Tegernsee Mountain Film is synonymous with excitement and diversity — and with food for thought. This is what its founders envisioned over 15 years ago, and this is how the festival presented itself over the last couple of radiant autumn days to over 6,000 visitors from all over the world.
Film makers as well as mountaineers love these kinds of conditions for their work — ideal film-watching weather, however, looks somewhat different. Still, an exciting, diverse and high carat programme with more than 90 new mountain films made sure that the six screening venues were well packed at all times. “I reckon this is the greatest compliment we could possibly get, for our films, our work, and our festival,” Festival Director Michael Pause is happy to say during the presentation of award-winning films on Saturday night in the festive Barocksaal venue.
Once again, it transpired just how multifaceted the mountain film genre is. With Reinhold Messner’s credibly and intensively narrated, unadorned documentary “Still Alive – Drama at Mount Kenya”, another “true” mountain(eering) film received this year’s Great Prize of the City of Tegernsee. The Prize by the German Alpine Club went to film maker Puria Ravahi for “Last Exit”, a short but courageous and arresting film about the dark side of extreme kicks.
Without pathos, with simple images and a strong message, the South Korean production “Becoming Who I Was” won over the jury for the award in the category Mountain Life: A small boy hikes from Ladakh to Tibet with his uncle to find his calling. Several elements crystallise beyond all religion and ideology: how unconditional love, trust and affection grow and make it possible to face one’s life calling.
The Tegernsee audience is already well familiar with Anne and Erik Lapied and their fantastic nature documentaries. Once more, the pair is able to travel home with the Bergzeit Prize for the Best Nature Film. “Dessine-Moi un Chamois” (Draw Me a Chamois) shows mountain nature to viewers through the eyes of a child. More than that: it becomes clear what role the experience of the mountain world plays in this child’s life.