International festival jury: Daniel Burlac (Romania), Viki Grošelj (Slovenia) and Jernej Šček (Italy/Slovenia).
Grand Prix Award
The Wall of Shadows (Eliza Kubarska, Poland)
This story of a Sherpa family that joins an expedition to the untouched east face of Kumbakarna is the purest expression of mountain culture. The touching, multi-layered account shows no signs of Eurocentrism and the director has a distinctive style marked by gentle aesthetics and reflective storytelling. The film raises countless questions regarding Himalayan mountaineering: alpinism is not a matter of free choice for the local people; it’s a fight for survival in which they have to choose between poverty and climbing a sacred mountain.
Best Mountaineering Film
Everest – The Hard Way (Pavol Barabas, Slovakia)
A touching and fascinating film about one of the key moments in the history of Himalayan climbing. The hardest route on Everest, named The Hard Way by Chris Bonington, is supposedly unclimbable. The film is a rich and historically accurate homage to a group of excellent Slovak alpinists who felt otherwise and embarked on a grand but ultimately tragic adventure.
Honorable Jury Mention (Mountaineering)
Ocean to Sky (Michael Dillon, Australia)
Best Climbing Film
360 Ascent (Rok Lukšič & Martin Smerdel, Slovenia)
A top-quality climbing film about the tallest artificial multi-pitch route in the world, which was built on an abandoned chimney in Trbovlje, Slovenia. The storytelling is concise, the editing is great, and the structure of the film is clear and efficient. It was a real team effort to pull off such a demanding project, which transformed the negativity of an old industrial object into a positive story, and as such, the film also carries an innovative ecological message.
Best Film about Mountains, Sports and Adventure
Godspeed, Los Polacos! (Adam Nawrot, USA)
A grand adventure of five Polish students, who start off as kayaking pioneers and end up as political activists fighting for democracy in the Eastern Bloc and independence of their country. The dynamic and visually attractive film combines adventure, sports, history, and politics, providing a glimpse into complex events that changed the world.
Best Film about Mountain Nature and Culture
Then Comes the Evening (Maja Novaković, Serbia)
This is not a film, it’s an oil painting, a unique and unforgettable piece of art, a homage to a simple way of life of two women living in the remote mountains of eastern Bosnia. A quiet and contemplative portrait of a world that is disappearing in front of our eyes and a reminder not to forget its virtues. A simple but wonderful story about a lonely island of wilderness and silence within civilized Europe. A monument to mountain culture, which is not defined by visitors but the locals whose everyday lives are shaped by the mountains.
Honorable Jury Mention (Mountain Nature and Culture)
Sons of Bora (Miha Čelar, Slovenia)
Best Short Film
Paradice (Daniel Bleuer, Switzerland)
Switzerland is an ice-climbing paradise and the film focuses on the questions of risk, responsibility, and the beauty of nature. The images, words, and sounds are carefully chosen and the wonderful climbing footage creates a magical and mysterious atmosphere, which can only be found in the mountains.