September 18, 2021


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‘Inside the Storm,’ ‘Over the Ghosts,’ ‘Flolopeps’ Top Kendall Festival

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“In the Storm”, directed by Adam Brown, won the Grand Prize at the 2020 Kendall Mountain Film Festival on Sunday. Filmed over a six-year period, the film follows the story of a teenage surfer as he escapes poverty in Lima with the intention of becoming one of the world’s top surfers.

Without any family support, earning money and the constant fear of the local gangsters who shot him at one point, the film has reached the pre-finals of the World Cup (K-Kavid-19) to speak for itself with his talent and confidence. The jury was unanimous in their decision, describing the storm as “a nail-biting film with a great depth”.

The festival got back to its roots with Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk winning the Best Mountain Film award for Best Mountain Above. Depicted on Everest in an attempt to discover the fate of a mountaineer who disappeared near the summit in 1924, much of it will play in “death zone” where the team is not only fighting for oxygen but also what they are doing. The ruthlessness of the mountain overwhelms the mountaineers, who risk the entire safety of them and their own Sherpa group.

“Luke and the Flopoppis” from Dominic Sniers took the best climbing film to record a group of young people in their search for rock faces, their sense of humor, fragility and the competition and risk of the room.

Despite their breathing perspectives, heights, and drops, they explain how their real fear is the possibility that one day they will no longer be able to climb.

From Michelle Sulima to “The Piano Went to Jangska”, the jury at the Kindle Festival for the Adventure and Exploration Award winners kept their enthusiasm high. With a team of sherpas, yaks and ponies, Desmond O’Keefe has decided to take an 80kg, 100-year-old straight Broadwood piano to a remote valley in the Indian Himalayas, delivering the world’s highest piano. O’Keefe, a London piano teacher, retriever, cat lover and social worker, died shortly after the film was made – probably at some expense.

Kendall’s panel of judges was made up of media experts, rather than explorers and mountaineers, who spoke candidly about films that could promote discussion, tell stories and share, and promote community values.

A film about ghost orchid pollination scientists – and two films chasing ghosts from Earl Bendick – have been awarded special jury prizes with these values, and Shelma June’s “Do Better Too Rate,” a six-minute black female cyclist on how to tell everyone about the sport. The film is about making it accessible

Another film that was made as a thought-provoking bone was “The Cool,” an excellent environmental film directed by Ted Simpson, which deals with the conflict between deer shooting and land management in Scotland.

Warming up to community and sharing issues, the chairman of the judges, Cam Nezarem, explained the impact of the award-winning film in the Changemaker category. The “Venture Out” by Palmer Morse, Jamie Dinicola and Matt Mickelsen depicts an LGBTQ group on a wilderness trip and nature’s healing qualities.

The Community and Culture Award went to Aurelian Bitte and Liz Gomez’s “Africa Riding” which proves to be an ideal model and teacher to children and communities in Africa with her example that inspires.

This year the Kendall Festival celebrates both anniversaries. For the first time online, film collections will be available for viewing until December 31st. More films about diversity and breaking down boundaries

There were a total of 11 categories of awards, which were self-nominated for the Mountain Film Oscar, taken from more than 400 entries. Organizers claim that the digital platform has enabled them to double the number of visitors to 40,000 and the website has tried to reach 17,000 hours in 10 days.

The festival featured a number of art-produced sessions with writers, artists, explorers and speakers, as well as celebrity mountaineers and presenters.

The Kendall Mountain Festival ran from November 1992-29.

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Credit: Kendall Mountain Festival

2020 Kendall Mountain Festival Film Awards

The best prize
“Inside the Storm,” (Adam Brown, USA)

Best Creative Film
Then there is evening, ”said Maza Novakovic, Serbia.

The best short film
“Lock Down Rock Up,” (Nico Hambleton, UK).

Best Adventure and Exploration Film
“Janka from the piano,” (Mishal Sulima, USA)

The best environmental film
“The Cool,” by Ted Simpson, USA)

The best community and culture
“Africa Riding.” (Orlian Bitte and Liz Gomis, France)

The best sports movie
“Runner,” (Bill Gallagher, USA)

The best mountain film
“Ghosts Above,” (Taylor Reese and Renan Ozturk, USA)

The best climbing film
“Luik and Flolopapis” (Dominic Sniers, Belgium)

Changemaker Award
“Venture Out,” (Palmer Morse, Jamie Dinicola and Matt Mickelsen, USA)

Special jury awards
“Chasing the Demons,” (Eric Bendick, USA) and “Get Better Together,” (Shelma June, USA)

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