United States climber Kitty Calhoun talks about the effect
of global warming on climbing routes to a packed house at
the Queenstown Memorial Hall on Thursday. Photo by Mark
Packed houses at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival
in Queenstown have helped make this year's edition a
Held over seven days in Wanaka and Queenstown, the festival
of films, speakers and seminars with an alpine recreation
theme came to a close at the resort on Friday.
Director Mark Sedon, of Lake Hawea, said the festival had two
''huge nights'' at the Queenstown Memorial Hall, with
Friday's drawing the biggest turnout of all.
''We squeezed as many in as we could - there wasn't a spare
His target of 4000 patrons throughout the seven days had been
comfortably exceeded, helped by a 20% increased turnout in
The festival's profile and reputation continued to grow, he
''We put on a really good programme last year, and I think
people responded to that.''
Having three films by Queenstown and Wanaka filmmakers
included among the dozen New Zealand-made films screened
helped locals feel a connection to the event.
This year's speakers were also a drawcard, with United States
climber Kitty Calhoun especially ''striking a chord'' with
her ''last ascents'' talks about the effects of climate
change on climbing.
A record number of 74 films were also screened, selected from
the more than 120 films submitted.
Technology such as small digital cameras, editing software
for home computers and even the use of drones meant
filmmaking was easier and cheaper, he said.
A selection of films from the festival will screen at 15
venues during a two-month tour of the country beginning in
Twizel on August 2.
Queenstown residents will have another chance to see the
films at a screening on August 17 as part of the Remarkables
Ice and Mixed Festival.