Irish doc takes top awards at Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

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      An Irish film has won the top two prizes at this year’s Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.

      The Summit, a 95-minute documentary about one of mountain-climbing’s most notorious episodes, took both the festival grand prize and the best-mountaineering-film awards.

      Director Nick Ryan received $1,500 total to go with the prizes, which were announced at last night’s (February 15) VIMFF closing finale at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre.

      In 2008, 11 people died within 48 hours while climbing K2, considered by some to be the most dangerous peak on Earth. The Summit is the story of the 24 climbers from different international expeditions who came together at High Camp on K2, the last stop before the final ascent.

      The award for best Canadian film went to a look at the famous Columbia Icefield, "Through Ice and Time", directed by Alar Kivilo. The other prize nabbed by a Canadian production was Vancouver director Ben Gulliver’s surfing flick, The Fortune Wild, which won for best water film.

      The other awards:

      • "The Road From Karakol", jury award, director Fitz Cahall, U.S.
      • Tea or Electricity, best mountain-culture film, director Jerome Le Maire, Belgium
      • The Crossing, best adventure film, director Julian Harvey, Australia
      • Defaid a Dringo: The Climbing Shepherd, best rock-climbing film, director Alun Hughes, Wales
      • "Flow: The Elements of Free Ride", best mountain-biking film, director Oly Mingo, U.S.
      • Valhalla, best skiing/snowboarding film, directors Nick Waggoner and Ben Sturgulewski, U.S.
      • North of the Sun, best environmental film, director Inge Wegge, Norway
      • “El Ultimo Hielero: The Last Ice Merchant”, best short film, director Sandy Patch, U.S.-Ecuador coproduction