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13th Krakow Mountain Festival Goes Down in History
More than 30 guests, including the most renowned representatives of the mountaineering world, almost 50 films, close to 20 clinics and presentations and approximately 5,000 spectators keen on outdoor adventures. That’s how the biggest Polish mountain film festival – the 13th Krakow Mountain Festival (13th KFG), held on 4th-6th December at Krakow University of Economics – looked like in numbers. As it turns out, number 13 proved to be definitely lucky.
Festival of Stars and Experts
Sir Christian John Storey Bonington, a famous mountaineer, author of several books and a living legend, was the main star on the festival stage. Other international guests included Hazel Findlay – a highly talented young climber and a trad climbing expert , and Klemen Premrl – a Slovenian alpinist and ice climber.
More stories of adventures were presented by Janusz Gołąb, a Himalayan and Alpine climber, Andrzej Bargiel, a freeride skier and holder of a Broad Peak record, Marcin Tomaszewski, a mountaineer, Tomek Klimczak, Maciej Janczar and Maciej Bedrejczuk – explorers and members of Tagas Expedition, Mateusz Haładaj and Aleksandra Taistra – rock climbers, Łukasz Dudek and Jacek Matuszek – initiators of the Alpine Wall Tour project, Wojciech Ryczer, Marcin Rutkowski and Rafał Zając – who established a new route in Sichuan, and Anna Okopińska – a Himalayan climber and mountaineer. Newly published books were presented by their authors Krzysztof Wielicki, Agnieszka Korpal and Jerzy Surdel.
Obviously, there was also a fully packed programme of workshops, clinics and discussion panels, organised as part of a cycle “Safe Mountains and Rocks” under patronage of PZU. The meetings were led by experts, mountain rescuers from TOPR, mountain guides and instructors of the Polish Mountaineering Association (PZA). Another attraction was “In Search of Paradise” – an exhibition of photos by Julita Chudko, which turned out to be a real feast for eyes.
Festival of Mountaineering Cinema – Grand Prix KFG 2015
Most of all, the three festival days were a celebration of mountain films. On the festival screen we could watch 11 foreign and 17 Polish productions. On Sunday afternoon names of the laureates of this year’s International Film Competition and the Polish Film Competition were announced.
In the Polish Film Competition, the First Prize went to Dariusz Załuski for a film No Ski No Fun. The Jury decided that this picture stood out among other competitors. The Prize was awarded in recognition of: “authentic characters, excellent story, lack of pretentiousness, skilful realization and presenting a proof that climbing eight-thousanders without skis is boring”.
The Second Prize was awarded to a film Wspin, directed by Krzysztof Kurenda a.k.a. Jarecki. The Prize was given in recognition of: “the presentation of the poetic side of reality, original form, perfect sense of language, numerous practical tips for climbing beginners and, predominately, a splendid flow”.
In the International Film Competition, the First Prize went to Adventures of the Dodo, directed by Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll. The Jury stated that: “As the best explanation of the Jury’s decision may act the fact that this verdict does not require any explanation. The verdict was unanimous and instant. Why this film? Well, it might be best to quote a fragment of the film’s final song: BECAUSE IT’S NICE!”
The film K2 and the Invisible Footmen, directed by Iara Lee, was awarded the Second Prize in the International Film Competition. According to the Jury: “The decision which film should be given the Second Prize was not easy. After many stormy discussions and a sleepless night, the Jury decided to award the film that evoked ambivalent emotions. The film tells a story of people living at the foot of the highest mountains in the world – their daily hardship and dangerous work in places normally frequented only by the toughest mountaineers. The Second Prize goes to K2 and the Invisible Footmen for telling the beautiful story of climbing K2 to honour the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain”.
The audience fully agreed with the Jury. The Audience Award went to Adventures of the Dodo, directed by Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll. The Award of wspinanie.pl for the best climbing film was given to Redemption. The James Pearson Story, directed by Paul Diffley and Chris Prescott.
This year there was also a Special Award, sponsored by an outdoor shop Polar Sport. The Award went to a film Nini, directed by Gigi Giustiniani.
The Jury of the 13th KFG included: a famous film director and director of photography Jerzy Surdel, a documentarist, director and camera operator Marcin Koszałka, a cinematographer Tomasz Augustynek, a Himalayan climber and head of the Polish Himalayan Programme Janusz Majer and a mountain guide Hubert Jarzębowski, who also debuted as an author of a novel Carolus Victor.