Valley Uprising Wins Banff Grand Prize

11/10/14 – “Valley Uprising,” the documentary of Yosemite climbing culture directed by Nick Rosen, Peter Mortimer, and Josh Lowell, has won the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The 90-minute film, produced by Zachary Barr and Sender Films, is currently showing worldwide in the 2014 Reel Rock tour.


Film jury member Nicolas Brown said, “The mountain culture [is] pretty good at telling our stories to each other. However, sometimes we are less effective telling our stories to the rest of the world. This film tells an epic tale, giving us larger-than-life characters whose lives play out on a vast stage. The result is a work that will inspire not just climbers but the world at large.”

Three other climbing films took big prizes at Banff:

Renan Ozturk’s seven-minute film “El Sendero Luminoso,” covering Alex Honnold’s free solo of the 500-meter, 5.12 route by that name in Mexico, won the Creative Excellence Award. The film was shot largely by Cedar Wright and produced by Aimee Tetreault.

“Cerro Torre: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell,” the 103-minute feature film about David Lama’s controversial attempt—and ultimately bold success—at free-climbing Cerro Torre’s southeast ridge, was named the best climbing film of the festival. The film was directed by Thomas Dirnhofer and produced by Philipp Manderla and Red Bull Media House.

“Sufferfest 2: Desert Alpine,” directed and produced by Cedar Wright, pegged the applause-o-meter to win People’s Choice in the Radical Reels competition. The 27-minute film documents Wright and Alex Honnold’s month-long tour of desert towers by mountain bike.

Other Banff winners:

• And Then We Swam, directed by Ben Finney (Exploration and Adventure)

• Tashi and the Monk, directed by Andrew Hinton and Johnny Burke (Mountain Culture)

• Little Red Bus, directed by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset (Mountain Sports)

• The Crash Reel, directed by Lucy Walker (Snow Sports)

• Nature: Touching the Wild, directed by David Allen (Mountain Environment and Natural History)

• Delta Dawn, directed by Peter McBride (Short Mountain Film)

• Marmato, directed by Mark Grieco (Feature Mountain Film)

• Mending the Line, directed by Steve Engman (People’s Choice)

• Jungwa, the Broken Balance, directed by Stanzin Dorjai Gya and Christiane Mordelet (Special Jury Mention)

Date of awards: November 9, 2014