2023 Programme Launched

Our programme has been launched and tickets are on sale! With 13 speakers and 58 films featuring 11 world premieres and 36 NZ premieres, you don’t want to miss this year’s festival! Remember, you can also watch the films online if you can’t make it to the festival events!

Always a festival highlight, check out our much anticipated 2023 teaser which is pretty much guaranteed to get you excited, emotional and salivating for this year’s festival….

Promoting NZ Filmmakers since 2002
Our film competition attracted 177 entries, with 58 films being selected to screen at the festival, 17 of which are NZ made. We are NZ’s only adventure film competition and proud to be providing a platform for Kiwi creatives to showcase their talents.

Best NZ Made
We are stoked to announce Nick Kowalski as the winner of the Hiddleston/ MacQueen Award for the Best NZ-made Film for his film Changabang: Return to the Shining Mountain.

The film follows three climbers from the New Zealand Alpine Team as they try to repeat the iconic first ascent of the West Wall of Changabang made by British alpinists Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker in 1976 and featured in the book Shining Mountain.

“As a keen mountaineer myself, making this film has been a real treat,” says Nick. “Getting to see behind the scenes of such a legendary climb and getting an insight into the minds of some of the best climbers in the world really has been special and I’m so stoked to receive the award and share the film with everyone.”

Changabang: Return to the Shining Mountain will make its world premiere at the Pure NZ Tahi session in Wānaka on Saturday 24 June, and will be playing on opening night in Queenstown on Thursday 29 June, as well as online.

Nick also takes out the award for Best Climbing Film – Enchainment which follows 2022 speakers Alastair McDowell and Hamish Fleming on their quest to enchain New Zealand’s 24 highest mountains above 3,000m in a continuous 31-day push. Playing in Wānaka on Sunday 25 June and Friday 30 June in Queenstown, and online! This is the first time in our 20 year history a NZ made film has won this award!

Grand Prize
Congratulations to UK director Jake Holland who was awarded our Grand Prize for his film,
New Way Up. The film is set in the Karakoram mountains in Pakistan where a team of climbers have an ambitious plan to scale a technical granite pinnacle that has never been summited, known as Gulmit Tower. The tricky part is the approach. Maybe a paraglider can help…

“When we travelled to Pakistan, we really didn’t know what we would get done,” Jake explains. “So much relies on the weather and conditions in the mountains. When Fabi and Will started to discuss the idea of attempting Gulmit Tower, an obvious story started to emerge, which as a filmmaker was a very exciting prospect. For the film to win the grand prize, is a beautiful surprise.”