Alone On The Wall Wins Kendal Grand Prize
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 9.00 AM
Alone On The Wall, a compelling documentary about Alex Honnold soloing Zion's 1,200ft Moonlight Buttress and the Regular Route on the Northwest Face of Half Dome has won the grand prize at this year's Kendal Mountain Festival. At the award ceremony, jury member Zoe Hart admired the film's 'spectacular array of scenes, aesthetic landscapes, solitary faces and symmetrical cracks alongside a rope-less and hammer-less climber. Much of the beauty of this story lies in the goofy, unassuming, lovable, almost squeezable and huggable personality of the young 23 year old.'
Gerald Salmin's epic account – due for a cinema release – of a ski descent of North America's second-highest peak, Mount St Elias, won the Mountaineering category. Jury member Leo Dickinson praised the film's constant tension and stunning aerial photography.
Samsara, a film by artist and climbing phenomenon Renan Ozturk, photographer Jimmy Chin and mountaineer Conrad Anker about an expedition to Mount Meru in the Gangotri mountains of India's Western Garhwal, won the Mountain Adventure category, 'a simply told story of an adventure in the mountains and the art inspired by that adventure\', according to Zoe Hart.
One Crazy Ride, the story of a motorbike trip across Northeast India, won the Mountain Environment category, Jury member Jim Curran said: 'If I had to pick one film from all this year\'s entrants to the Festival and show it to a Film School, this would be the one. Humour, tension, drama and farce are all employed. By avoiding a pompous voice-over the film stays strictly in the present tense, which heightens the ever-growing feeling it could all end in tears.'
There were also wins for Wild Balkans in the Mountain Environment category and for Afghanistan: A Small Flame Of Hope in the Short category. The animation The Cable Car, which tells the story of an old operator whose sneezes tear about the car he's riding won the Jury Special Prize.
Posted by Ed Douglas