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NZ Mountain Film And Book Festival Announces Big Cash Prize For 2021

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival online sales closed this week. The live event and online festival were deemed to be a success by festival organisers and Trustees of the NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust. The financial support from patrons, sponsors, donations and ticket sales will hold the festival in good stead for the 2021 event.

The flurry of New Zealand-made films submitted to the Mountain Film Competition highlighted the talent within the Kiwi filmmaking community. The festival provides an opportunity for budding directors to fine tune their filmmaking skills to a professional standard and showcase their work at a high-profile national event. The charitable Trust recognises the opportunity to support the development of Kiwi adventure filmmaking, and to encourage new entries it has more than doubled the prize money for the Best NZ Made Film to $2,500 for 2021. A Grass Roots Award, with $500 prize money, will also be on offer to encourage low-budget, beginner filmmakers to have a go at making and submitting a film. The Pure NZ session has grown in popularity since its inception in 2015 and is now the fastest-selling show in the programme.

Festival organisers reveal that 2200 attended the live events in Wanaka and Queenstown during the event and estimate 3,000 people viewed online. The online option emerged through contingency planning during the Covid lockdown period. The virtual option has proven to be a huge success as it has provided a solution for loyal festival fans, who were not able to travel this year, to continue to watch the films and speakers and still enjoy being part of the festival. The online festival also introduces new audiences to the event. Festival Director Mark Sedon (Wanaka) hopes that these first-time viewers will travel to attend the live event in 2021. He says, “We are pleased that the online option connected with new audience members and armchair adventurers. Our hope is that these new viewers will attend the festival in Wanaka and Queenstown next year.”

The People’s Choice award for 2020 goes to United States of Joe’s with A Life on Ice: Myrtle Simpson a close second. United States of Joe’s, by director Peter Mortimer & Nick Rosen, resonated with local audiences. It is set in rural Utah where a valley of world-class bouldering is nestled amongst a conservative community of Mormons, cowboys and coal miners. The film follows a ragged group of rock climbers as the two cultures inevitably clash and then conciliate.

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival tours nationally in smaller cinemas throughout the country. Hosts in regions around the country choose a programme that reflects the interests of their local audiences from a selection of films on adventure, culture, environment and action sports. The Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ also sponsor a schools programme. Their sponsorship covers the cost for any school to apply for a DVD of a selection of the award winning films to be shown at the school within school hours.

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival 2020 speaker presentations are available for free on the festival website.

About the New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival 2020 live events ran in Wanaka and Queenstown from 26 to 28 June. Online events ran from 26 June to 5 July. The event is a celebration of adventurous sports and lifestyles presented for adventurers, film and book enthusiasts and armchair adventurers.

The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival is a member of the International Alliance of Mountain Film, hosting speakers, a world-class line-up of films, and a broad range of literary events, all celebrating adventurous sports and lifestyles.

The festival holds an international adventure filmmaking competition that receives submissions from filmmakers from all over the world. The finalists make up the festival programme, screened both off- and on-line. The standard is exceptionally high and the event sits on the world stage alongside other well-known events.

The Mountain Book competition champions the theme of ‘adventure sports and lifestyles’. Written work is submitted in a range of categories to win prize money and compete for the NZ Mountain Book of the Year. The Mountain Book event also features author readings, old-fashioned storytelling, writing workshops and children’s events.

From off-the-cuff storytelling to highly crafted film-making and written works, all events celebrate the love of adventure and the outdoors, the environment and foreign cultures. The festival line-up includes world-famous speakers, a packed programme of adventure, cultural and environmental films and a free youth programme.

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