Nov 09 23
Despite the amazingly bad weather, the Kendal Mountain Festival went ahead and was as massive, amazing and entertaining as usual. Not only for the films, books, pictures, art, etc., but for the mega (“tribal”) gathering of climbers and all outdoorsy people it is famous for – it’s certainly the biggest festival of it’s type in the world, and arguably the best too! The Banff festival tries to take the latter claim – but how can that be true when Kendal has more films and people watching them?
As is usual when we are at home in the Lakes (i.e. not in Australia rock climbing as last year) we got roped in to helping out as volunteers.
This year I’d landed a role as one of the Presenters. Thanks to Richard and Andy Perkins. This involves introducing the films and is extremely stressful! Not for the public speaking part which is something I’m quite comfortable with from my work, but for the incredibly tricky task of remembering all of the many many items one has to say – names of the films (up to 10 in one session) that have to be introduced, facts about each to be shared with the eager audience before each film is shown, names of sponsors, logistics for other parts of the festival, how to vote in the Peoples Choice Award, introducing film makers, etc., etc! Crikey it was hard! I think I got better at it as the weekend went on, but I’m not sure the effort is worth the pay – err, nothing?
Of course the best part (aside from seeing lots of great movies ) is meeting up with lots of friends. Here are just a few… Sorry to all the others who I forgot ( ) to photograph, I was far too stressed remembering my presenting duties.
The awards were:
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE: The Asgard Project by Alistair Lee and Leo Houlding.
- BEST MOUNTAINEERING FILM: Mount Saint Elias by Gerald Salmina
- BEST MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE FILM: Samsara by Renan Ozturk
- BEST MOUNTAIN CULTURE FILM: One Crazy Ride by Guarav Jani
- BEST MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENT FILM: Wild Balkans by Michael Schlanberger
- BEST SHORT FILM: Afghanistan by David James
- JUDGE’S SPECIAL PRIZE: The Cable Car
- GRAND PRIZE (& BEST CLIMBING FILM): First Ascent – Alone On The Wall by Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen
- ADVENTURE FILM ACADEMY WINNER: Plas Bottley Hikes Again by Andy Rees and Robbie Meade
We stayed late after the awards ceremony to watch the winning mountaineering film, Mount Saint Elias. It was fantastic, but maybe a little too long for me. Then we saw the Grand Prize winner, Alone on the Wall. It was a superb film, a very worthy winner. Watch it! But, if you’ve ever been rock climbing, be prepared for very very sweaty palms when you see it!
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