The Grand Prize award at the 17th annual New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival went to directors Alastair Lee and past festival speaker Leo Houlding for their film Spectre Expedition – To the End of the Earth. The winners of the Grand Prize award receive $1,000USD; the film was also awarded the Best Adventure Sports and Lifestyles Film.
A special Jury was formed to decide the winner and the decision was unanimous. Judge, and filmmaker, Tim Pierce said, “the story and sheer insanity of the expedition, connection with the talent, balance of humour and drama was stand out. The cinematography, edit and colour grading were exceptional. An amazing feat! All the finalist films were such inspiring stories of what the human body and mind can achieve, along with the beauty of our amazing planet.”
In the film Leo Houlding (UK) Mark Sedon (NZ) and Jean Burgun (France) undertake a journey of epic proportions. The trio snow-kite 2,000km across Antarctica, unsupported, to reach the summit of the most remote mountain on Earth: The Spectre. Leo says, “The truth is, it was the hardest trip I’ve ever done. It was the longest trip I’ve ever done. It was the coldest trip I’ve ever done.”
Four films were nominated as finalists:
Best Climbing Film award: Cerro Kishtwar – An Ice Cold Story by director Julian Zanker from Germany
Best Adventure Sports and Lifestyles Film award: Spectre Expedition – To the End of the Earth by directors Alastair Lee (UK) and past festival speaker Leo Houlding (UK)
New award for 2019, Best Solo Adventure award: Surviving the Outback from director Michael Atkinson (Australia)
Best Snow Sports Film: Between the lines – Entre les lignes from French directors Pierre Cadot and Thomas Guerrin