Showing posts with label Documentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Documentary. Show all posts

Video: Karl Meltzer - Made To Be Broken Official Trailer

Last year, ultrarunner Karl Meltzer set a new record for the fastest time on the Appalachian Trail, covering the full 2190 mile (3524 km) distance in 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes. That's averaging roughly 48 miles per day for those keeping tack at home. Now, a full-length documentary film about his experience is about to be released, and we have the trailer for it below. This just gives you a glimpse of what to expect from the film, which his entitled Karl Meltzer: Made to be Broken. The doc will officially debut next Thursday, April 13. But you can find out more about Karl, this tremendous achievement, and the film itself by visiting its official website. It looks amazing and I can't wait to watch the full thing.

Video: Expedition Alaska Adventure Race Trailer

Last year, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the team that organized and ran the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race, a 300+ mile (482+ km) multi-sport, multi-day race that attracted 20 teams from across the globe. It was an amazing event with some of the best endurance athletes on the planet taking on a course that ran through some remote and rugged areas. The entire race was filmed by a dedicated and tough team, and a full-length documentary about the event has now been completed. It will be making the rounds of the adventure film festival circuit and will eventually be available to purchase as well.

To get a taste of what Expedition Alaska was all about, and what I was working on up north last summer, check out the trailer for the documentary below. It will give you a sense of what adventure racing is all about, while showing off the amazing landscapes in Alaska. It's pretty epic, and well worth a watch.

EXPEDITION ALASKA TRAILER from Hyperion XIII Productions on Vimeo.

Video: The Official Trailer for Planet Earth II

Way back in 2006 – when this blog was still in its infancy – a groundbreaking television show called Planet Earth was released. Narrated by the incomparable David Attenborough, it went on to capture the imagination of millions of viewers, and set a high-water mark for nature documentaries that has yet to be surpassed in my opinion. Now, the BBC is back at it and will release Planet Earth II in November. We recently got a sneak peek at what we can expect in the form of a 2+ minute long trailer, which you'll find below. When it was released a decade ago, the original series was filmed in high definition, revealing to the public just how stunning that format could me. Now, the show has been filmed at 4K resolutions, which is just as dramatic of a leap forward as HD. As you'll see, the team behind this program looks like they delivered on the epic heritage of the original. I can't wait to see it.

Meet the First Men to Fly Over Everest

If you've seen the big Hollywood film Everest that came out last year, you probably heard one of the characters deliver a line about how the team would be climbing at the same altitude as a commercial jetliner. Today, aircraft fly over or around the mountain on a regular basis, and no one thinks twice about it, but back in 1933 that still seemed like an impossible height to take an aircraft, particularly in an age when pressurized cabins were not necessarily the norm just yet. But two daring pilots made that flight, and lived to tell the tale. And they did so in a biplane that is down right ancient when compared to modern aircraft.

Mashable recently posted a story and some great  photos from that epic adventure that was called the Houston Everest Expedition because it was sponsored by a wealthy British philanthropist known as Lady Houston. She put up the money that allowed RAF pilot Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (aka Lord Clydesdale) and Colonel Stewart Blacker to attempt to fly a Westland PV-3 biplane over the top of the world's highest mountain, something that seemed incredibly dangerous at the time.

The two men took off from an airstrip near Purnea, India on the morning of April 3, 1933. They were accompanied by a second aircraft flown by Flight Lieutenant David McIntyre and a photographer named S.R. Bonnett. The second plane was there to record the event for posterity and get some fantastic images of this daring flight. The photographer did not disappoint.

As it turns out, the mission was a test for both pilots and aircraft, as there was indeed no pressurized cabins. The four men who were aboard the two planes had to rely on oxygen masks to keep their wits about them and help them breathe at such an altitude. On top of that, it was rare for any airplane to fly at such heights at that point in history, and the small biplane struggled in the thin air just as much as her crew.

When the two planes approached Everest, high winds caused even more problems, forcing the planes to drop 1500 feet (457 meters). But in the end, they were able to climb back up to 29,029 feet (8848 meters) and pass over the top of the summit for the very first time. All four men were given high accolades with Lord Clydesdale earning the Air Force Cross for his leadership. Bonnett's photos and video footage were also used to create an Academy Award winning film called Wings Over Everest as well. You can watch that film below.

The story of this expedition is an amazing one. Today we take it for granted that we fly at such a height, but back in 1933 it was almost as if they were trying to go to the moon. Fortunately, they proved that aircraft are sturdier than was believed and that man can go to higher heights that was previously believed. It would be 20 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay would actually climb to the summit, but this intrepid crew helped lead the way.

Video: Frozen Highway Trailer - Mountain Biking Through the Himalaya

Earlier this year, two Indian adventures – Rajesh P Nayak and Sharath Vishnu – attempted a winter crossing by mountain bike through the Himalaya. The two men decided to ride their bikes along the frozen Zanskar river through the highest motorable passes of Khardung La and Chang La in the Ladakh region, covering some 600 km (372 miles) in the process. A documentary team came along with them to capture their efforts, and that footage is now being turned into a film called Frozen Highway. The video below is a trailer for that film, and gives us a brief glimpse of what it was like for Rajesh and Sharath out on the trail. To say it was a challenge would be an understatement, as you'll see below.

New Film Takes Us on an Iranian River Adventure

Way back in March of this year I told you about a new documentary that was in the works. The film followed the travels of U.K. adventurers Tom Allen and Leon McCarron as they traveled through Iran, following the Karun River from source to sea. The duo traced the origins of the river to the Zard Khu mountains, and then followed its entire length to the Persian Gulf, covering some 720 km (450 miles) on foot, packraft, and bike.

Along the way, they discovered a country that was not at all what they expected. The Iranian people were warm and inviting, greeting Tom and Leon with respect and friendship. This runs counter to the way the country is often portrayed in the media, particularly as Iranian leaders clash with the West on some fundamental political issues. But the Iranian people didn't let those geopolitical conflicts influence how they felt about their visitors from he U.K., and as a result they came to call the country the "friendliest place on Earth."

That film is now complete, and it was just released earlier this week through digital distribution on the Internet. You'll find more about it on the official website at You'll also find a list of screenings for the doc, as well as instructions on how you can host a screening of your own. Tom and Leon are hoping to show the film to as many people as possible, as they would like to use it as a vehicle to inform others about just how welcoming the Iranian people truly are. While they set out on a grand adventure, they discovered that their film was as much about the people of Iran as it was their own expedition.

Below is the trailer for the documentary. If you'd like to watch the entire video, visit the film's official website.

Karun: Misadventures On Iran's Longest River (Official HD Trailer) from Tom Allen on Vimeo.

Meru Film Opens This Week

Yesterday I shared the second trailer for the upcoming Everest film, which judging from the traffic on that post there is a great deal of interest amongst reader. But that isn't the only mountaineer movie that we'll be able to catch in theaters over the next few weeks, as Meru is also releasing to a more limited number of screens starting this week.

This documentary follows the 2008 expedition to Mount Meru by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to attempt to climb the Shark Fin, a 4000-foot (1219 meter) big wall in the Indian Himalaya. The trio of climbers faced difficult conditions, avalanches, harsh weather, and some of the most challenging pitches found anywhere on the planet on their way up the 21,000-foot (6400 meter) peak. Along the way they were pushed to their absolute limits as they gave into their obsession for reaching the summit.

For my money, Meru is the most important mountaineering film we'll see of the two new releases. It is raw and real, with the actual climbers telling the story. Everest on the other hand is a big Hollywood production that – judging from the trailer – is filled with melodramatic dialog. Don't get me wrong, the climbing scenes look well done for this type of movie, but Meru is using actual footage from the real expedition, and the scenes haven't been recreated for the purpose of telling the story.

The documentary will go into limited release starting this Friday, and will slowly make its way into other theaters in the weeks ahead. You can check to see where it will be playing in your area by clicking here. In my case, it arrives in my town on Sept. 4, two days after a depart for the South Pacific for my honeymoon. That means it may not be still playing here when I get back home, but I am eager to see it none the less.

For an idea of what Meru is all about, check out the trailer below. It does a fine job of showing us what to expect. Can't wait to see it at some point.

Video: Trailer for An American Ascent

In June of 2013, a team of of all African-American climbers traveled to Alaska to climb the highest peak on the continent – Denali. That team would be the first of its kind on the mountain, and hoped to inspire others to follow in their footsteps in seeking outdoor adventure. A documentary film was made about that expedition called An American Ascent, and it is currently screening across the country. The video below is the trailer for that film, and will certainly give you the gist of what it is about. It will also compel you to seek out the film for yourself. Hopefully this comes to Netflix, as I'd very much like to see the whole thing.

An American Ascent - Film Trailer from Distill Productions on Vimeo.

Video: The Trailer for K2: Siren of the Himalaya

With the summer climbing season about to begin, I thought it was worth sharing the trailer for the film K2: Siren of the Himalaya that was released last year. It is a fantastic documentary that takes a look at this amazing mountain, and the men and women who are drawn to climb it. The film is available to purchase or rent via a number of outlets, including iTunes and Google Play, and is well worth the money. If you want to know more about what mountaineers face on the "Savage Mountain," you'll certainly want to give this film a look.

Kickstarter Project: The Long Way to Everest

I generally get several emails a day from someone asking me to help promote their crowdfunding project. Most of them are of little interest to me, or those who read this blog. Some are simply asking others to help fund their travels, which I find somewhat distasteful. But occasionally I get an email about a project that I do find incredibly interesting and worth mentioning, which why I will post about some crowdfunding efforts from time to time. Take for example a new project from a budding filmmaker named Daniel Foutz who has come up with a unique idea for a documentary film that I think many would enjoy seeing.

Daniel calls his project The Long Way to Everest, and he has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his idea. You see, as a child Daniel read books about Everest, and the mountain became a place that he fell in love with even though he had never seen it in person. That is something a lot of us can probably relate to. He often organized climbs with his friends back in his home country of the Philippines, and while they didn't come close to comparing to climbing the Himalaya, it spurred on a young man's imagination for adventure.

Now, Daniel would like to make the trek to Everest Base Camp himself so he can visit the place that he has read so much about. But unlike most trekkers who make that journey, he wants to skip the flight to Lukla and trek from a village called Jiri instead. You see, Jiri is the place where Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay – along with the rest of their climbing team – began the trek to Everest on the historic expedition that ultimately produced the first ascent of the mountain. The hike from Jiri adds quite a few kilometers and days to the journey, which Daniel believes will take about three weeks to complete.

Prior to the construction of the airport in Lukla, Jiri and other villages along the original route received an influx of visitors that brought money to the local economy there. But now, those villages are all but ignored. Daniel says that in 2011 more than 37,000 people visited the Everest region. Only about 400 of those passed along the route that begins in Jiri. The idea behind The Long Way to Everest project is to follow the old route to the mountain and explore how the villages along that section of the trek are faring these days.

While the focus of the trek is to make a documentary film about the original trekking route and the villages that are found along the route that Hillary and Norgay used, there is another intriguing element to the project as well. Daniel also intends to carry a geocache time capsule with him to Base Camp which will contain historical information about the mountain, mementos from the trek, and letters from supporters of his efforts. He intends to lock that cache when he hides it, but provide clues to the combination to that lock which will be scattered along the trekking route. The coordinates will be shared for geocachers to find later, and whoever collects the clues gets to unlock the capsule and discover what is inside.

Not only do I think this sounds like a very interest project, I also applaud Daniel for not asking for others to completely fund it for him. He has set a very modest goal for his Kickstarter campaign of just $500 CAD, which is roughly $400 US at the moment. He has nearly reached halfway to his goal with more than 20 days to go, so hopefully he'll be able to get the funding he needs to get his project off the ground.

As someone who has made the trek to Everest Base Camp himself, and had some first hand experience in the villages that fall along the route, I think a documentary of this type would be very interesting. Hopefully we'll all get a chance to see it in the future.

Video: Climbing Higher Cathedral Rock Yosemite - A Trailer for The Constant Gardner

Back in September, climbers Cheyne Lempe and Ethan Pringle joined forces to open a new route on the North Face of Higher Cathedral Rock in Yosemite. They competed that climb on September 13, and named the new route The Constant Gardner. Next spring, a documentary of that climb will be released, but you can get a sneak peek int he trailer below. To say it looks amazing would probably be an understatement. Yosemite Valley simply looks gorgeous from high up, and this is highly technical rock climbing at its finest. Can't wait to see more of this.

The Constant Gardener - Trailer from Mountain Hardwear on Vimeo.

Video: Welcome to Union Glacier

We're just a few weeks away from the start of the 2014 Antarctic expedition season, and I can't think of a better way to get in the spirit than watching this video. It is a 54-minute long documentary about life at Union Glacier, where a team of research scientists work year round. This is not a story about a grand adventure skiing to the South Pole. It is, instead, a story about what it is like to live and work in Antarctica, where the grand adventure is the place that surrounds you. As someone who hopes to visit Antarctica someday, I found it very interesting. I hope you do too.

Welcome to Union Glacier from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.