NZ Mountain Film Fest picks winner

Director Steve Robillard of Austria has won this year’s grand prize at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival.

Mr Robillard’s film K2: Impossible Descent tells the story of Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel who made history in 2018 by skiing down the most dangerous mountain on earth.

Festival co-founder and judge Jo Sedon has described the film as ‘‘a combination of a completely out-there adventure, pushing risk to the absolute limit, combined with good filming and great story-telling that blew our minds’’.

The film-makers have donated their $US1000 prize money to Wings For Life, a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation.

Newton Peak, directed by Nick Kowalski, has won the 2021 Grass Roots award and has its world premiere in Wanaka.

It follows four Canterbury-based climbers into the Southern Alps to explore a new route on a rarely summited peak.

The best climbing film award went to director Nicolas Falquet, forKatherine’s Marathon, featuring Swiss climber Katherine Choong.

See the festival: Wanaka — June 25-29; Cromwell — June 30; Queenstown — July 1-3.

- By Marjorie Cook

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