NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival goes ahead

Mark Watson and Hannah Black on the Salar Uyuni, the world’s biggest salt flat in Bolivia | Mark Watson

The18th NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival is scheduled to run in a  reduced capacity in Wānaka from June 26 to 28, followed by the national tour.

The festival director, Mark Sedon, has had to create adapted options for the festival format and platform for 2020.

Sedon said: "There are several options available to us, including using the smaller community hub for events with a reduced but still attractive festival programme, while simultaneously broadcasting shows online.

"As the global events have unfolded over the past week, we have adapted and decided to keep it kiwi due to the uncertainty of our international guest speakers being able to travel.”

Sedon confirmed that they would continue to monitor the spread of coronavirus and follow the government guidelines for events and gatherings.

New for 2020 is the NZ Mountain Book of the Year award, founded and supported by DaveBamford and John Nankervis. This award winner is set to receive $1,000. Entries for the mountain book competition are invited to be submitted under two categories: mountain and adventure (accounts of specific experiences, fiction or nonfiction) and mountain and adventure heritage (guidebooks, coffee table/picture books, history books, analyses, reflections on culture, environments or ethics, advocacy).

The New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival will continue with plans to host speakers. These include Scott Donaldson (Auckland)and Jo Haines (Wānaka). After 61 days Donaldson became the first solo kayaker to paddle from Australia to New Zealand successfully. The landing was his second attempt after having had to abandon a previous attempt in 2014 due to a broken rudder, 84 days in and 80km from the land. Donaldson was the tenth paddler to attempt the passage; he survived curious sharks, lightning storms and some mighty squalls. He will talk about this adventure at the film festival this year.

Jo Haines is travelling the world, three months at a time, on a bike. Each autumn she sets off from Albert Town, to explore another unique corner of the globe. Haines reckons over the years, "Our tyres have gotten fatter, our loads are getting smaller, and the trails are getting quieter and rougher." The list of destinations and journeys is impressive. Haines has chosen to speak about her travels across Georgia, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The programme will once again include films from the annual filmmaker's competition. The festival has received over 90 submissions already and will continue to accept entries until April 20.


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