Mountain Arts Festival 2016 – Sunday Programme

Mountain Arts Festival 2016 – Sunday Programme


The Mountain Arts Festival  2016 brings together an exceptional group of artists, climbers, speakers and filmmakers for a celebration of the Arts in the context of mountainous landscape. Proceeds from the Mountain Arts Festival will support the Nepal Earthquake Appeal of Community Action Nepal. Find out more at Theme for 2016 – ‘A Day in the Hills’.

Entry ticket includes all daytime films and talks as below. Weekend tickets also include Saturday films and talks, click here for list. 16yrs and under go free.

Additional talks and workshops are charged individually, click here for full programme.


Film Programme – Auditorium 

Morning session 10:30-13:07

10:30-10:40 Introduction to the morning film programme by Ben Ayres 

10:40-10:47 The Cable Car (2008)* 7 mins

Directed by Claudius Gentinetta and Frank Braun. Produced by Claudius Gentinetta. A whimsical and stoical animated short. While travelling by cable car to a place somewhere in the mountains, an old man treats himself to some snuff.  Et voilà!  With every sneeze the cable car cabin is falling more and more apart. The man, however, is far from accepting his fate just like that.

10:47-11:31 Tashi and the Monk (2015)* 43 mins

Directed by Jonny Burke, Produced by. Pilgrim Films. Banff Film Festival: Best Mountain Culture; Kendal Mountain Festival: Grand Prize; Vancouver Film Festival: Best Mountain Culture. Tashi, a 5-year-old girl abandoned by an alcoholic father, arrives at school, perched at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her trousers are oversized, always dropping at inopportune moments as she runs around the mountainous landscape, a refuge for these kids who hail from troubled backgrounds or are orphaned. Lobsang Phuntsok, Tashi’s teacher is a Buddhist monk who trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India but left his home to become a spiritual instructor in the US. In 2006, he returns to his native country with a grander vision: to educate at-risk children and give them a home.

11:31-12:42 On the road with the Red God: Machhendranath (2005)* 1hr. 11mins 

Directed and Produced by Kesang Tseten. Kendal Mountain Festival: Grand Prize, Slovenian Mountain Film Festival: Special Jury Award ,Paris Bilan du Film Etnographiqe: Special Mention. The Rato Machhendranath is the God who has power over rain and is also known as Karunamaya, the God of mercy.  Every 12 years, impassioned devotees pull a 65-feet tall unwieldy chariot, its rider an enigmatic God, on a month-long journey through the Kathmandu Valley. The enterprise calls for extreme cooperation but the jatra (festival) is an arena of gritty reality, where participants vie for everything from a share of ritual meat to status and proximity to the God.

12:42-13:07 Multi-media story telling about Nepal by Alice Carfrae (25 mins)

– ‘To Leave This Place’ The Gosainkund trek is one of the most popular routes in the Himalaya, but what is it really like for trekker and local businesses after the devastating 2015 earthquakes?
– ‘Chaupadi’ Segregation, menstruation and childbirth in the High Himalaya
– ‘Tin Girls’ It is said that in Sindhupalchok you can tell which household has sold a daughter, or lost a mother by looking at the rooftops of the village.
– ‘Human Trafficking Nepal’ A night on the frontline of anti-trafficking.

Afternoon session 14:00-17:00

14:00-14:10 Introduction to the afternoon film programme by Ben Ayres  

14:10-14:30 St Kilda Cliff Dance – Echo of Birds (2006)* 20 mins

Directed by Keith Partridge, Produced by Malcolm MacLean. On June 22 and 23 2007, St Kilda, A European Opera, was performed simultaneously in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and in Studio Alba, in Stornoway. The opera features music by Jean-Paul Dessy and David Graham and live and recorded footage from the islands, including cliff dancing performed by the French aerial ballet group Retouramont. The spectacular Screaming Geo cliffs on the North West coast of the Isle of Lewis, were used as a unique stage.

14:30-14:48 A Great Effort (1976) * 18 mins

Produced and Directed by Jim Curran. Jim Curran’s first film tackles the nature of failure and the nature of effort. This short film is an artistic gem, and led just a few years later to the making of The Bat.  It recreates Menlove Edwards’ famous article of the same name on a solo attempt of Central Gulley Direct on Lliwedd in Snowdonia in Wales. Jim Curran plays the part of Menlove Edwards as he attempts the route with possible fatal consequences.  The film is both whimsical and philosophical, as was the final sentence in the Times obituary for Menlove Edwards: ‘he never married.’

14:48-15:12 Upon a Painted Ocean (2013)* 24 mins

Directed by John Whittle. Produced by John Whittle and Pay Saunders. Everyone knows the Lake District is the spiritual home of the English Romantic movement, but the first piece of rock climbing literature also emerged from that era. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (played by George Smith) makes the first account in the English language of the experience of climbing during his harrowing descent of Broad Stand on Scafell. The film also explores the relationship between risk and poetic creation, the in-betweenness of the travel experience and whether nature has wisdom, all done via his conversations with William Wordsworth (Andrew Agace).

15:12-15:43 Eden (2015)* 21 mins 

Introduction by Dom Bush (10 mins). Directed by Dom Bush. Produced by Land and Sky Media. Dom Bush will introduce his film joined by local icon Ron Kenyon. In the early 1970’s the city of Carlisle became an unlikely epicentre for hard traditional climbing, and a scene developed that rivalled any in the UK. The atmosphere was competitive, a new E-grading system was born and new milestones were set. Eden is set around the little known crag Armathwaite on the Eden River.  It became a meeting place and training venue for the Penrith and Carlisle teams looking to make their mark. The film features Pete Whillance, Pete Botteril, Charlie Woodburn and Pete Gunn and is a tribute to a much loved character who changed the face of British climbing, Jeff Lamb.

15:43-16:04 Operation Moffat (2016) 21 mins 

Film makers and producers: Jen Randall, Alex Messenger and Claire Carter. A BMC TV production, Operation Moffat takes inspiration and wit from the colourful climbing life of Britain’s first female mountain guide, Gwen Moffat. Grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security and wilderness over tick lists, writer Claire Carter and filmmaker Jen Randall climb, run, scramble and swim their way through Gwen’s most cherished British landscapes Claire Carter and Gwen Moffat will discuss the film with Ben Ayers after the screening – see below for details.

16:15-17:00  #WhatWouldGwenDo
Gwen Moffat and Claire Carter in conversation with Ben Ayers.

A rare opportunity to hear Gwen, a Penrith resident now in her 90’s, talk about her bohemian life, climbing and writing. Well ahead of her time, Gwen was an incredible climber and made a living from it, becoming Britain’s first female mountain guide. She then wrote a classic autobiography ‘Space Below My Feet’, followed by detective fiction. Gwen’s life and wit inspired writer and climber, Claire Carter to make the award winning film ‘Operation Moffat’ with Jen Randall. #WhatWouldGwenDo became Claire’s mantra.

Note: films highlighted * are in the SteepEdge / Alpkit collection.


Lecture Programme : Theatre 

10:00 – 10:30 Doug Scott CBE – Introduction to the Festival

The Day the Mountains Shook,  a film marking the first anniversary of the Nepal Earthquake.

10:45 – 11.15 Dean Johnson – Wild Mountain Times 

Tales of Aleister Crowley, Don Whillans, Mallory and Irvine, Doug Scott CBE and his late climbing partner Dougal Haston.

11:30 – 12:30 Rob and Harriet Fraser – The Long View 

Rob and Harriet Fraser discuss their project, which combines photography, poetry and walking in an exploration of trees and their value to us. They are carrying out two major walks, the Light Walk and the Dark Walk, between seven Lakeland trees during the contrasting summer and winter solstices.

12:45 – 13:00 Dr Simon Pierse  – Walking with Alfred Williams 

Alfred Williams, watercolourist and member of the Alpine Club and Scottish Mountaineering Club, retired in 1878 to devote his time to climbing and painting. That same year he made the first of four visits to Skye, staying at Sligachan Hotel and painting in the landscape on extended fieldtrips. Since 2012 Simon Pierse has been following in Williams’s footsteps, searching for his paintings and the locations in which he painted and exploring what motivated him as an artist.

14:00–14:45 Catherine Kay, The Wordsworth Trust – Wordsworth and the Hills 

15:00–16:00 Climbing As An Art – Andy Kirkpatrick in conversation with Doug Scott.

Andy is one of the world’s most accomplished mountaineers and big wall climbers. After a frustrated attempt to become an art student, he went on to plan his routes with the eye of an artist and as meticulously as his drawings. Overcoming profound dyslexia, Andy wrote the powerful book ‘Psychovertical’ and won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Andy is also the funniest man on the lecture circuit.

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  • COST
    £25 for full weekend ticket, £15 for day ticket.




Mountain Arts Festival 2016 – Photography and Poetry Workshop with Rob and Harriet Fraser