At the cinema

from 8 to 13 june 2021

The Vox cinema will host the screenings of the selected films and the festival conferences. This historic venue, in the heart of Chamonix, will guarantee the quality of the screenings and the comfort that is essential for the quality of the works.

The films in competition

14 films, including 8 new ones

An exceptional selection, international films, numerous previews, the show promises to be grandiose!

Despite the present crisis, some wonderful films have been made in 2020 and 2021. The selection was made by our organising committee. We focused on originality, quality and novelty. Our festival is about the cultural transmission of mountain adventure, and our selection reflects this transmission between history and current events.

Wednesday 9th June

3 films from 7pm to 11pm

Thursday 10th June

3 films from 7pm to 11pm

Friday 11th June

3 films from 7pm to 11pm

Saturday 12th June

3 films from 7pm to 11pm

Sunday 13th June

2 films from 7pm to 10pm & award ceremony

Personalities, jury & the awards

The personalities

The first edition of the festival gathers a large number of personalities, but we wanted to focus on two of them.

Sylvain Tesson, ambassador of the festival!

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. We are very proud of his support, Sylvain embodies the meeting of literature, poetry and adventure, the themes developed throughout our festival… Sylvain sent us this message:

It is by climbing that life seems to me an obvious and supreme adventure. It unfolds like a great sail. It is absolute and cannot be increased by anything! Moreover, the very fact of asking oneself “why climbing” is proof that one has gone back down to the pub. In the middle of a wall, you never ask yourself such a question. There is no need to justify the obvious, nor to legitimise the pleasure! Do we ask ourselves why we breathe? The marriage of emptiness, light and beauty, celebrated in physical effort, with the hope of reaching the summit and returning in one piece, requires no explanation. Do we have to find a reason for a movement that takes you away from yourself, from boredom, from monotony? I climb, ergo sum.

Sylvain Tesson, leaving for the Verdon, 17th May 2021.

Tribute to René Vernadet

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…

He was introduced to the world of cinema at a very young age by his mother, who was one of the great make-up artists of French cinema. From the beginning of his career as a cinematographer, he worked with the greatest names in cinema and culture, Piaf, Signoret, Montant, Prévert, Cocteau… Before discovering a passion for mountaineering and travelling to the summits with his camera.

René is with us for the inauguration and the closing of the festival. He is also take part in Bernard Germain’s conference on mountains and cinema, on Thursday 10 June at 4pm, at the Vox cinema. He hopes to come to all the screenings…

The jury

The jury for the first edition of the Chamonix Film Festival brings together five leading 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 will offer us a great asset of knowledge and complementarity of views.

Lise Billon

Alpinist, traveller, mountain guide

A high level mountain guide and mountaineer, Lise was awarded the golden ice axe in 2016 for her ascent of Rizo Patron in Patagonia. She loves long exploratory journeys and uncertain ascents. Armed with an unfailing sense of humour, she is a prominent and promising figure in today’s mountaineering scene.

Stéphanie Bodet

Author and poet of the vertical

Stéphanie is both an exceptional climber and a lover of literature. After competition (a world title in bouldering in 1999), she turned to the great walls of the world with Arnaud Petit, her partner. Her autobiography, À la verticale de soi, was a great success, recognised for the sensitivity and quality of its writing.

Virginie Troussier

Writer and journalist

Journalist and author, she is the rising “pen” of the mountain. Noted for the quality of her articles in Montagnes Magazine, Alpes Magazine or Voiles & Voiliers, she recently published, with Paulsen-Guérin, Au milieu de l’été, un invincible hiver, which relates the tragedy of the Frêney in 1961. A text hailed for its high literary quality.

Vivian Bruchez

Extreme skiing artist

A steep skier and mountain guide for the Chamonix Guide Company, Vivian is a prominent figure in the Chamonix valley. Involved in risk prevention in the mountains, his unflagging enthusiasm makes him one of the best ambassadors of high level skiing and mountaineering.

Etienne Klein

Physicist, philosopher, mountaineer…

A physicist and philosopher of science, Etienne is also a French cultural figure. He produces and hosts a weekly programme on France Culture. A lover of the mountains, he practices trail running (several participations in the UTMB) and mountaineering. Étienne regularly invokes alpine culture in his writings.

The awards

The five jury awards

The Grand Prix

The film of the year! The film that combines the best technical and narrative qualities, in line with the three axes of the festival: mountains, adventure and culture.

The Audience Award

With Les Amis du cinéma

This prize, supported by the Friends of Chamonix Cinema association, will not be awarded by the jury, but following votes from the public, in cinemas and on streaming.

The Jury Prize

For the jury, it is the freedom prize. They have the right to award it, according to their own criteria, to the film they consider remarkable, singular, surprising, spectacular…

The price of storytelling

A film is first and foremost a story, and a good director must know how to engage the viewer in a thrilling narrative. This prize rewards a quality that is now indispensable to an adventure story.

The “by fair means” award

This prize rewards a state of mind “by fair means”. This formula, attributed to Alfred Mummery, refers to an ascent achieved ethically, without artificial means.

Film selection criteria

The films presented at the Chamonix Film Festival will be selected by a committee made up of audiovisual professionals and respected mountain people. The selection criteria for the films will be based on the founding principles of the festival.

  • The mountain should not be a simple setting, but an authentic character in the film.
  • The film must transmit the values of the mountain, respect for the environment, fraternity, commitment, solidarity…
  • The film must transmit mountain culture, history and the heritage shared by all mountain lovers.
  • The film must be lively, human, sensitive, it must appeal to the strong emotions inherent to the mountain.
  • Mountaineering symbolises the original exploration of the mountains, but other non-mechanical sports (skiing, trekking, paragliding, trail running, etc.) embody this spirit of exploration and adventure today. They will also be present insofar as they allow the expression of a singular purpose.

Our host of ceremonies

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. For François “there is no such thing as mountaineering without a story”.

The cinema conferences

From 4pm to 6pm, conference program

On Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12 June, and Sunday 13 June, conferences will be programmed with screenings at the Vox cinema. Topics of current interest or history, retrospectives or tributes, these conferences will be an important meeting with the cultural heritage of mountaineering.

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