The International Alliance for Mountain Film (IAMF) was founded in 2000 to promote, enhance and conserve mountain film.
In 2002, the nine founder members instituted the “IAMF GRAND PRIZE”, with which the association wanted to stress its appreciation to those directors or producers whose works, often straying well beyond the boundaries of the simple documentary, have significantly contributed to the development of cinema focusing on the high altitudes.
Today, it members have increased to twenty-four and come from eighteen countries on five continents. During the Meeting at Domžale – Lubiana in Slovenia, held during the Gorniškega Filma Festival, members unanimously decided to award the 2018 IAMF Grand Prize to Kurt Diemberger, an extremely important figure whose cinematographic career, in parallel to his mountaineering career, has always moved in innovative directions.
Born in 1932, Austrian by birth but resident in Italy for many years, Diemberger is one of the great masters of mountain film of the pre-digital era. The only living mountaineer to have summited two 8000s as an absolute “first” (Broad Peak in 1957 and Dhaulagiri in 1960), he has an extraordinary record of ascents on rock and ice in the Alps, a large number of expeditions on mountains throughout the world and the ascent of another four 8000s (Everest, Makalu, Gasherbrum II and K2). Before the spread of electronic technology, he was one of the very few cameramen to push up into the highest altitudes of the Himalayas, to the point of earning himself the title of “filmmaker of the 8000s”. For years, together with the British climber Julie Tullis, Diemberger formed “the Highest Film Team in the World”, filming documentaries of rare beauty, often in prohibitive conditions and always in full autonomy. Kurt’s film career spanned many years. From 1958, the year in which he shot his award-winning feature on the Great Ridge of Peuterey of the Mont Blanc (acclaimed at the Filmfestival of Trento in 1962), his professional record of achievements has been enriched with an infinite number of titles that have earned him prestigious recognition and international awards; his films have marked an entire season of mountain film and have focused on peaks and ascents, adventures of exploration and ethno-anthropological reportages. A great traveller, Diemberger is also the author of numerous books on climbing, some of which are considered true “bibles”.
The award will be announced during a meeting that the Trento Film Festival will dedicate to Kurt Diemberger on 2 May at 11.00 in the Fondazione Caritro Hall in Palazzo Calepini, in Via Calepina 1, in Trento.
The official award-giving ceremony will take place during the Mendi Film Festival in Bilbao between 7 and 16 December 2018, on the occasion of the next Meeting of the members of the International Alliance for Mountain Film.