Prize Winning Films 2018

Grand Prix Graz

Pete Mortimer, Josh Lowell
104 min
What places this film, according to a jury majority, above its festival competitors, is not merely excellent camera work in the wall, the successful assembly of archive footage from multiple sources and a thrilling, poignant biography but also a trove of insights to take away for climbers and non-climbers alike. We are are watching the exceptional learning process of an exceptional character, his progress from lack-luster outsider to brilliant global climbing star, in spite of his physical handicap - a climber who, while mastering walls of extreme height and difficulty, always keeps his feet on the ground, remains unimpressed by media celebrity, never loses sight of his target and surprises with creative solutions.

Alpine Camera Austria

A monumental work like this is only possible when the film-maker is profoundly and intimately familiar with the subject matter – the geography, ecology, zoology, climate etc. - the fruit of many years of direct experience. Few camera teams are able to deliver such highly professional images under the extreme conditions of one of the planet’s most remote and wildest regions. The narrative combination of drone and underwater shots is but one example of optimal use of cinematographic tools in a natural history context.

Kamera Alpin in Gold - Nature and Environment

This is grand cinema made in a tiny space, with tiny actors. Images, story, drama, music and narration are brought together in a perfect composition, truly a work of art. Elegant craftsmanship makes ideal use of the medium’s resources to make us love the minute monsters of the meadow.

Kamera Alpin in Gold - Sports in Mountains & Nature

For western audiences, ice climbing in chilly China is surprising enough, but even more surprising is the combination of the two passions driving the protagonist: extreme climbing challenges and outstanding natural beauty. Thanks to this dual passion, he finds what is probably the world’s most beautiful frozen waterfall. In contrast to conventional climbing films, the venue is not just the blurred backdrop of the action but the focus is equally shared by action and place.

Kamera Alpin in Gold - Alpinism & Expeditions

This dual self-portrait before the backdrop of an extreme challenge is one big humble understatement. The joint alpinist achievement of the two protagonists could have been painted in heroic hues. Instead, we see a story of growing trust, mutual respect and unsparing honesty between two exceptional mountaineers. Unusually intimate yet unobtrusive camera work allows the viewer to participate in something completely unexpected: euphoria and outright fun in the context of a winter expedition above 8000 meters. Few camera crews are prepared for such an ordeal and deliver good images under such conditions.

Kamera Alpin in Gold - People & Cultures

Jure Breceljnik, Rožle Bregar
71 min
70 minutes, and not one of them boring – thanks to powerful icy landscape images that are enforced, not merely accompanied, by music and sound design. Perfectly natural protagonists tell, in actuality, of their fascinating and often difficult lives within a culture in transition. A highly attentive camera misses no relevant detail, resulting in a completeness that appeals to all senses.

Lobende Erwähnung

Jan Haft
50 min
Luxurious, well-crafted images of nature in a magic landscape, sensitively enhanced with a congenial sound-track, document thrilling wildlife behavior

Lobende Erwähnung

Petra Höfer, Freddie Röckenhaus
44 min
This is a film one wants to see again. And again. It‘s not often that aesthetic images, dramatic history and scientific facts combine to make an entertaining program.

Lobende Erwähnung

Erick Grigorovski
8 min
This brilliant and charmingly animated parody of classic and contemporary climbing films targets every single cliché of the genre.

Lobende Erwähnung

This radically non-commercial documentary footage shows the early history of Czech sandstone climbing from 1968 to 1973 in impressive black-and-white images. The young Karel Vl?ek was not only an exceptional climbing talent but also an equally exceptional photographer and cameraman.

Lobende Erwähnung

Joey Schusler
20 min
As an action movie, this portrait of a Nepalese mountain biker is on par with any generously sponsored commercial sports production. However, the story we are told probes deeply below the genre’s usual cool gloss and impresses an audience with insights into the soul of a socially sensitive as well as passionate sports freak.

Lobende Erwähnung

Portraying such an exceptional life-long rope team and their love for both the mountains and each other requires the sensitivity of an equally exceptional film-maker.

Lobende Erwähnung

Chang-yong Moon & Jin Jeon
95 min
A young Buddhist boy who has been designated for a sacred office finds the search for his reincarnated soul to be as difficult as climbing an eight thousand meter peak. His elderly teacher accompanies him on this arduous ascent. It’s their relationship of love and respect that will not fail to touch any audience.

Lobende Erwähnung

Johannes Aitzetmüller, Jeb Hardwick
30 min
„Parasol Peak“ is a perfect structural, material and atmospheric fusion of music and mountain. It’s music for the eye and mountainscape for the ear.

Lobende Erwähnung

Beat Bieri
50 min
This film opens with death but tells a sensitive story of life – the life of two generations of mountain farmers. It is the mountain that provides their livelihood while confronting them daily with death. The film-makers have achieved a smooth, coherent flow of archive and newly-shot footage.