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The Territory is the $5,000 grand prize winner in the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Competition.
The film produced by National Geographic and others is an immersive look at an Indigenous community fighting against encroaching deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It takes audiences deep into the Uru-eu-wau-wau territory and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risked their lives to expose the truth.
“Alex Pritz and his crew truly deserve the grand prize for The Territory, a hard-hitting film that brings out the conflict between the Indigenous people of Brazil and the “settlers,” commented film jury member Divyesh Muni.
“We are left with a deep impact and a sense of despair as the young native leader and his mentor struggle to fight a losing battle to save the Brazilian rainforest that is critical not only to the local population but to the world at large. The courage and tenacity of the outnumbered natives are inspiring. The film is an alarm and call to action to save the “lungs” of the earth.”
Other award winners at the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Competition are:
Best Film, Adventure and Exploration: A White Dream (France, 2021)
Wildlife photographer Jérémie Villet loves travelling alone through the white expanses of the northern hemisphere. With only his pulk and his telephoto lens for company, he seeks out animals that survive in extreme cold, hoping to capture that perfect image that expresses his intimate relationship with wildlife and the harshness of the landscape.
Best Film, Environment: Nuisance Bear (Canada, 2021)
Churchill, Manitoba, is famous as an international destination for photographing polar bears. We’ve seen the majestic images and classic wildlife series captured here, but what do these bears see of us? Through a shift in perspective, Nuisance Bear reveals an obstacle course of tourist paparazzi and wildlife officers whom bears must navigate during their annual migration.
Best Film, Mountain Sports: Tempo II. Movements in Jungle (USA, 2022)
A conceptual exploration of the shared feelings between music and mountains – Tempo II. Movements in Jungle is set in the world’s largest urban jungle, exploring styles of Brazilian drumming and trail running.
Best Film, Mountain Culture: Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest (U.S., 2022)
Pasang chronicles Pasang Lhamu Sherpa’s tragic and inspiring journey to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest in 1993. As an uneducated, Indigenous woman and a Buddhist in a Hindu kingdom, Pasang’s dream to scale the legendary mountain pits her against family, foreign climbers, her own government, and nature itself.
Best Film, Climbing: From Shade to Light (France, 2022)
Dive into the mind of French alpinist Charles Dubouloz as he attempts a rarely repeated route on the fabled north face of the Grandes Jorasses, spending five frigid nights alone above the lights of Chamonix, France, in the dead of winter.
Best Film, Snow Sports: Balkan Express (Germany, 2022)
German mountaineers Max Kroneck and Jochen Mesle book a one-way train ticket from Munich to Thessaloniki – and start their 2,500-kilometre journey back home by bike and ski. They explore the mountains of the Balkans, looking for the most beautiful ski runs and sharing good times with locals along the way.
Best Feature Film: Fire of Love (U.S., 2022)
For two decades, daring French volcanologist couple Katia and Maurice Krafft roamed the planet, chasing eruptions, documenting their discoveries. Ultimately, they lost their lives in a 1991 volcanic explosion, leaving a legacy that forever enriched our knowledge of the natural world.
Best Short Film: Wood Hood (U.S., 2021)
DeVaughn is a 15-year-old kid from New York City who loves skateboarding and craves a “quiet place” to escape the chaos of his home, the city, and kids that steal from him. The film follows a weekend-long group camping trip, and as we weave between the city and the woods, we witness the joy and growth that is possible when kids have an opportunity to find that “quiet place.”
Creative Excellence Award: Creation Theory (U.S., 2022)
In Creation Theory, nature’s raw elements converge in the Westfjords of Iceland, taking us on a journey from the interstellar birth of gravity and rhythm, to their ultimate human creative expression: surfer on wave, snowboarder on peak, and musician on stage.
Audience Choice Award: Wild Waters (Switzerland, 2022)
Adventurer, competitor, daughter, friend, pioneer, hero, and badass human are all words used to describe French kayaker Nouria Newman. The film follows Nouria as she prepares to become the first female to run a 30-metre waterfall.