NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival event organizers remain optimistic will move forward


As Omicron continues to sweep across New Zealand and announcements of event cancellations become more frequent, organizers of the NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival say they are confident the event will be able to continue.

The festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is set to take place in Wānaka from June 24-29, in Queenstown from June 30-July 2 and online from June 24-July 24. Festival director Mark Sedon says the contingency planning put in place when Covid-19 first hit in 2020, as well as the addition of an online component to the festival, means the event can still take place this year.

“Two years ago we set up planning for three separate 100-person events at three separate sites, so we are confident that we can use a similar format again in 2022, if needed,” says Mark. “We will adhere to the requirements of My Vaccine Pass and the organizing team is working hard to ensure that we can deliver a high quality event while keeping everyone safe.

“Our popular online festival is another way for people to enjoy the festival sessions. We introduced this as an option in 2020 when many of our loyal festival fans were unable to travel due to Covid restrictions. It went so well that we decided to keep it in the program and it’s definitely a good way to ensure that more people can be part of the festival even with the challenges of Covid-19.

The nine-day event is a celebration of adventure sports and lifestyles presented to adventurers, movie and book enthusiasts and armchair adventurers. This is a competitive event and an opportunity for filmmakers and writers to showcase their work, receive merit and win cash prizes. The competition from internationally acclaimed adventure filmmakers received entries from New Zealand and around the world, all vying for festival screen time and $7,000 in prize money.

Entries for the 2022 book competition have also poured in with festival program coordinator Dan Clearwater reporting that just weeks after the competition opened on January 1, the number of entries received had already exceeded the total. last year.

“Getting this in the first month is very nice,” says Dan. “It shows that the sector is bouncing back from the initial shock of the pandemic and moving in a very positive direction.”

More entries for the book competition are expected before the March 30, 2022 deadline, in particular with the organizers announcing that, thanks to a very generous donation, the winner of the Nankervis/Bamford NZ Mountain Book of the Year will now receive a prize of $2,000.

Established in 2020, the prize is only awarded to a book of the highest quality and which brings the mountain experience – in any form – into the hearts and minds of readers. The price has gone from $1,000 in 2020 – 2021 to $2,000.

The Mountain Book of the Year award was founded by Dave Bamford and John Nankervis, both well-known and highly respected members of the alpine community, prolific explorer mountaineers (all over New Zealand and overseas) and literature enthusiasts mountaineer. The published authors themselves, Dave and John, (or Nank as he was better known) were passionate about supporting other authors of mountain-themed books.

“We’ve both been strong believers in mountain literature with our own extensive libraries, and we’ve been very enthusiastic about encouraging authors, helping with book searches, etc.,” says Dave . “We wanted to make a contribution to mountain literature and we decided to support the competition.

“After two years, we were very happy with the response and delighted with the first two winners, so it was a fairly simple decision to come up with to increase our support.

“Our thought was that contests like this would help recognize the people who work hard to produce these books and encourage them to keep the mahi going.”

Sadly, Nank passed away just a few weeks ago and after a 50 year career as a mountaineer, he will be remembered for the fabulous contribution he made within the mountaineering community around the world.

Mark Sedon says he, along with the festival’s board and organizing team, are honored to offer one of the most prestigious awards at the NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival in the common name of Nank.

2022 will be the sixth edition of the NZ Mountain Book Festival and the third year that the NZ Mountain Book of the Year Award is presented. The event is renowned for attracting particularly high entry standards.

The top NZ Mountain Book of the Year Award was won by Geoff Spearpoint for his mind-blowing book, The Great Unknown. Presenting magnificent photographs, this founding work recounts more than 50 years of transalpine travels through the Southern Alps. Part memoir, part guide and part poetry, The Great Unknown captures the essence of the New Zealand outback and celebrates a life spent exploring its wonders.

Peta Carey’s Tamatea Dusky was the well-deserved winner of the 2021 Mountain Book of the Year award. This is a remarkable story of conservation and history in the remote wonders of Fiordland’s Tamatea/Dusky Sound. Looking back 250 years, from the arrival of Captain Cook in the region in 1773, to the start of nature conservation in New Zealand over 120 years ago, and to the groundbreaking control works of predators and species conservation over the past 50 years, Tamatea Dusky is fascinating reading and, above all, highlights one of the largest and most ambitious conservation and restoration projects in the world.

Entries for the NZ Mountain Book competition close on March 30, 2022 and for the Film competition on April 20, 2022.

The NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival is a non-profit charitable trust and registered charity (#CC49344). The trust aims to promote, through its annual mountain film and book festival, healthy and active lifestyles, to encourage young people to take small, safe outdoor adventures, to inspire people to reach their full potential, to work cooperatively with others in the field of youth development. , to help people with disabilities enjoy outdoor activities and promote New Zealand arts, film, culture, environment and outdoor lifestyles.

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