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And the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Festival Award Goes To…

It was a week of inspiring films, presentations and stoke from people near and far

The 2022 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has come to an end under snowy skies in Banff National Park. Icy roads and cold temperatures didn’t keep away huge crowds as legendary climbers and filmmakers entertained and educated from early in the morning until late at night.

The winner of the grand prize in the film category went to The Territory, an 86-minute presentation directed by Alex Pritz. As the festival notes, “The film provides an immersive on-the-ground look at the tireless fight of an Indigenous community against the encroaching deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. With awe-inspiring cinematography, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-eu-wau-wau territory and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.”

Jury member Divyesh Muni, said: “Alex Pritz and his crew truly deserve the Grand Prize for The Territory, a hard hitting film that brings out the conflict between the Indigenous people of Brazil and the ‘settlers.’ We are left with a deep impact and a sense of despair as the young native leader and his mentor struggle to fight a losing battle to save the Brazilian rainforest that are critical not only to the local population but to the world at large. The courage and tenacity of the outnumbered natives is inspiring. The film is an alarm and call to action to save the ‘lungs’ of the earth.”

Climbing Film Award Winner

And the winner of the climbing category goes to Shade to Light, a 70-minute film directed by Sebastien Montaz-Rosset and Davina Montaz-Rosset. It’s about French alpinist Charles Dubouloz’s attempt at a rarely repeated route on the fabled north face of the Grandes Jorasses, spending five frigid nights alone above the lights of Chamonix in the dead of winter.

Jury member Juliette Barthaux said: “Alpinist, climber, and steep skier Charles Dubouloz seems to know how to do everything. Last January, he made a winter solo ascent that amazed the mountain world. In six days, he managed to climb the Rolling Stones route, one of the hardest on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses in the French Alps. This is a rare performance to be placed in the annals of the Mont Blanc massif, alongside some of the greatest names in mountaineering. In addition to its difficulty, the route is known for its bad bivouacs. Charles sleeps in his hammock when he can but has to spend a night half-seated, with a temperature of -30°C chilling him to the bone. In an interview, Charles declared, ‘I’m very happy to show that we, the climbers of today, are capable of going very fast on a route but also of doing what the older generation did, that is to say, climbing in a rustic and somehow innovative way.’ Sebastien Montaz-Rosset, a mountain guide, and filmmaker, was at the forefront of capturing this moment, and he graces us with this magnificent film, From Shade to Light.”

For the full list of film award recipients visit here, and for the book award recipients visit here.