Mountain film festival gears up for next push

SOME 3,000 outdoor pursuits fans are expected to descend on Edinburgh next month for a festival celebrating the best of mountaineering filmmaking.

The fifth Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival has just launched its programme for the three-day event, with some of the biggest names in outdoor pursuits lined up to attend – including Stephen Venables, the first British climb to summit Everest without oxygen.

But one of the biggest attractions might well be more locally-based, the film, ‘Polldubh – A Mountain Climbers Paradise’, featuring 77 year-old Jimmy Ness, from Fort William, repeating his ascent of ‘Pinnacle Ridge’ – a severe rock climb – some sixty years after he first climbed it.

Says the pre-festival publicity: “Other Scottish films include ‘Cycopath’, with Borders-based Douglas Brown, mountain-biker-turned filmmaker, which shows a helter-skelter ride through the single track trails of Glentress.

“More adrenalin-packed action come in the form of ‘Gravity Chasers’ a short film about cliff and bridge jumping in the Highlands, and ‘Bricks & Mortar’, where climbers in Dundee try out their skills on some of the city’s buildings.”

It continues: “The Atlantic Ocean and Scotland’s west coast is the setting for Patrick Winterton’s ‘Scottish Extremities’ which follows the Channel 4/Eurosport presenter’s six-week solo journey by sea-kayak from Glasgow to Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Isles, visiting Jura, the Flannan Isles, St Kilda and Orkney on the way.”

Adds festival director, Stevie Christie: “The festival aims to promote all aspects of mountain culture and provide a platform for adventure filmmakers to showcase their work; in short to entertain, enlighten and inspire people to enjoy the natural environment. Now in its fifth year, it is also an established social gathering for Scotland’s vibrant outdoors community.”