Press Release/Award Ceremony                                               

Tegernsee Mountain Film, 20th International Festival from 18 – 22 October 2023 

“Kumari” receives the Great Prize by the City of Tegernsee 

The winner of the 20th Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival has been announced: This year’s Great Prize by the City of Tegernsee, endowed with 3,000 euros, goes to Sean O’Connor’s film “Kumari – A Father’s Dream”.  The German Alpine Club (DAV) Prize for the Best Alpine Film in the category Mountain Experience goes to Alessandro Beltrame for his documentary “Pionieri” (Pioneers). In the categories Mountain Nature, Mountain Life and the Otto Guggenbichler Young Talent Award, “Down to the Last Drop”, “Weather Cam Recordings” and “The Last Skiers” each won 1,000 euros.  

Sean O’Connor wins the 20th Tegernsee Mountain Film Festival. His film “Kumari – A Father’s Dream” (USA, Nepal) prevailed against around 65 international productions and won the Great Prize by the City of Tegernsee, endowed with 3,000 euros. “Kumari” is set in a remote mountain village in Nepal: Jagat Lama promises his dying father that he will bring medical care to their home of Kumari. Thanks to his ability and willpower he becomes a high-altitude mountain guide and founder of a cooperative agency of Himalayan guides. Jagat doesn’t forget his promise and leads a group of friends to channel their resources and energies into the development of Kumari’s basic needs: first electricity, then a women’s skill centre, a school, a community farm and a medical hospital. But in 2015, a strong earthquake hits Nepal and destroys the accomplished work. According to the jury, “this is a moving story about the strength and resilience of the human spirit in confrontation with the power of nature. The director and the crew return to the filming locations and complete the immense reconstruction work with their images.”

A journey to the roots of mountaineering
On August 10, 2021, mountain guide Peter Moser dares a bold tour: he means to traverse six main peaks of the Pale di San Martino in a single day. Inspired by the pioneers of mountaineering, Peter undertakes this solo-traverse along historical routes. The jury is impressed by the approach of Alessandro Beltrame’s documentary “Pionieri” (Pioneers): the protagonist wants to “meet the mountain at eye level, quickly but without haste, on an intimate journey to the roots of his own mountain being.” He is looking for the same enthusiasm that once drove the first explorers. The film receives the German Alpine Club (DAV) Prize for the Best Alpine Film in the category Mountain Experience.

A quiet and unagitated film that highlights alternatives
“Down to the Last Drop” shows in simple and precisely because of that impressive images what is at stake when we blindly destroy highly sensitive, ecologically valuable habitats for the sake of electricity from hydropower. “A quiet and unagitated film that highlights alternatives,” runs the jury’s verdict. “It vividly illustrates just how diversified the search for the best possible solution could be. Harry Putz from Austria has succeeded in making a very thoughtful film that does not release us from our responsibility.” “Down to the Last Drop” receives this year’s Prize for the Best Film in the category Mountain Nature.

 Quirky and all-too-human stories
We are all familiar with footage from a weather camera. In this German-Austrian co-production, Bernhard Wenger and Alexandra Brodski discover “curious and all-too-human stories within the banal camera pans. A witty and original film that surprises,” is the verdict of the jury, who awarded “Weather Cam Recordings” the Prize for the Best Film in the category Mountain Life.

Young Talent Award, Best Cinematography, Special Film and Honourable Mentions
The Otto Guggenbichler Young Talent Award 2023 goes to the young Italian director Veronica Ciceri. Her documentary short film “The Last Skiers” shows what we all know: climate change in the Alps. “But it does so in poetic fashion, in a way in which we hardly ever get to see the subject framed,” explains the jury. “The film is a small masterpiece. Within eleven minutes it demonstrates what documentary film can do.” The Prize for the Most Outstanding Camera Work goes to Anil Budha Magar from Nepal for “The Iron Digger”. This year’s Prize for the Special Film goes to “Märzengrund” (Beyond the Alp) by Austrian director Adrian Goiginger. In addition, three films received an Honourable Jury Mention: “Avenâl” (Avenâl – Crossroads of Nations and Peoples at the Predil Pass) by Anna Sandrini from Italy, “Legenda o Zlatorogu” (The Legend of Goldenhorn) by Lea Vučko and Damir Grbanovic from Slovenia as well as “The Way Home” by Joe Lee from Taiwan.

Proud of what has been achieved: event hosts satisfied with outcome
Jury members Caroline Fink (Switzerland), Josef “Sepp” Wörmann (Germany), Dr Thomas Gayda (Austria), Julia Poplawska (Poland) and Linda Cottino (Italy), spent many hours in the  dark screening room and in video calls to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the 65 films from around 30 nations. Numerous winners travelled to Tegernsee to accept their prize in person at the final award ceremony on Saturday, where the winners of the competition were honoured and excerpts of the winning films screened. Others sent a video message. The award ceremony is always an occasion to celebrate all involved – filmmakers, jury, supporters and organisers. “Personally, I have been particularly impressed by the many wonderful encounters with the loyal mountain film community over the past few days,” says festival director Michael Pause. Johannes Hagn, mayor of the City of Tegernsee, is also satisfied: “We can be extremely pleased with what we have achieved in the anniversary year with our small organizing team and the many volunteers. We filled the venues, were celebrated by the media and received a lot of praise and encouragement from our visitors. For that reason alone, the big effort would have been worth it.” Please note: The award ceremony will be screened online on Sunday from 5 pm at the following link:

Further information: Sonderbüro Bergfilm-Festival Tegernsee, phone +49(0)8022-1801 – 37;, online: