A big thank you to Wanaka and Queenstown audiences


The 18th annual Mountain Film and Book Festival went off! It was so nice to see the usual faces and excited fans and to hear from loyal fans who were watching from afar! We estimate over 3,000 people were watching the festival online over the weekend, with 989 household licences sold. Many of those who watched the live shows also purchased online sessions to catch the shows they missed. The online festival is on sale from 26 June to 5 July online, with until July 26 to watch. Get online now and book your home Festival.

Old Fashioned Story Telling
This year we called in some old mates from all over the world and Aotearoa to tell us some of their best tales. There are familiar faces of guests from years gone by. Check out stories from Leo Houlding (UK) and Timmy O’Neil (USA), along with Wanaka’s Graham Charles and Llewellyn Murdoch, Sarah Outen (UK) and American funny man Todd Offenbacher. Grab this online for free here.

Words and Wine
Pour yourself a glass of something delicious, sit back and listen to these authors read from their books. First up, the NZ Mountain Book of the Year winner Geoff Spearpoint, reading from a life time of exploring ‘The Great Unknown’ that is the Southern Alps. Shaun Barnett will show us how the Tararua Tramping Club has been ‘Leading the Way’ for 100 years, as the first tramping club in NZ. Hear why they call Chloe Phillips-Harris ‘Fearless’, as we ride with her on the Mongol Derby; a 1000-kilometre endurance horse-back race across Mongolia. Justin Venable will bring to life each paddle stroke as he reads the African whitewater adventure diary of his late friend, Hendri Coetzee: ‘Living the best day ever’. And to finish off, Lisa Choegyal will read, from her home in Kathmandu, her words from ‘Everest, reflections of the Solkhumbu’. Cheers everybody!

Grand Prize Winner
The 2020 Grand Prize of $500 USD went to the film Lhotse by US Director Dutch Simpson. The planets aligned for ski mountaineers Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison when they made history by becoming the first to ski off the 8,516m summit of Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world. This film is their story of the challenges climbing at 8,000 metres, and facing avalanches, the Khumbu Icefall, instability and low visibility conditions. They were accompanied by five Sherpa and two filmmakers to capture this epic tale. Exceptional cinematography captured the size and scale of the mission and quality editing impressed the panel of 8 festival judges.