1.Grand Prix – Echo 2015
“Jeff Lowe’s Methanoia” – Jim Aikman, USA, 2014
In the mountain, same as in our lives, there is a point of no return. The goal, both in the mountain and in our lives is to reach this point.
This film tells Jeff Lowe’s personal drama. Jeff is one of the most extreme climbers in the world, but this film convincingly yet subtly, reminds us that this is a universal drama which we all face! The spiritual conversion that Jeff undergoes, reminds us what it means to be alive and how endlessly committing that task is. The Impossible is only that which we have not done yet! – Jeff Lowe reminds us. Even the biggest tragedy can grow into a spiritual triumph, after we accept the biggest challenge – to face who we truly are! The film is aesthetically effective, with dynamic dramaturgy and wonderful photography. It represents a powerful and inspirational star in the galaxy of documentary mountain films.
2.Best feature film
“China Jam” – Evrard Vandenbaum, France, 2014
Hedonism at 5000 meters. When even on the edge of suffering – there is a pleasure. When the mountain offers promises as well as threats. This film shows as the inspirational, encouraging and optimistic aspect of life without restraints and it has a deep educational and humanistic message. It shows that the fear and the humor can go together, that the rhythm and the music are the way out of the danger and that the mountains are loved through sweat, songs and spirit. The actors in this film make an interaction with nature – not as conquerors, but in a noble way by becoming one with it, the nature.
3.Special mention – feature film
“”Nini” – Gigi Giustiniani, Italy, 2014
Superiority of the documentaristical presentation of the archive materials from some 85 years ago. The film captures the fundamental challenges of being an alpinist while at the same time confirming that it is equally as challenging to be a human. In this film, the passion, love, music, drama and the poetry expressed through a narrative structure – function together in an unbelievable harmony.
4.Special mention – feature film
“First Macedonian traverse” – Goran Vukik/Kiril Sentevski, Macedonia, 2015
First of all, this film represents a unique archive video document that shows the history of the so called Macedonian western traverse, as the most spectacular and at the same time – the biggest mountain traverse in Macedonia.
The films follows the story from the very first idea about this traverse – all the way to the moment when it was finished and fully marked. The second quality of this film is its affirmation and development of ethical values, which serve as the basic inspiration for the mountaineering sport. The spirit of solidarity and mutual care shown by the members of the team who participated in the marking of the traverse, in the best way promotes mountaineering in all its important values.
The aesthetic aspects of the film are realized through balanced sequences of the narrative and dynamic elements.
5.Best short film
“Operation Moffat” – Jen Rendal/Claire Carter, UK, 2015
The main prize in this category goes in the hands of two ladies, Jen Rendal and Claire Carter, who through their film tell the story about the first female mountain guide in the UK. The film contains all the elements that any short film should have: a combination of archival and new material that construct the film story, humor and emotions that spout everywhere. A very important feature of this film is the parallel action where beside the 91-year old heroin, the authors of this film are also involved.
6.Special mention – short film
“Stone free” – Alastair Lee, UK, 2015
This film directed by Alastair Lee, receives the Special Mention award because of its capacity to capture the absolute freedom of a free solo climber. It is a story about the anti hero, Julian Lines, whose passion is the absolute blending in with nature. In a poetic way and with a refined documentary touch, Lee manages to capture his philosophy of life, in which, the best climber you have never heard of, says that the moments spent on the rock are to him the very essence of life. We hope that the same motto is the driving force to many of the people that are here with us tonight in the cinema theater.
7.Best Amateur Video
“Salakovi Lakes Traverse” – Kosta Lazarevski
A compact and harmonic work, in which the highlighted lyrical quality, fitted into well chosen musical ambient, culminates with the discreetly announced suggestion that going to the mountains is a quest for beauty in the universal transience of the world.
Echo Mountain Film Festival 2015 - Members of the Jury
Prof. Dr. Ferid Muhic
Prof. Dr. Andrew Goodspeed