SLOVAKIAN FILM ON IRIAN JAYA WINS BANFF GRAND PRIZE

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By David Braun

BANFF, Canada (Nov. 6, 2000 – Joyo Indonesian News/Kabar-Irian)---Mysterious Mamberamo, a story about the difficult and dangerous journey by two travelers into unknown and sometimes hostile territory in Irian Jaya, is the Grand Prize winner of the 2000 Banff Mountain Film Festival, it was announced Sunday.

The Slovakian film, directed and produced by Pavol Barabas, was selected the grand prizewinner from 40 finalists in six categories. A screening committee chose the finalists from a record 213 entries representing 24 countries.

"Mysterious Mamberamo depicts a long and desperate journey over a tropical mountain among people never seen before by outsiders," said jury member Gretel Ehrlich. "A bold, raw, quiet window into a closed world."

"The film captures the pure essence of adventure filmmaking," said jury member Roger Vernon. "It’s a solidly woven documentary that successfully draws the viewer into the jungle."

Film festival international jury members included Arlene Burns (U.S.A.), Mireille Chiocca (France), Giorgio Daidola (Italy), Gretel Ehrlich (U.S.A.), and Roger Vernon (Canada).

The announcement of the Banff Film Festival Awards in Banff in the Canadian Rockies was the culmination of a week of events that brought together more than three dozen world-famous mountain climbers, writers, and thinkers, including Edmund Hillary, Rheinold Messner, Thomas Hornbein, Christian Bonington, Lynn Hill, Peter Croft, Kitty Calhoun, Yvon Chouinard, Junko Tabei, and Anderl Heckmair.

A two-day Mountain Summit featuring many of these climbers as speakers preceded the Banff Book Festival, which this year selected for Grand Book Prize Bradford Washburn's book on mountain photography.

The Film Festival prizes marked the closing of the activities.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml  and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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