10th Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival from 13 to 21 October 2012

Jury Statements
Members of the Jury:
Daniela Cecchin | Dr. Rainer Stephan | Gieri Venzin | Dariusz Zaluski | Victor Grandits

Great Prize of the City of Tegernsee
“Schnee” (Snow)
Director: August Pflugfelder (Germany)
August Pflugfelder’s suggestive cinematography penetrates beneath the surface of commonplace mountain and tourism clichés. It reveals how the space where the precious natural commodity of snow used to fall is now being filled by an arduously produced and economically viable commodity: artificial snow. It shows how the attempt to change nature forcibly changes the lives of people who depend on this product. The film’s stylistic idiosyncrasy is no end in itself, but serves to express an often painfully critical personal point of view.

Prize by the German Alpine Club for the Best Alpine Film in the Category “Mountain Experience”
“Kota 42” (Altitude 42)
Director: Ema Konstantinova (Bulgaria)
In “Kota 42” Ema Konstantinova narrates the unusual story of a mountaineer who meets with a terrible accident, is almost abandoned by doctors and yet journeys back into life and to the mountains. She narrates this story in highly unusual fashion: instead of relying on a conventional commentary and interviews, she builds solely on the presence of her protagonists. The film opens up a generous space for them, for their faces and feelings, following them all the way into their own silence.

Best Film in the Category “Mountain Nature”
“Gypaetus Helveticus”
Director: Marcel Barelli (Switzerland)
In no more than seven minutes Marcel Barellis’s animated film Gypaetus Helveticus illustrates a development of many hundreds of years – the demonization, extinction and eventually reintroduction of the bearded vulture in Switzerland. He makes his point in both hilarious and entirely adroit fashion. 

Best Film in the Category “Mountain Life”
“Polyphonia – Albaniens vergessene Stimme” (Albania’s Forgotten Voice)
Director: Björn Reinhardt, Eckehard Pistrick (Germany/Romania)
Other than creating an impressive portrait of its protagonist, this film illuminates the subtle connections between landscape, character and human communication. “Polyphonia” not only designates the chiming-together of distinct voices but also the living-together of various different attitudes and religions. This makes Björn Reinhardt’s depiction of a world threatened by extinction into a counter vision poised against a society obsessed with mobility and in which people find it increasingly difficult to root themselves.

Best Film in the Extra Category “Mountain Expeditions”
Director: Anson Fogel (USA)
Shot purely by handheld camera and mostly inside a tiny tent, this film reveals the not so glorious reality of hibernal mountaineering: three Alpinists clamber up to almost 8,000 m of altitude over the course of numerous days and face temperatures of down to minus 50 degrees Celsius. Visions of faces and snippets of dialogue combine to shape an absurd micro drama made up from despair and apathy.

Otto Guggenbichler Prize for a Junior Filmmaker
“The Mountain Between Us”
Director: Maria Fortiz-Morse (USA)
Forced marriage and the gridlock of seeming practical constrains – or the courage to undergo an education and to develop ones personality, to foster hope for love: owing to its precise and emphatic style of narration, Maria Fortiz-Morses’s short film crystallises the crux of a social problem – the impact of poverty on the development and individual growth, on the different life journeys of three Nepalese girls.

Special Jury Award - Prize for the Exceptional Film
“Berriro Igo Nauzu”
Director: Carlos Rodriguez (Spain)
Carlos Rodriguez’s extraordinarily poetic and subtly ironic film calls all known tools of dramatization on the plan to perform the impossible trick: to take its viewers on a journey through 150 years of family history evolving around a Basque mountain farm – all in one single memorable scene. 

Honourable Mention
“Verticalmente démodé” (Vertically Old-Fashioned)
Director: Davide Carrari (Italy)
The jury would like to make a very special honourable mention of “Verticalemente démodé” directed by Davide Carrari. The film presents a climb in original and expressive fashion whilst always remaining modest and elegant in style and form. Beside outstanding cinematography the movie shows the story of a man at one with his passion in a very personal and convincing way.