Brad Washburn was the greatest aerial mountain photographer of all time. Hanging out the open door of an airplane, he flew above unmapped mountain ranges – capturing iconic images with which he could make maps, pursue scientific inquiries, discover first ascents, and inspire people.
More than eighty years after Washburn first photographed Denali from the air, climbing buddies Renan Ozturk and Freddie Wilkinson look at some of Washburn’s images and have this crazy idea: rather than go up, their dream is to go sideways — across the range’s most forbidding peaks, the Mooses Tooth massif. It’s a decidedly new school way to explore the same landscape Washburn first discovered.
As they pioneer the route over the course of two expeditions, enduring freezing bivies, cut ropes, and rockfall along the way, their desire to be the first to complete the audacious line grows into an obsession. But friendships begin to fray when Renan suffers a near fatal brain injury, forcing them to
decide what’s most important. When they rendezvous in the small town of Talkeetna for yet another attempt, all bets are off.
Filmed over a period of five years, The Sanctity Of Space brings together visual elements of the highest order – from Washburn and Adams’s stunning large format black and white photographs to state- of-the-art helicopter cinematography to space photography – with an unforgettable story spanning generations. It’s both a white-knuckle adventure tale, and a celebration of the spirit of exploration.
Director: Renan Ozturk
Renan lives to tell stories about our connection to the natural world, often set within the most challenging environments on Earth. He’s constantly searching for projects that move him — films that have a strong visual identity matched with some deeply compelling human element.
He began his career as an expedition climber and landscape artist, spending years living in a tent beneath the big walls of U.S. National Parks and in the snowy Himalayan mountains. All of his paintings were created on expedition, carrying large cotton canvases on his back, sometimes even using natural pigments pulled straight from the earth to capture these wildly beautiful landscapes. He received National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013 for his combination of cutting-edge first ascents and visual storytelling.
Currently, Renan works as a commercial and documentary filmmaker, an expedition climber for The North Face, and a photojournalist for Sony and National Geographic. The films he’s made over the years have had a global presence; he’s probably best known for Meru (cinematographer/subject), which won the 2015 Audience Choice Award at Sundance, and the critically acclaimed Sherpa (cinematographer/co-director), which screened at TIFF and Telluride. He’s directed and shot commercial work for major international brands such as Apple, Google, DJI and Nike.
Director: Freddie Wilkinson
From the teahouses of Nepal to obscure truck stops in Alaska, Freddie Wilkinson is a climber and writer known for his infectious energy and original sense of adventure. In 2012, Freddie received the prestigious Piolet d’Or for making the first ascent of Saser Kangri II, then the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world. Always climbing in a lightweight, low-impact style with small groups of friends, Freddie has managed many exploratory first ascents in Alaska, Nepal, India, Patagonia, and Antarctica.
As a journalist, he has written extensively on topics including Himalayan border conflict, climate change, and mountain history, most prominently for National Geographic Magazine and the Opinion Section of the New York Times. In between adventures, Freddie lives in the hills of New Hampshire where he works as a guide.
Renan Ozturk, Freddie Wilkinson
2021 - Premiere