Jackson, Wyoming – March 18th, 2007 – Organizers of the 2007 Alpinist Film Festival are pleased to announce “Chasing Dora” has won the Grand Prize Award for the 2007 Festival. Competing against the Peoples’ Choice Award Winners from the other two nights, which included “The Line” for Snow Night and “The Aerialist” for Stone Night, the Award was granted based upon the decision of the Festival’s selective board of members. It is the third film to win such honors.
“Chasing Dora,” directed by T.J. Barrack and Wes Brown, chronicles a small collection of professional surfers as they abide the eccentric limitations of a surf competition created by the late Miki Dora. For the competition, competitors could use no wet suits, no leashes, nor present any logos; in addition, they had to build their own boards and use only organic materials. Also notable is that featured within the film is the 2006 Alpinist Film Festival presenter Mickey Munoz, who, in addition to winning Dora’s grueling competition by surfing the furthest and longest wave off the coast of Africa, stole the evening’s show and eventually the board’s vote.
“All in all,” said Alpinist Film Festival Founder and Alpinist Editor Christian Beckwith, “‘Chasing Dora’ deserved to win the Grand Prize Award of the 2007 Alpinist Film Festival. The production value is of the highest quality, some of surfing’s greatest appear in the film, and, more importantly, there is a story and one that should be told. Really that is what we look for here at the Alpinist Film Festival, and this is exactly what T.J. Barrack and Wes Brown have delivered with ‘Chasing Dora.'”
Coming in a close second was “The Aerialist,” winner of Stone Night’s Peoples’ Choice Award. Featuring climbing great and provacteur Dean Potter and directed by Brad Lynch, the film combines remarkable footage of some of Potter’s most daring feats while paying their respects to a mutual lost friend. In addition to wowing the audience with its stunning footage, causing some to even close their eyes on multiple occasions, many were emotionally moved by Lynch’s touching introduction and thank you to their late friend.
Despite the close call, hard feelings were nowhere to be found. “We are particularly honored that we were in such close contention for the grand jury prize,” said filmmaker Lynch. “To be considered in the same breath as the amazing team that produced ‘Chasing Dora’ just blows us away. We’ll take runners-up to those guys any day.”
“The Line,” which was also up for the Alpinist’s Grand Prize, features Jackson native Mark Newcomb as he attempts – and succeeds – the first descent of the 8013-meter Shishapangma. Newcomb was on hand to present the film, which was produced by Rattlecan Productions.
The 2007 Alpinist Film Festival once again sold out, as it has for every one of its events, yet this time days in advance, a feat nearly unheard of for Jackson Hole residents. The event was a success and is being called by many as the best Festival yet.
“There are many factors for the success of this year’s Festival,” said Festival Producer Wayne Roberts. “The films submitted have increased threefold and the quality is greater than years previous; our venue was the brand new $35 million Center for the Arts; New Belgium beer, of course; great presenters. But most of all, I would say it was the residents of Jackson who allowed us to pull off the event to such a level of success. It was them who provided the energy. It was them who cheered throughout the films.”
Beckwith concurred: “All of us who worked on the Festival couldn’t possibly have filled the theatre with such cheer – we were all too tired. It was the residents of Jackson who made it, and we all simply allowed ourselves to tap into that which they provided.”