Organisers reveal 2024 mountain film and book festival details

Jan 23, 2024

The dates for the 2024 NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival have been released and filmmakers and writers are invited to enter their work in the annual mountain film and book competitions.

The popular seven-day event will run in Wānaka from June 21 to 25 and in Queenstown from June 27 to 28, while audiences throughout New Zealand and Australia will also be able to watch the festival films online from July 1 to 31.

With the 2023 event attracting a record number of festivalgoers and many of the sessions selling out, Festival Director and co-founder Mark Sedon is hopeful that this year’s edition will prove just as popular.

“If you’re keen to share your story with a super-engaged audience, here’s your chance,” is Mr Sedon’s message to anyone toying with the idea of entering a film or book in this year’s competition.

Now in its 22nd year, the event has garnered a reputation for attracting world-class films as well as providing a stepping stone for up-and-coming creatives from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand as well as overseas.

Some $9,000 of prize money is awarded across a range of categories with the grand-prize-winning film and the best New Zealand-made film each eligible for $2,500, and the book of the year, $2,000.

The festival theme is adventurous sports and lifestyle but competition entrants are invited to add their own creative spin, so long as there is a link with adventurous sports or people, the world’s mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans or skies provide the stage, or there is a cultural or environmental theme.

The final programme – to be released in May – will be made up of competition winners and finalists.

For those who aren’t able to attend in person, the online film festival is a popular option. Whereas in previous years the films have opened online at the same time as the live festival, this year, the online festival won’t begin until July 1, after the Wānaka and Queenstown shows have closed.

“We still want to encourage people to come to the event if they are able to,” Mr Sedon says.

“We’re a community-focused event and bringing people together to share their adventures is what we love doing.

“However, we know people are busy and might not have time to join a whole session; the online option means they can watch when it works for them and enjoy the films at their own pace. They can also go back and rewatch something they’ve really enjoyed and recommend it to other people.  

“It’s also great for festival fans further afield, throughout New Zealand and Australia, although we’d definitely encourage you to visit us in Wānaka and Queenstown someday if you can. Our films will inspire you to come to the mountains.”

Authors have until March 30 to submit entries for the book competition while the deadline for the film competition is April 20.

Main image (Supplied): The 2023 grand prize winning film, New Way Up.

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