Press Release/Opening                                                    01/2021-10-14

Tegernsee Mountain Film, 18th International Festival from 13 – 17 October 2021 

Riveting Films from the Mountain World  

Every autumn, when the mountain film scene meets in Tegernsee, suspense is the name of the game – from the very first second. The thrill is shared: by audiences when protagonists clamber across icy ridges at dizzying heights, and by film makers when the jury puts their heads together. 

As always: It’s all about the mountains – and only about the mountains. Despite such consistency, nothing is repetition. New perspectives and unfamiliar thoughts, courageous authors and surprising stories gripped the audience as early as the opening night.

After a year’s hiatus, the desire for new experiences is great, which is evident during the festival opening. The baroque hall is sold out, but seats must remain free. “Due to the current high incidence, we can only operate the festival on a smaller scale,” explained Mayor Johannes Hagn at the opening. “But the Mountain Film Festival is an important element of our cultural life, which is why we have done everything we can to ensure that it can take place this year.” Even if the effort is greater and the number of visitors is lower.

The programme is packed with 94 films screened across six venues until Sunday. This time, the best films from a two-year period make it onto the screen, and one can expect a lot accordingly. Film makers, producers or protagonists are often on site; on stage they authentically portray what might remain obscure to the audience. Such encounters are as much a part of the festival as the films themselves and added their special charm to the opening: for example, when ex-ski racer Michael Veith described what it’s like to be at the start of the Streif in Kitzbühel. And how he thinks he has an inkling of how Polish mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel felt when he buckled on his skis on K2 and tackled the “impossible descent”. Next, incredible drone images literally pulled the baroque hall audience into the eight-thousander’s icy gullies.

Suspense also surrounds the international jury: it has to decide who will receive an award at Germany’s only mountain film festival linked to a competition. This year, the jury does not watch the films together on site, but does so separately “in a quiet space” (aka: the home office). The exchange of ideas takes place via video conference, which at the moment is certainly the best solution. “But it is definitely nicer and more interesting to do so together in one place,” was the jury’s verdict on the matter. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony on Saturday evening in the baroque hall, to be broadcast on the BR livestream (on Bergauf-Bergab, on Mediathek and on BR Kulturbühne).