Top Pick: International Festival of Mountain Films

October 10 - 14
The northern Slovak city Poprad, gateway to Slovakia's High Tatra mountains, will bring the experience of mountaineering down to its cinemas for five days this week. Beginning October 10, the International Festival of Mountain Films will show 35 films - from Italy, Slovakia, the US, Canada, Belgium, France and Spain. Ten films, lasting from six to 35 minutes each, will run every evening in two theatres in the city centre.
"They are non-commercial films. Most depict climbing, some were shot specifically for tourists - all are good documentary work produced in the mountains or other interesting natural settings," said festival director Mária Hámorová.


The festival takes place in Poprad, in the shadow of the mountains captured in Sherpa Rallye.
photo: Ján Svrček

October 10 - 14

The northern Slovak city Poprad, gateway to Slovakia's High Tatra mountains, will bring the experience of mountaineering down to its cinemas for five days this week. Beginning October 10, the International Festival of Mountain Films will show 35 films - from Italy, Slovakia, the US, Canada, Belgium, France and Spain. Ten films, lasting from six to 35 minutes each, will run every evening in two theatres in the city centre.

"They are non-commercial films. Most depict climbing, some were shot specifically for tourists - all are good documentary work produced in the mountains or other interesting natural settings," said festival director Mária Hámorová.

The International Festival of Mountain Films was founded in 1993, when the Australian documentary, Everest - Sea to Summit, by Michael Dillon took first prize. It documented climber Tim Macartney-Shape's assent to the top of Mount Everest, starting from his outset at sea level.

Among this year's most anticipated films is Antarctica.org, capturing a 99-day trek by two Belgians across the Antarctic permafrost. While not set in the mountains, it comes to the Poprad festival having won the best film award at a festival in Trent, Italy, the oldest mountain movie festival in the world. For something closer to home, and the clouds, check out Sherpa Rallye. Directed by Ivan Kočner, it depicts alpine backpack racing in the High Tatras.

Several well-known mountaineers from across Europe will appear at the festival. Czech Himalayas climber Josef Šimůnek will show slides from his latest expeditions; French mountaineering legend Catherine Destivelle, who has climbed some of France's most difficult passes - including those with handholds big enough for only two fingers - will be the first woman ever to meet festival audiences; and well-known Slovak adventurer Laco Gulík will exhibit photos of his expeditions to North Africa, Latin America, Asia and Indonesia.

Admission for an entire evening of films costs Sk150, for one half of an evening Sk75, for morning reruns Sk65 and for meetings and individual films Sk50. All films are shown in two Poprad cinemas, Kino Gerlach (in the Town Council building), Popradské nábrežie 2802/3 and Kino Tatran, Námestie Svätého Egídia (on the Pedestrian Zone in the city centre), Tel: 052/776-3674. For more information call 052/772-1060 or go to www.gratex.sk/mountain-films.

By Zuzana Habšudová

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