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Irish film 'The Summit' Snapped up by Major US Distributor at Sundance Festival
21st Jan 2013
Documentary about K2 mountain tragedy which killed Limerickman Ger McDonnell to be screened in American cinemas
A Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board supported documentary about the K2mountain expedition in August 2008 which killed 11 climbers, including Limerickman Ger McDonnell, has been snapped up by a major US distributor at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival 2013.
The Summit details the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing history, is produced and directed by Nick Ryan of Image Now Films, has also been nominated for the world cinema documentary award at the festival. The result will be announced on Saturday, January 26.
Sundance Selects is a new theatrical and video-on-demand film label that provides a national platform in the US for independent films and documentaries will be available in approximately 40 million homes. Sundance Selects, a subsidiary of IFC which is owned by American media giant AMC, secured the US distribution rights over the weekend.
AMC is the studio behind the hit TV show, The Walking Dead, which is shown on RTE 2 in Ireland and IFC previously produced Touching The Void, the 2003 documentary also about mountain climbing.
“Sundance Selects are the perfect partners and home for our film – I am genuinely happy to be a part of the IFC family,” says Nick Ryan.
"The Summit is a thrilling, beautiful documentary that kept us on the edge of our seats. We're thrilled to work with Nick Ryan and producers John Battsek, Pat Falvey, Darrell Kavanagh, and John McDonnell,” Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said.
IFB Chief Executive James Hickey said “I’m delighted to see such a positive reaction to ‘The Summit’ this weekend. Irish film has had a successful run at Sundance for the last number of years. ‘The Guard’ had its world premiere at Sundance in 2011 and went on to have a successful cinema outing in North America as a result. ‘The Summit’ is the third Irish documentary in the past four years to be selected for the World Cinema Documentary Competition following His and Hers directed by Ken Wardrop in 2010 and Ian Palmer's Knuckle in 2011.”
The Summit includes never before seen footage of the climb and interviews with Sherpa Pemba Gyalje, who was awarded the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for his heroic deeds on K2; Norit team leader Wilco van Rooijen, who survived three days in the death zone; and Marco Confortola, the last man to speak to Ger McDonnell.
Twenty-four climbers from several international expeditions originally on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth, but within 48 hours later, 11 had been killed or had vanished, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.
The Summit was produced by Image Now Films and Pat Falvey Productions, in association with Passion Pictures, Diamond Docs and Fantastic Films and is funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/ the Irish Film Board, RTE, BAI and BBC. The Sumit benefited from EFP Sales Support funding to attend the Sundance FIlm Festival.
Irish short ‘Irish Folk Furniture’ funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is also screening at the world famous Sundance Film Festival this week having been officially selected for competition from over 9,000 international submissions.