Our first edition ended on Sunday 13 June. The party was magnificent and a joyful euphoria filled our base camp, the Vox cinema in Chamonix and the Petzl Altitude Camp.
The various mountain workshops, training courses, video or photo courses and themed hikes were filled every day! The aperitifs & meetings between 4pm and 6pm as well as the book signings brought the PlanB base camp to life around many personalities.
For those who could not travel, the streaming broadcast allowed a national and international diffusion.
We were all surprised by the very high quality and the very good selection we saw during the festival. During our deliberation, which lasted 3 hours, we were unanimous for the grand prize, because the Mongolian Rider meets all the criteria defined: adventure, culture and mountains, and with great emotion. All 5 of us were surprised, dazzled, it is a singular film that stands out from all the others.
The first edition of the festival brought together a large number of personalities, but we wanted to focus on three of them.
France’s favourite travel writer, passionate about mountains and adventure, a tireless climber, will be the ambassador of the first edition of the Chamonix Film Festival. He will be the attentive witness of our program and will participate (in an improvised way), in some conferences, meetings and screenings.
On the occasion of this first edition, we feel it is important to pay a special tribute to the great master of mountain cinema, René Vernadet. At 93 years of age, we must listen to his words and the passion that still animates him when he evokes the acrobatic shootings in the Mont Blanc massif and elsewhere…
François Damilano is the host of the screenings at the cinema, every evening from 7 to 11 pm. For more than 30 years, François has been an emblematic figure in the mountain world. A high mountain guide and tireless promoter of ice climbing, he likes to swap his ice axes for a pen or a camera.
The jury for the first edition of the Chamonix Film Festival brought together five great personalities from the world of the mountains, cinema and culture. Their backgrounds are diverse, but they share the same taste for adventure and the mountains and offer us a great wealth and complementarity of views.
The jury, made up of five emblematic figures from the mountain and cultural world – Lise Billon, Stéphanie Bodet, Virginie Troussier, Vivian Bruchez, Sylvain Tesson and Etienne Klein – had some difficult choices to make when faced with a rich and varied programme.
It was a crazy idea for a festival; to offer a high-altitude bivouac experience with workshops, all under the supervision of experienced guides. An idea that had been in the minds of our friends at Petzl for a long time, without having managed to put it into practice. We asked them to take up the challenge and they did, an unforgettable experience for twenty of you…
The camp will be located between the Col du Géant and the Petit Flambeau at 3350m. Twenty individual tents and one Samaya base-camp type collective tent will be set up close to the Torino refuge. In order to keep the bivouac spirit and in respect of the rules of the Massif du Mont Blanc, the camp will be set up each evening and then dismantled in the early morning.
Photos : Thomas Guerrin
Each morning, three workshops were offered by Petzl guides and athletes. Their aim was to pass on as much information as possible to help you progress and acquire autonomy in mountaineering.
In partnership with the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix, we have put together a programme of outings for all levels, in a spirit of discovery and learning. Each of these outings teaches you the techniques and riches of the mountain.
The best professionals of the moment were mobilised to offer you training adapted to your needs.
A huge thank you to all those who have supported us in financing this 2021 festival.
Ghislaine Antoine, Jean-Marc Arimont, Muriel Barra, Isabelle et Pascal Bastide, Brice Bertrand, Olivier Boucheré, Pierre Bousquet, Tiphaine Breillot, Geneviève Cadot, Marianne Cadot, Isabelle Chamouton, Iain Cleaver, Élodie Colle, Gérard Colle, Sylvie Collet, Pharmacovigilance Systems Consulting, Sophie Cuenot, Géraldine Damico, Xavier De Rohan-Chabot, Laure Decomble, Anne-France Delacrétaz, Yves Exbrayat, Pauline Filleul, Margaret French-Théoleyre, Antoine Fournier, Guillaume Fournier, Margaret French-Théoleyre, Elodie Gaby, Camille Geoffray, Cédric Gras, Françoise Guilbot, Mascolo Jeanne, Mathilde Laisney, Nathalie Lamoureux, Astrid Lanceau, Patrick Laroche, Elise Longin, Maryline Métral, Anne-Solange Muis, Gaëlle Odin, Philippe Plantie, Judith Potin, Emilien Provansal, Sylvain Raylat, Camille Raylat, Christine Rédélé, Ines Rubat, Pierre Sancier, Cédric Sapin-Defour, Gerard Schwall, Gisèle Streng, Minh Tran, Jonathan Wojcik… This list will be updated regularly.
At the end, we would like to say a huge thank you to all the participants, supporters and partners, your enthusiasm has carried this festival against all odds. And a special thanks to the members of the jury and to Sylvain Tesson, patron of the Chamonix Film Festival
We saw films that showed us the mountain on a level that was sometimes metaphysical, sometimes purely physical, sometimes a little narcissistic, sometimes very generous, sometimes altruistic, sometimes purely aesthetic, … we could go on at length enumerating the criteria of the categories of feelings that the mountain gives us. There is an abyss between The Mongolian Rider and a young steep skier, and yet there is something in common, and this is how I will conclude: this common thing is what we have been denied for a year. From an administrative point of view, this festival should be forbidden in France because we saw people smiling, glances in the eyes, conversations at the table in the midst of the din and noise, friendship instead of personal detestation and permanent demands, grace, beauty, kindness, welcome… I don’t understand why the central administrations don’t start regulating this festival. Perhaps it should not be publicised too much and its existence should not go beyond the framework of this valley. And then the second very particular thing that this festival and its jury have transmitted, that the volunteers who welcomed us have transmitted, this thing which has been completely abnormal for a year now and which makes the common definition of all these impulses which carry us all towards the mountain. We have witnessed, we have experienced, we have celebrated by going to the mountains and by watching these films, a festival of the living. Because for a year it was explained to us that health should be the horizon of humanity and the goal of our lives, forgetting that to have health there is something superior called life.
Sylvain Tesson at the closing ceremony of the first edition of the Chamonix Film Festival, on 13 June 2021.