All At Once (2021)
Duration: 9 minutes
‘All at Once’ is a film-poem is made from footage shot in The English Lake District on VE Day Bank Holiday. May 8th 2020 was set for huge events across the UK to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe Day’. However, COVID-19 curtailed all plans, the UK was in lockdown. What would’ve been an extremely busy day was instead an unprecedented quiet and almost deserted moment in The Lake District National Park’s history. The poem that is spoken alongside the footage is a kind of smashing up and re-saying of one of William Wordsworth’s most famous Lake District poems – ‘ I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. It is generally agreed that Wordsworth’s legacy contributed to the Lake District National Park – the largest in England – being established in 1951. Not even Wordsworth could’ve imagined what would befall his homeland in the year 2020.
Directed by Henry Iddon and Mark Goodwin
Henry Iddon is a photographic and lens-based artist whose practice concerns finding new ways, and reasons, to look at the landscape. While remaining accessible to all, and relevant to the discourse that is contemporary art and culture. He has films
in the National Library of Scotland Screen Archive, and NW film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, and 2D work in various collections including The Wordsworth Trust; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; State Library of New
South Wales and the University of Tucson Library.
Mark Goodwin is a poet-sound-artist who speaks and writes in various ways. He has been making poetry for over three decades and has received various awards, including an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 1998. He has published six full-length books & seven chapbooks with various poetry houses, including Longbarrow Press & Shearsman Books. He has made a number film-poems with video artist Martyn Blundell. Mark’s forthcoming collaborative art-book publications in 2020 are Moor with artist Dominique Cameron and The Long Silences with artist Mark Spray.
Arbores (Trees) (2021)
Duration: 62 minutes
Cradled by Grazia Deledda’s tales, a glance at the creatures living in Mount Ortobene, to rediscover the forgotten story of the trees of Sardinia.
Directed by Francesco Bussalai
Francesco Bussalai is an Italian documentary filmmaker and cinematographer.
Climbing Iran (2020)
Country: Italy, France
Duration: 53 minutes
Language: Italian, Persian
The film portraits an extraordinary woman determined to push the barriers opposing her passion, whether they are physical, social, psychological, geographical, or ideological. Committed to “change things little by little”, she brings a few other young women to the walls of Polekhab, outside Tehran, teaching them how to climb and get independent.
Nasim has strong hands adorned with hot-pink fingernail polish. She is the pioneer of outdoor climbing in Iran, where women should train in their veils on ‘indoor’ walls only, during set hours, and only among other women. “The name of my country is the Islamic Republic of Iran. It means that women have to cover their head, even if you are a tourist… It’s the law… it’s like for the seatbelts…”. Nasim has a dream that can become reality: open a “new route” right on the Alps to become part of the international climbing elite.
Directed by Francesca Borghetti
With a background in Cultural Anthropology, Francesca has been working in documentaries since 2000, receiving her Eurodoc diploma in 2010. She developed, wrote, produced a number of documentaries within DocLab and Fabulafilm, Rai Storia, Rai 5 and Babel Tv. Francesca has been the Spokesperson for Doc/it – Italian Documentary Association from 2015-2017. She recently worked 2018-2020 for the TV program PETROLIO – RAI responsible for national and international documentaries acquisition. CLIMBING IRAN is Francesca’s first feature documentary as a director.
Dhaulagiri is My Everest (2021)
Duration: 64 minutes
In 1984, Zoltán Demján summited two eight-thousanders without supplementary oxygen. First, he climbed the south face of Lhotse Shar, then the south pillar of Mount Everest. However, the weather turned his descent into a drama. His life lesson happens during his first ascent of Dhaulagiri in the Alpine style. On this vertical southwest pillar not only the highest difficulty of climbing awaits him, but also important knowledge that will change his life.
Directed by Pavol Barabáš
Pavol Barabáš (1959) is the author of a large-scale mountain-oriented and adventure films about peoples’ survival in extreme conditions. His films were shot in the inaccessible wilderness, on wild rivers and glacial peaks, as well as in deep caves far away from civilization. He likes to look for stories the heroes of which go beyond their limits. He is fascinated by encounters with different cultures and he is mostly attracted by the territories of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the lands of natural people hidden deep in the jungle. His films present the manner in which man should treat the Earth. They emit love and respect for nature, enormous mental power, and moral conscience. His films have been awarded with more than 300 national as well as international prizes. He is a holder of the prestigious Grand Prize from the International Alliance for Mountain Film as gratitude to the filmmakers, directors and producers who have contributed throughout their careers – through loyalty and dedication, and with little regard for personal profit — to the evolution of mountain film into the prominent genre that it is today.
Godspeed, Los Polacos! (2020)
Country: United States, Poland, Peru
Duration: 88 minutes
Five university students risk it all to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc after claiming the first descent of the world’s deepest canyon.
Directed by Adam Nawrot
Director Adam Nawrot and producer Sonia Szczesna are first-generation Polish-American filmmakers interested in the greater political circumstances surrounding their parents’ immigration to the United States. Their debut film “Godspeed, Los Polacos!” explores the rise and fall of communism in the Eastern Bloc, and bridges the gap between adventure, history, and activism.
Mealies 23 (2021)
Duration: 75 minutes
Dropped off by floatplane with 4 weeks of food in the middle of the Mealy Mountains, Canada’s newest and least explored National Park Reserve, Yannick Daoudi makes the first recorded solo attempt to find a way out in complete autonomy. An epic 23-day adventure, during which he was the sole human presence in those mountains and the only visitor to the inaccessible Park Reserve that entire season. The breathtaking images he captured of the “Mealies” in summer, are the first-ever to be made into a film.
Directed by Yannick Daoudi
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Daoudi has traveled over 30,000 km across 50 countries by muscle power. The places he saw and the people he met along the way inspired him to launch his own humanitarian NGO in 2011. Now the President of the InspirAction Foundation, a consultant in international development, and a university lecturer, he also regularly gives conferences to challenge Youth to explore their full potential and to promote social involvement and volunteering. Mealies 23 is his third feature-length film.
Duration: 45 minutes
Fisherman, artist, and political activist Ayoub Sehto and his educated son are stranded with their family on the inhospitable island of Kharo Chan in the shrinking and sinking Indus Delta, void of drinking water and fishing opportunities due to climate change, and struggle to migrate to a mainland city for a better life.
Directed by Haroon Riaz and Jawad Sharif
Haroon Riaz is a documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, blogger, and communications professional, who first collaborated with producer and director Jawad Sharif on the award-winning musical documentary Indus Blues (2018) as a non-fiction screenwriter and associate producer. His debut short documentary film was The Frozen Giants of Karakoram (2020) about the glacial ecosystem in Pakistan and the Karakoram Anomaly. Natari is his first feature documentary as a director.
Jawad Sharif is an award-winning filmmaker who has come into prominence for exploring the often-ignored social subjects. His work focuses on the interface between the dominant culture and the real impact on people, society, and the environment. Jawad’s first documentary collaboration was K-2 and The Invisible Footmen (2015), as Cinematographer & Editor. His debut film Indus Blues (2018), a musical documentary has won more than 10 awards. and was selected at the prestigious CPH:DOX film festival. Jawad is the founder of Jawad Sharif Films, and an alumnus of the Swedish Institute and Institut Fur Auslandsbeziehunge, Germany.
One-Way Glass (2021)
Country: UK, Pakistan
Duration: 8 minutes
Language: Punjabi, English
‘One-way Glass’ is the story of a hapless migrant Pakistani woman trapped in a violent loveless marriage. The film follows her path to freedom via the revelation that her husband, like her, leads a clandestine parallel life.
Directed by Nauman Khalid
Nauman Khalid has a law degree, studied for an MEd. at the University of Manchester and a PhD. in postcolonial literature and theory at Manchester Metropolitan University. He worked for eight years with Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television as a newscaster and presenter while he was a student. He has taught English and History to secondary school students, EFL at Harrow, worked as a trainee lawyer, and taught postcolonial literature and theory at Manchester Metropolitan University. He also worked as a trainee under producers working on drama-serials for PTV, Pakistan’s state television channel. ‘One-way Glass’ is the culmination of his ‘other’ passion for which he completed an intensive certificate in filmmaking at the London Film Academy in Fulham and collaborated with his life-long friend, Irfan Ahmed Urfi and a team of talented creatives.
Revers Gagnant: A Friendship Beyond the Peaks (2021)
Duration: 13 minutes
In fall 2020, while the whole world is paralyzed, Pierrick Fine and Symon Welfringer organize a remote expedition in Pakistan. Their focus is on the Sani Pakkush, which culminates at 6953 meters, and whose south face, 2500 meters high, remains unclimbed. They will be among the only ones to eventually leave for an expedition at the end of the year 2020. The unbreakable bond between Pierrick and Symon has largely contributed to the success of the expedition. It would not have been possible without their determination and their ability to bounce back. They knew how to adapt to the circumstances and to use all the technological tools at their disposal, both in the preparation of the expedition and once on site. This year, the ascent of “Revers Gagnant” by Pierrick Fine and Symon Welfringer was distinguished by the Piolets d’Or, an annual event that honors alpinism.
Directed by Hugo Wirth
Hugo started creating short-movie at 15 years old, with a strong orientation for the outdoors. With a first theater selection at 16 with ‘Paye Ton Scenar’, a free ski movie competition in Grenoble, Hugo made sure that he wanted to pursue in this domain. The meeting inside of Samaya with Symon Welfringer and Pierrick Fine created his last movie, “Revers Gagnant”, a story about the 2021 Piolet d’Or awarded ascent of the same title.
Duration: 9 minutes
It is the year 2071. There have been no reported instances of terrorism or violent crime in over 3 decades in Pakistan. The cost – the systematic subjugation of human emotion.
Directed by Arafat Mazhar
Arafat Mazhar is the Director of Engage Foundation for Research and Dialogue where 9 years of research came together in the seminal report, “The Untold Truth of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws”, recognized for its rigor by human rights groups and presented at various prestigious academic institutions. Arafat is also the winner of the Malala Yousafzai Award for Courage. In 2019, Arafat launched the animation studio, Puffball, where he gets to practice his other two loves: music and visual design. Puffball Studio’s debut film was the highly acclaimed Pakistani dystopian short, Shehr-e-Tabassum which was praised by critics as “a treat to behold.” Arafat has also created multiple educational online platforms: Shehri Pakistan, which produces civic and legal literacy animations; Hashiya, a history channel with a focus on critical approaches to history; and Soch Videos, an award-winning online news platform. He is currently working on a documentary on the history of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, scheduled for release in 2022.
The Boy and the Mountain (El niño y la montaña) (2021)
Duration: 12 minutes
Hernán is a child who likes to daydream, but in his studies, he is not doing well at all. His father constantly urges him to improve, advising him that he must reach very high to succeed in life. Hernán dispenses with his dream, gradually forgetting it to devote himself to his studies. Over time, and already become a successful entrepreneur, Hernán achieves the dream that his father instilled in him, reach high, until one day he will realize that he has not really achieved something he always longed for. Then he will make the crucial decision to fulfill his dream, but fate will play tricks on him. Hernán will have to face a new challenge that will change the meaning of his life.
Directed by Santiago Aguilera
Since 1996, Santiago is VXF & Animation Director for several Audiovisual productions as large films, short films, and also advertising TVC. The Boy and the Mountain is his first film.
The Fight for the Arctic (2020)
Duration: 27 minutes
Language: German, English
The Arctic ice is retreating due to climate change. The region’s once inaccessible raw materials have caught the attention of major world powers. And the tourism industry has also discovered the Arctic for their interests. More and more further north, the cruise ships come to previously untouched regions.
Directed by Andreas Ewels and Norbert Porta
Andreas Ewels is an award-winning filmmaker from Germany. Most of his documentaries are about nature and environmental issues. He works for the ZDF, but also for Deutsche Welle and 3SAT.
Norbert Porta is a producer of science films and also works very successfully as a cameraman. His work is especially appreciated by international scientists. Together with Andreas Ewels he travels around the world and has won numerous international awards for his films. The Arctic was a matter of the heart for him.
The Mad Belgian: Keep Walking (2021)
Duration: 13 minutes
Language: English, French
The coronavirus pandemic has prevented the adventurer Louis-Philippe Loncke from doing expeditions, so he invents his own challenge on Montagne de Bueren in his homeland, Belgium: To ascend one of the most extreme stairs of the earth 135 times. During this challenge, we dive into the memories of this walking adventurer and see the magic and difficulties of crossing remote places on the planet on foot.
Directed by Ivan Dunsmore
Ivan has previously worked as a cameraman on several short documentaries in Nepal and is now debuting as a director with his first documentary short film, The Mad Belgian: Keep Walking.
The Sky is Far, The Earth is Tough (2021)
Duration: 33 minutes
Shahbano, Zarb Ali, and Nusrat are all residents of district Ghizer, which is one the most prone districts to climate disasters and is host to a simmering mental health crisis. It has had the highest rates of suicides in the past seven years. The film explores how climate change has an impact on the mental health of mountain communities affected by climate disasters, through a human lens.
Directed by Haya Fatima Iqbal
Haya Fatima Iqbal is an Academy and two-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker from Pakistan. She directs, produces, and shoots films across Pakistan. Haya has covered a range of subjects through her documentary work ranging from gender, militancy, and conflict to climate change, water scarcity, and social justice. Her work has been featured on HBO Documentary, BBC, Al Jazeera, Channel 4 UK, VICE, National Geographic Society, Redfish, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation among other media organizations. Haya is a Fulbright alumna and an Acumen fellow. She is Assistant Professor of Practice at Habib University, Karachi. She also trains people in storytelling and filmmaking in Pakistan and abroad. She holds a Masters in News & Documentary from New York University.
White Wolves – The Ghost of the Arctic (2018)
Duration: 56 minutes
At the very northern edge of Canada is Ellesmere Island, where the unforgiving Arctic winds tear through the tundra, dipping temperatures to 40 below zero. Running through this shifting sea of snow and ice is one of the most hardened predators on the planet, the Arctic Wolf. But as the spring melt approaches, these roaming hunters must adapt to being tethered parents as new additions to the pack have just been born.
With never-before-seen footage of wolf family life, Ghosts of the Arctic is a dramatic and touching story of loyalty, companionship and devotion. It’s an epic true tale that reveals the struggles and triumphs of a family working to survive in one of the last great wildernesses on Earth.
Directed by Oliver Goetzl
A biologist by education, Oliver Goetzl has worked for various television networks and filmed various wildlife films in various countries around the world. His first film was “Wolverines – Hyenas of the North.” He founded Gulo Film Productions, which specializes in wildlife filmmaking.
Duration: 30 minutes
The poetic relationship, between the ancient ritual of Zenerù and the life of the hermit shepherd Flaminio, makes us reflect on the border between domestic and wild, between known and unknown. At the end of the winter, Flaminio, a resistant shepherd, prepares materially and spiritually for the arrival of the spring through daily rituals, using the tools he built for himself: he moves and sows the ground, shears the sheep, and makes a woolen suit for the new season. The communities of the valley chase the winter away with cowbells and bonfires through the ritual of Scasada dol Zenerù, which is inserted into the story of the shepherd’s life as a dreamlike element that draws on an ancestral memory. Flaminio’s sensitivity, strongly connected to Nature, allows him to perceive when it is time to call the community to act, starting the ritual.
Directed by Andrea Grasselli
Author, director, and producer of documentaries. Anndrea is one of the founders of the OmVideo collective, with which he produces and directs short and feature films. Among his latest works, La nostalgia della condizione sconosciuta participated in the 37th edition of the Turin Film Festival in 2019. His documentaries Il vortice fuori (2014) and Solenne triduo dei morti (2017) also participated in festivals receiving awards.