2023 – Mountain Film Tegernsee, 20th International Festival from 18 – 22 October 2023
Press Release/Opening – October 19, 2023
Mountain Film Tegernsee, 20th International Festival from 18 – 22 October 2023
Roped Parties and Cinematic Border Crossings
The Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival has been inaugurated, and its 20th edition is capturing the zeitgeist: The festive opening at Tegernsee Castle’s baroque ballroom shows that we cannot escape major human issues in the mountains. On stage and with his film, extreme mountaineer and ice climber Robert Jasper impressively depicts the consequences of glacial melting in the Patagonian Andes. With “Chronoception” from France and “Queen” from Switzerland, the festival hosts highlight the broad spectrum of modern mountain film.
The festival doesn’t start off with a film, but with a dare. Lukas Irmler, multiple slackline record holder from Miesbach, Bavaria, whose film “7 Summits of the Alps” will be shown at this year’s Mountain Film Festival, climbs the Tegernsee stage to demonstrate his skills. Since his slackline cannot be anchored in the ground, he faces a “human-powered” one, i.e. four to five people on each side hold the rope and Irmler walks across it. The rope holders are none other than Tegernsee mayor Johannes Hagn, former mayor Peter Janssen, Bayern 2 programme director Stefan Maier and Birgit Halmbacher, the festival’s office manager. “A mountain film festival can only work as a team effort. We rely on rope holders such as these,” states festival director Michael Pause. Irmler agrees: “All need to pull together, even while everyone has a different role.” Tonight, many of the “rope holders” are sitting in the crowded baroque ballroom. Michael Pause is visibly pleased. “20 years – it’s hard to believe! I’m truly thrilled that the mountain film scene has come together.” Some of the people in the ballroom already joined the roped party as early as 2003.
Known for its exciting topics and curated blocks of films, the festival starts into its 20th edition with a cinematic representation of climate change. After the slackline demonstration, the 28-minute film “Abenteuer Patagonien – Klimaforschung in der Eiswüste” (Adventure Patagonia – Climate Research in the Ice Desert) presents a topic that has in fact already been current for 50 years. German TV broadcaster ZDF has sent scientist Tobias Sauter and mountain guides Robert Jasper and Jörn Heller as well as editor Andreas Ewels to the ice fields of Patagonia. Three of them as well as director and cinematographer Jochen Schmoll will be on stage on Wednesday evening. For many years, Robert Jasper has been one of the most distinguished German mountaineers and top climbers, yet this is his first visit to Tegernsee. Jasper claims to have been on more than 15 expeditions to Patagonia to date and hopes his film will “draw attention to truly global problems”. Like many others, he experiences how mountaineering and climate change are becoming unwillingly enmeshed.
Festival director Michael Pause also feels the pulse of our times with his further selection of elements for the night. Guillaume Broust is a pleasing discovery. In 2019, the French filmmaker received the German Alpine Club (DAV) award for the Best Film in the category Mountain Experience for “The Pathan Project”. This year, he presents “Chronoception”. The film impressively illustrates how by the end of a mountain tour to the most remote corners of Kyrgyzstan, it is not the athletic performance that counts, but the experience itself as well as perceiving the flow of time. “The theme is patience and waiting,” says Léa Klaué, one of the film’s leading actors. The snowboarder and social anthropologist has come to the Tegernsee stage after a ten-hour journey from Valais and tells the audience about at times extremely difficult filming conditions. And she raves about the director’s achievement: “I see Guillaume as a magician. Tone, cut, style: all unique.” The third, last and shortest film of the evening is about the wolf in the mountains and tells a fascinating fictional story. The other leading actress – beside the she-wolf – is Liliane Amuat from Switzerland, who has joined the ensemble of Munich’s Residenztheater.
In its anniversary year, the Tegernsee Mountain Film Festival once again hosts plenty of guests. Well over 70 guests of honour attended the opening alone, including Barbara Guggenbichler, the daughter of the festival’s founder. Also present were numerous filmmakers and mountaineers, politicians and socialites, sponsors, supporters and mountain enthusiasts. Because “the 20-year-mark is a great opportunity to look back”, as festival director Pause explains in his address, and as a gift to all who want to know more about the beginnings of the festival, the Tegernsee Mountain Film Festival is now available between book covers in the form of a commemorative publication. This was officially presented on the opening night by festival director Pause. The first copy was presented to Upper Bavarian district president Dr. Konrad Schober. The commemorative publication is available for purchase in a limited edition for 15 euros in the town hall’s forum. The proceeds will go to the German Alpine Club’s Tegernsee youth division.
At the end of the evening, district administrator Olaf von Löwis spontaneously donates an additional 1,000 euros towards the jury prize. And Tegernsee Mayor Johannes Hagn, who was able to open the mountain film festival for the tenth time, happily states in his welcoming speech that this year, the Honourable Mention by the Jury will be endowed for the first time with 500 euros. Will one of the opening films receive a coveted prize by the end of the festival? This is currently being decided by an international jury. There are a lot of films to choose from. A total of 65 different films will be screened in four venues (Barocksaal, Schalthaus, Ludwig-Thoma-Saal and Medius) as well as in the marquee at the Point, which has been set up especially for the anniversary year. The festival ends with the festive award ceremony on Saturday evening (from 7 pm in the Tegernsee Barocksaal or on BR livestream). Remaining tickets are available for almost all screenings.
Further information: Sonderbüro Bergfilm-Festival Tegernsee, phone +49(0)8022-1801 – 37; firstname.lastname@example.org, online: www.bergfilm-tegernsee.de. All films and the fringe programme are described in detail in the print programme and online.