nz mountain film festival – christchurch edition

Last night 5 of us went to the NZ Mountain Film Festival night in Christchurch. The actual festival is held in Wanaka and Queenstown, but they held a one night best-of festival as a fundraiser. It was my first time going to an outdoor-themed film festival despite Vancouver holding lots of them. We saw 5 movies.

The first one, WHY, was a short American film about a kayaker, a mountain biker and Alex Honnold, a rock climber. You might have heard of Alex because he’s the one who free solos giant cliffs. Scary bananas. Every time his foot slipped I had a heart attack.

One Step Beyond was about a French snowboarder and base-jumper. This movie mainly convinced me to never jump off a cliff ever. …well maybe sometime. Those squirrel jumping suits look awesome!

Rockin’ Cuba was about a group of climbers who travel to Cuba to bolt some new climbs. It looked a lot like how I remember Cuba! I liked seeing all the old cars again, and the whole film was clips of music strung together.

Then we watched Flow Hunters, which was really different than the other four movies. This one was about a group of kayakers who were sponsored by Red Bull to do some really dodgy kayaks around New Zealand. In the 24 days they paddled, TWO people literally almost died (all caught on film). It looked dumb. Also, they would get helicoptered everywhere and when they did an overnight trip, they had dinner supplies helicoptered into them. Riiight.

And the last film, The Shark’s Fin, was about Conrad Anker’s (famous alpinist) two attempts at getting to the top of Mt Meru (6,310 meters). It took them 12 days, and one of his partners had a stroke on the first night. So they kept going. (????)

I think I liked Rockin’ Cuba the best. It was very silly and entertaining. I looked at the entire list of films from the festival and I hope I can watch more! Wolverine is about the hardest ice climb in Canada and Down the Line is about canyoneering really close to Vancouver. I didn’t even know that there was canyoneering in Canada! And I think I’ll pass on Focal Point (yet another video about mountain unicycling in British Columbia… why??).


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