Film Festival turnout the ‘best ever’

The New Zealand Mountain Film Festival director Mark Sedon (pictured) says this year’s festival...
The New Zealand Mountain Film Festival director Mark Sedon (pictured) says this year’s festival was well received by audiences particularly in Wanaka. Photo: Ross McKay.
Organisers of the New Zealand Mountain Festival are hailing this year’s festival as the best ever.

More than 4500 tickets were sold in Queenstown and Wanaka for the 10-day festival, the most in the 15-year history of the festival. Festival director Mark Sedon put the increase in sales down to the number of directors who appeared at the festival alongside the films.

"Having those film makers here really adds another dimension to the films which people really enjoy and the film makers really love to see the reaction of people to what they have created."

While tickets sales were slightly lower than expected in Queenstown, those attending the festival in Wanaka more than made up for it.

"We’re not quite sure why we were down slightly in Queenstown, but we always have an amazing response from Wanaka."

This year the festival showed 78 films, 33 speaker presentations and 12 workshops in three towns during the 10 days. People particularly enjoyed the presentation by British rock climber Leo Holding, Mr Sedon said.

"There were some clear favourites in this year’s line-up. Leo brought down the house and feedback was that he was our best speaker ever."

The free family shows and the youth programmes where schools from around the region were invited to attend free film sessions were both well received, he said.

This was the second year the event had included a book festival alongside the unusual run of films, but ticket sales were lower than expected.

"I think we will look at rolling both festivals back into one again, at the moment it’s possibly better fit to have six days of one combined festival rather than two separate festivals over eight days."

The festival would now travel throughout New Zealand on a national tour, showing in about 25 different towns and cities.

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