu free show for local ski resort staff in Wanaka to support them due to late opening.

The silent auction in Wanaka raised $3,750 for the NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust’s Grant scheme. Sponsors and local businesses donated items for the auction held over five days of the Wanaka film event. Applicants may apply for funds to support youth in adventure filmmaking courses or adventure skills training, local environmental projects like river clean ups, native tree re-planting and other similar projects or to assist people with disabilities to buy specialist sporting equipment. Applications can be sent to the NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust Board of Trustees, P.O. Box 563, Wanaka 9343 or emailed to before August 30.

The non-profit charitable trust’s mandate is to promote healthy and active lifestyles, to encourage youth to make small safe adventures in the outdoors, to inspire people to reach their full potential, to work cooperatively with others in the youth development area, to help people with disabilities get into outdoor activities and to promote NZ arts, film, culture, environment and outdoor lifestyles. The festival celebrates adventure sports and lifestyles and the silent auction and grant scheme assist in making them happen.

The People’s Choice Award went to a stand out favourite film called Dodo’s Delight. The film gained a landslide win receiving over 50% of the votes. The film follows a team of comical adventurers as they undertake a sailing and climbing journey in Greenland and Baffin Island amongst rough seas, falling rocks and freezing temperatures. Audiences will still have the ability to see this film as the festival travels throughout New Zealand on the national tour. Dates and venues can be found at

The festival was made possible with the support of many sponsors and benefactors and grants received from the Otago Community Trust, Central Lakes Trust, the Lion Foundation and Creative NZ. The dates for the 16th NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival in Wanaka are June 29 to July 4 and July 5 to 7 in Queenstown.


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