15th Krakow Mountain Festival – Grand Prix KFG 2017 for “The Last Honey Hunter”

15th Krakow Mountain Festival (KFG) has come to an end and together with it many positive emotions that accompanied presentations, lectures, workshops and climbing competitions. Prizes have been awarded in two competitions – the International Film Competition and Polish Film Competition. Grand Prix KFG 2017 went to “The Last Honey Hunter” directed by Ben Knight.

This year’s festival stage hosted the vanguard of climbers, alpinists and mountaineers, including Ines Papert, Peter Habeler, Marek Holeček, Davo Karničar, Ermanno Salvaterra, Matt Helliker, Michi Wohlleben and Angela Eiter. Also the best Polish climbers and trail runners were present. Their presentations included speeches by Ryszard Pawłowski, Janusz Majer, Krzysztof Starnawski, Piotr Hercog, Magdalena Łączak, Krzysztof Wielicki, Janusz Gołąb, Marcin „Yeti” Tomaszewski, Łukasz Dudek, Jacek Matuszek, Damian Granowski, Tomasz Klimczak, Karolina Ośka, Michał Czech, Małgorzata Jurewicz, Józek Soszyński and Grzegorz Folta.

15th Krakow Mountain Festival (fot. Adam Kokot/KFG)

Between presentations of climbing stars, there were screenings of films competing in two film contests, and the whole Festival was crowned with an official award ceremony combined with a presentation of the winning films.

International Film Competition

The films were judged by a jury consisting of: Claire Jane Carter, Paul Diffley, Natalie Halla, Hubert Jarzębowski, Jan Wierzejski and Dariusz Załuski. Fourteen films participated in the competition, including two Polish pictures.

Jury: Jan Wierzejski, Claire Jane Carter, Paul Diffley i Natalie Halla (fot. Adam Kokot/KFG)

“What all the films had in common was a very high technical level of these productions. However, their ways of presenting the main characters were very different. The Best Climbing Film Prize went to a film that showed climbing as a force affecting various aspects of our lives – the film was directed by Wojtek Kozakiewicz and titled “Mama” (“Mum”),” said the jurors. They also added: “Several films presenting biographies of climbing legends were presented at this year’s festival. Some of these characters were elevated in importance thanks to their climbing achievements, while others were banished to lives of outsiders. Some of them were honoured with nobility by the Queen, while others gained a not very honourable tile of a dirtbag. The Best Mountaineering Film Prize went to “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey” by Dave O’Leske”.

The Best Mountaineering Film Prize went to “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey” by Dave O’Leske” (fot. Adam Kokot?KFG)

The Grand Prix of the International Film Contest was awarded to a picture, “which is characterized by beautiful story-telling, fantastic camerawork and moving soundtrack – all these elements come together to create a complete work of art. Such pictures we would like to watch most.” The Prize was awarded to “The Last Honey Hunter” directed by Ben Knight.

Grand Prix KFG 2017 (fot. Adam Kokot/KFG)

One of the organizers of KFG – wspinanie.pl climbing web service – also funded their own award. This prize went to Steve Wakeford and his film “Magnetic Mountains”. The verdict stated that: “It is a very personal documentary illustrating a process of going through an individual trauma after a serious Alpine accident. It is a unique reflection on the nature of alpinism, taking risks and facing dangers.”

Polish Film Competition

Eleven films competed in the Polish Film Competition. “These films presented various aspects of mountain experience. We watched films about hiking, about sports, historical documentaries and films documenting latests events. The films differed in length, form, narration and level of professionalism. However, each of them presented people for whom mountains are a key element of their lives,” stated members of the Jury during the Sunday award ceremony.

The Jury, consisting of Dariusz Załuski, Hubert Jarzębowski and Jan Wierzejski, awarded two films and distinguished one more.

The Honourable Mention goes to a documentary that was very consequent in its form. The creators managed to sketch interesting portraits of the main characters without resorting to the use of interviews. The Honourable Mention was given to “Biegacze” (“Runners”) directed by Łukasz Borowski.”

The Second Prize went to “Piotr Malinowski. 33 zgłoś się…” directed by Robert Żurakowski and Bartosz Szwast. “The Second Prize of the Polish Film Competition was awarded to a documentary presenting an exceptional personality. The film charms the viewer with its honesty and special atmosphere emphasised by skilful use of archive materials and blues, which is the favourite music genre of the main character.”

The Main Prize of the Polish Film Competition went to the hands of Wojciech Kozakiewicz in recognition of his film “Mama”.

The Main Prize of the Polish Film Competition went to the hands of Wojciech Kozakiewicz in recognition of his film “Mama”

According to the Jury: “One of the main motives of this year’s edition of KFG was the search for finding a balance between pursuing one’s passion and leading family life. The Main Prize of the Polish Film Competition was awarded to a film whose main character luckily succeeds in doing so. This is a documentary about climbing and the family – it’s a film with a universal message.”

This film was also appreciated by the festival audience that decided to distinguish “Mama” with the Audience Prize.