High Ground directed by Michael Brown won the People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Boulder International Film Festival. High Gound tells the story of 11 U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq whose road to recovery takes them to one of the guardians of Everest—the 20,075-foot Himalayan peak known as Lobuche.

The Academy Award nominated film, Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Phillippe Faiardeau won the award for Best Feature. Everyone has had some tough days in grade school, but few have had to deal with finding their teacher’s body hanging from their classroom ceiling. This is the class that Bachir Lazhar, a recent immigrant, faces on his first day as a substitute teacher in Canada. Monsieur Lazhar was a civil servant and restaurant owner in Algeria, but he’s a fish out of water in Canada and his religion is suspect. Moreover, he has a tragic past in Algeria. But in this grief-stricken classroom, Lazhar shines—he sings, he dances, he answers students’ questions about suicide with honesty and humor.

Chasing Ice won the award for Best Adventure Film. Produced in Boulder by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jerry Aronson (The Divided Trail) and Oscar-winning producer Paula DuPré Pesmen (The Cove), this breathtakingly beautiful film is one of the most anticipated documentaries of 2012. Famed National Geographic photographer James Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras throughout the Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His electrifying videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking—and rapidly accelerating—rate. Chasing Ice is a hair-raising adventure story as cinematographer and director Jeff Orlowski follows Balog and his team through brutal weather on three continents while Balog bravely documents the biggest story facing humanity.

And Wild Horse, Wild Ride directed by Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus won the Best Documentary award. This intimate film follows a handful of men and women trainers as they tame wild horses rounded up by the federal government to ready them for the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge.

2012 Boulder International Film Festival awards

“High Ground”

“Chasing Ice” directed by Jeff Orlowski

“Monsieur Lazhar” directed by Phillippe Faiardeau

“Wild Horse, Wild Ride” directed by Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus

“Incident in New Baghdad” directed by James Spione

“High Ground” directed by Michael Brown

“A Finger, Two Dots Then Me” directed by David and Daniel Holocheck

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