"JUREK" WINS THE GRAND PRIX IN VANCOUVER
The documentary "Jurek" by Paweł Wysoczański won the main award at the 18th Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.
65 films from 23 countries competed during the festival in Vancouver. The jury, consisting of: Deb Smythe, Pat and Baiba Morrow and Brandon Pollon spent over 30 hours watching competition screenings and debating, as a result of which, they decided to give the festival's Grand Prix to the documentary "Jurek" by Paweł Wysoczański. Pat Morrow justified the decision in the following way: this film focuses on the visionary who brought the exciting era of the Polish hardcore climbing community to a fatal conclusion.
"Jurek" tells the story of Jerzy Kukuczka, who died during the Lhotse expedition on 24 October 1989. It was the first time when he went to the Himalayas with money, equipment, as a really famous man. The documentary by Paweł Wysoczański, however, does not concentrate on the mystery of the Himalayan mountaineer's death. It shows a person who climbs up, higher and higher - literally, but also metaphorically and symbolically. From a bootblack to a millionaire, from a socialist worker to an international media star, from the man who climbs without any money and equipment to the real competitor of Reinhold Messner in the competition to climb the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram. Interviews with family and friends, archive materials, photographs, recordings, excerpts from television programmes and interviews make up the portrait of the Himalayan mountaineers in 1980s. It is also the image of the times in which they lived - hard and colourful at the same time, when idealism was more valued than fame.
It is the first Polish film to win the Grand Prix award at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. You can find the full list of the winners on the festival's website.