The 17th annual VIMFF wrapped up on Saturday night at the Centennial Theatre with a great night of films, presentations and the 2014 Film Awards. With 79 films in the festival this year, clocking in at almost 40 hours of viewing time, we would like to extend a huge thanks to our jury panel and a big congratulations to the winning filmmakers!

BEST SHORT FILM                                
El Último Hielero : The Last Ice Merchant, dir. Sandy Patch, USA/Ecuador, 2012

"A beautifully photographed and dignified portrait of one man’s passion to keep culture alive in the face of cultural change.  In the age of cheap factory produced ice, Balthazar clings to the old ways of mining ice from Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo believing it is a much higher quality, nutritional and better tasting.  A captivating film showcasing an indigenous lifestyle that will soon disappear."
Tracey Friesen - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

North of The Sun, dir.  Inge Wegge, Noward, 2013

"This film was as fun to watch as it was impactful. From the story of their journey to the lengths they went to ensure it was a success this film kept us captivated throughout. Excellent cinematography, story telling, and interesting characters were some of what made this film so enjoyable to watch."
Shaun Finn - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

BEST WATER FILM                               
The Fortune Wild, dir. Ben Gulliver, Canada, 2013

"This film creates A Life Aquatic of it's own. It was a fun look at life on the shores of the Haida Gwaii for a group of surf seeking friends. Their message of maintaining and protecting the coast, keeping the beaches clean and enjoying our beautiful surroundings come together with great cinematography and a fun soundtrack."
Shaun Finn - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

Valhalla, dir. Nick Waggoner & Ben Sturgulewski , USA, 2013

"This is a film that makes a social commentary without taking itself too seriously.  The skiing and boarding is outstanding, but beyond that is a great story.  Crafted to encourage the viewer to consider: belonging and life cycles and love and FUN, this film exceeds expectation to deliver emotion."
Tracey Friesen - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

Flow: The Elements of Free Ride, dir. Oly Mingo, USA, 2013

"This creative film tells a story, impresses us with strong visuals, graphics, and sound design all in under 5 minutes. These components, as well as the filmmaker’s ability to captivate us as viewers, are essential to a winning film and they’ve certainly accomplished that task."
Shaun Finn - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

Defaid A Dringo: The Climbing Shepherd, dir. Alun Hughes, Wales, 2013

"This film combines impressive athleticism with an authentic coming of age story.  Set in a charming, yet tough, rural environment, the main character wrestles between his passion for climbing and his growing responsibilities as a young man.  A charming narrative, that both entertained and moved the jury."
Tracey Friesen - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

BEST MOUNTAINEERING FILM          (Alpine Club of Canada Award - $500)     
The Summit, dir. Nick Ryan, Ireland, 2012

"A harrowing story offering insight into the mindset of climbers, from what drives them to climb to the challenges they face and the endless scenarios of what could and does go wrong.  While the film does not entirely dispel the mystery surrounding the events of August 1, 2008 on K2, it is engaging regardless of how much or how little you know about mountaineering."
Jamie Franklin - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

BEST ADVENTURE FILM     (Innate Equipment Award - $500 worth of gear)                               
The Crossing, dir. Julian Harvey, Australia, 2013

"This film follows two young Australian adventurers, Clark Carter and Chris Bray, as they attempt to drag their homemade kayaks more than a thousand kilometres across Canada’s Victoria Island.  The documentary profiles how even the best laid plans can go badly wrong when the pair find themselves in an adventure of a lifetime."
Jamie Franklin - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

BEST MOUNTAIN CULTURE FILM       (B.C.M.C. Award - $500)                
Tea or Electricity, dir.  Jérôme Le Maire, Belgium, 2012

"This films sneaks up on you.  At first a deceptively simple documentary following a modernization project in a remote village, it becomes something much deeper.  The respectful and nuanced directing reveals the ambiguity of our almost inevitable development of every corner of the planet, arare glimpse into another world and time."
Tracey Friesen - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

JURY's AWARD            (Festival Award - $500)                                     
The Road From Karakol, dir. Fitz Cahall, USA, 2013

"This film managed to mix adventure, suspense, humour, and the gripping story of a solo journey along both paved and unpaved roads, rocky mountains, and frightening rivers. His sense of humour and adventure get him in and through some sticky situations leaving the audience both laughing and wanting more."
Shaun Finn - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

BEST CANADIAN FILM           (Festival Award - $500)                       
Through Ice and Time, dir. Alar Kivilo, Canada, 2013

"This film embodies the Canadian natural landscape in its grandest form.  Gob-smackingly beautiful, yet poetic in its intent, it shows off our mountains and rivers and glaciers and meadows.  A mystical time-travel element, including adventurous children, a haunting harmonica and a treasured rock, draws viewers in."
Tracey Friesen -  VIMFF 2014 Jury Member

FESTIVAL GRAND PRIZE            (Festival Award - $1000)                         
The Summit, dir. Nick Ryan, Ireland, 2012

"A hauntingly evocative documentary with respect to the deadliest climb in K2’s history.  On August 1, 2008, 11 climbers would perish on the “Savage Mountain”. Beautifully filmed in a hostile environment, the filmmakers intertwine the events of that fateful day with survivor interviews successfully creating a inspiring and emotional view of the climbing experience at its most challenging. The chillingly realistic dramatic recreations are expertly woven into the story creating a seamless transition between the drama and actual footage of the expedition." Jamie Franklin - VIMFF 2014 Jury Member