Out & About in Switzerland: Mountain high film festival

A still from the Italian film. Film Dry Tooling

The 31st International Alpine Film Festival runs this year from September 24 to October 1 in Les Diablerets. Located below a glacier, the resort couldn't be a better setting for such an event.

This content was published on September 18, 2000 - 08:30

Les Diablerets in canton Valais is the jumping off point for the spectacular cable car ride up to the icy slopes at 3,000 metres above sea level. The resort offers summer and autumn skiing and hiking on the glacier, making it one of the few places in Switzerland where winter is celebrated year round.

It's also good reason why Les Diablerets hosts the film festival dedicated to mountains. Up to half a dozen mostly short films will be screened each evening during this year's event, taking audiences from the Alps to the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, across China's Yellow Mountains and the wild ranges at the southern and northern tips of the Americas.

The competition part of the festival kicks off on September 25 with a short French film called "Les Montagnes Jaunes" (the Yellow Mountains), and "Tempête Blanche" (White Storm) by a Swiss duo. The latter tells the story of a group of 12 skilled mountaineers surprised by a storm and forced to take shelter. By the time they're rescued, two of them have died.

Later in the week, the screenings will include "Beyond Everest". It's an Australian film nearly an hour in length that looks back at the life of Sir Edmund Hillary and his commitment to the people of the Himalayas.

"La Mongagna Inventata" takes a very different approach. A journalist who has no interest in mountains is the star of the Italian production. Commissioned to write an article on mountaineering, he locks himself up in a house to do his research, far removed from his subject.

"Denali: Land of the High One" takes audiences back up where they long to be - breathing the thin mountain air. The Canadian film pays homage to Alaska's Mount McKinley - at 6,000 metres above sea level, it's the highest mountain in the world when measured from its base to its summit.

An evening of screenings costs SFr15. A festival pass is SFr40.


Out & About in Switzerland is updated regularly to keep you informed of upcoming events, which may provide a different insight into the country and its people.

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