37-Year-Old Film Wins at Banff


A long-forgotten Polish film made in 1967 won the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Odwrót (“Retreat”) recreates an anonymous climber’s epic solo descent after a mountaineering accident. Filmed in black and white in Poland’s Tatra Mountains by director Jerzy Surdel, Odwrót was rescued from obscurity by American Alex Bertulis, who spent $10,000 to restore the film’s sole copy.The festival’s award for Best Film on Mountain Sports went to Sinners by Bill Heath, a celebration of powder skiing. Alone Across Australia, the story of a solo, unsupported, 2,500-kilometer trek filmed by Jon Muir and Ian Darling, won the prize for Best Film on Mountain Environment. The Alpine Club of Canada award for Best Film on Climbing went to Daughters of Everest, the story of the first Sherpa women’s expedition to Everest, filmed by Sapana Sakya and Ramyata Limbu.The Story of the Weeping Camel was named Best Feature-Length Mountain Film, and Hike Hike Hike took the prize for Best Short Mountain Film. The Reindeer People won the award for Best Film on Mountain Culture, and a Special Jury Award in the mountain sports category was given to Soul Purpose.