page updated 6 June 2015

The Dundee Mountain Film Festival is the UK’s longest continuous running mountain film festival. It showcases an international programme of speakers, as well as award winning films and exhibitions, held in Discovery Point, and the Bonar Hall, Dundee.

The 2014 event is now over, but we have left the programme visible to give you an idea of our programme








Sold out - Please do not turn up without a ticket. You will not be admitted

Film Australia, 2011, 180 min, Directed and Produced by Tim Cope

Following Tim's appearance and screening of the shorter version of his film, this special evening will feature conversation with Tim Cope discussing the making of his much acclaimed film “On the Trail of Gengis Khan – The last Frontier”, followed by a screening of his remarkable film.

In June 2004 Tim set off on an epic journey, 10,000km from Mongolia to Hungary by horse - a journey that eventually took him more than three years and led him on a deep journey into the fabric of nomad society on the Eurasian Steppe. During his life on the Eurasian Steppe, Tim endured temperature extremes from scorching heat in the deserts of Kazakhstan to sub-zero temperatures in the Carpathian mountain passes - with only his three horses, dog Tigon and the big open sky for company. Despite the harsh conditions, loneliness, prowling wolves and horse-thieves, Tim encountered a warm hospitality from those he met along the way. Such is the life of a nomad.

Tim will also be present to sign and sell copies of his book, On The Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads, which won the Grand Book Prize at Banff last year. See a clip of the film here.....






This evening’s programme is presented in association with the Scottish Mountaineering Trust and incorporates The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (Part 1).


Sensory Overload

Film USA, 2013, (8mins) Filmmaker Robert Raker

Blind kayaker Erik Weihenmayer turns whitewater into a new form of braille. Erik Weihenmayer (born September 23, 1968) is the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. He also climbed Mount Ararat and completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. He is the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See, his autobiography.

Erik's most recent passion is for whitewater kayaking. He considers this sport the greatest challenge that he has ever tackled! It is somewhat like sitting on a boat with your eyes closed in the middle of an avalanche while trying to control the direction you are heading.


Keeper of the Mountains

Film USA, (16 mins) Filmmakers Allison Otto, Scott McElroy

Elizabeth Hawley bucked the conventions of her time by settling alone in Kathmandu in 1960, where she began chronicling Himalayan expeditions for The Himalayan Database. Even as she turns 90, she continues to update these records with rigorous accuracy.

The world's best climbers flock to Nepal to tackle new routes on remote peaks. But their feats don't count until a little old lady from New York gives you the stamp of approval to brag about your mountaineering prowess. It doesn't matter if you're Reinhold Messner or Ed Viesturs: your summit never happened unless Elizabeth Hawley says it did.


Dubai - a Skiers Journey

Film Canada, 2012, (10 mins) Filmmakers Jordan Manley, Danny Irvine

In the midst of a city dizzy with ambition, a dedicated community of desert-dwellers
embraces the local ski hill. Dubai is the unlikeliest of ski destinations, but it has a local ski hill. Its 200 vertical feet of air conditioning and desalinated frozen ocean rising up out of a shopping mall. And the “mountain” has its locals: Emirati dreaming of winter, ex-pats from the Alps, who carve GS turns down the manmade slopes. You can ski every day, for 12 hours a day. And, as Jordan Manley and Chad Sayers found out, a turn feels the same just about anywhere.


High Tension

Film USA, 2013, (36 mins) Film by Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Zachary Barr, Josh Lowell

Flying fists, obscenities, and death threats at 23,000 feet - is this the new Everest reality? This film takes a close look at the 2013 incident at Camp II that made international headlines and had climbers Ueli Steck, Simone Moro, and Jonathan Griffith running for their lives.

A situation occurred at Everest Base Camp 2 that shocked the climbing nation. An altercation broke out between a group of well-known climbers and the Sherpas responsible for safely transporting expeditions to the top of the mountain. Like any argument, there are multiple sides to the same story. Was there a right, or wrong, in what happened on Everest that fateful day? No one can say. But we do know that this incident will remain in the Everest history books for a long time.

Before you ask. We have been trying to get Ueli Steck to present at Dundee for a number of years now, but he is a busy man and in much demand. We will keep trying!



Martin Moran is one of Britain’s most experienced and accomplished mountain guides. In 1985 he quit his job as an accountant, and he and his wife, Joy, established their home and risked their future to open a new climbing school in Lochcarron, Wester Ross, among some of the world’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. From this remote base he has guided and climbed all over Scotland the Alps, Norway and the Himalaya, helping his clients to realise their dreams and in Martin’s words “make some sense of their lives”.

He is a fine climber and athlete in his own right. Among his many achievements are his storm-bound victory over the North Face of the Eiger, new Scottish winter climbs of extreme difficulty, a record-breaking run along the Cuillin Ridge traverse, ascents the highest frozen waterfalls in Norway, and over a dozen pioneering climbs in the Himalaya. None of this was achieved without commitment, sacrifice and enduring passion for the mountains.

In his autobiography, “Higher Ground”, Martin Moran recalls his years of training to become a British Mountain Guide, relives some of his most memorable guided climbs and affectionately profiles the remarkable personalities of his many clients and colleagues. His lecture will feature some of the more dramatic and humorous adventures described in the book, a selection of mountain journeys that are variously uplifting, epic and occasionally hilarious. Martin is an experienced public speaker and his talk promises to be a thrilling and unforgettable account with an accompaniment of superb pictures.

Martin will be selling books at the interval and at the end of the session, and will be happy to sign them for you.



Meall a' Bhuirdh (Hill of the Bellowing)

Film UK, 2012, (5 mins) Photography: Jennifer Wilcox; Director: Misha Somerville; Music/Sound: Barry Reid

In 2010, photographer Jennifer Wilcox started documenting the Glencoe Ski Centre as it faced closure. With a compelling soundtrack by Barry Reid, and technical input from Misha Somerville, the film is the result of a fascinating audio-visual piece.





Man in a Hurry

Film UK, 2014 (13 mins) Filmmakers Patrick Winterton, Tony Gill, Rhona Dunbar

The Corryvreckan Gulf between Jura and Scarba is home to the worlds 3rd largest whirlpool. During slack tide, it should be possible to swim the 1200 metres from one island to the other. Just another challenge for local Blairgowrie man and adrenaline junkie “Deano” Dunbar, who is registered blind with the progressive condition “Rod & Cone Dystrophy”.



Five Months

Film UK, 2013 (25 mins) Filmmaker Peter Mackenzie

Filmed in 5 months last winter, Peter MacKenzie and his friends take us on a spectacular ride through Scotland's wild lands. Inspiring stuff for backcountry and extreme skiers. Photograph by Al Todd.





In The Frame

Film UK, 2014 (45 mins) Filmmaker Dom Bush

In March 2011 Joe Beaumont fell 40 metres in the Lake District suffering severe injuries. Two years later Joe is learning to live with his disabilities and formulating big plans. Joes plan includes a journey from the lowest point in the UK (-4m below sea-level in Cambridgeshire) to the summit of Ben Nevis powered only by willpower, physical endurance, and stamina, by bike, in canoes plus the odd swim thrown in for good measure. Photograph by James Kirby.





Richard Else is one of the world’s best known extreme filmmakers. He has won over 30 major awards worldwide, including two from BAFTA, Scotland; the Royal Television Society and from film festivals in Canada, America, Japan and mainland Europe. He was the second recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture from the Fort William Mountain Festival.

Almost twenty years separate The Edge - One Hundred Years of Scottish Climbing from the epic live broadcast The Great Climb, featuring Dave MacLeod and Tim Emmett. In that time Cairngorm based Richard Else has worked closely with many of the world's elite climbers in some of the most stunning locations anywhere on earth. Through a set of multi-awarding winning films he’s had a rare opportunity to observe our leading mountaineers at close quarters. His lavishly illustrated talk will have you on the edge of your seat as he explores what motivates a disparate group of individuals to risk their lives and balance danger against the success of pioneering new climbs. Hear the inside story of the films and the strong personalities who feature in them and relive some of the most exciting footage seen on television!

Richard will be selling books and DVDs at the interval and at the end of the session, and will be happy to sign them for you.



The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (Part 2).


Film USA, 2012 (8 mins) Filmmakers Anson Fogel, Skip Armstrong, Shannon Ethridge

Paddler and cinematographer alike explore a world beyond the unexpected … and find
perfection. Extreme kayakers Erik Boomer, Tyler Bradt, and Galen Volckhausen teamed up with climbers/filmmakers Tim Kemple, Anson Fogel, Blake Hendrix, and Skip Armstrong to hunt the remote Mexican jungle for the perfect waterfall … and the perfect shot. It’s pretty sweet when such diverse talents merge to push the boundaries of visual storytelling.

The entire team was violently sick for many of the days, often shooting or kayaking in between throwing up. It also rained the entire time, non-stop. Cameras broke daily from the wet. Most of the kayaking shots were made from ropes, and much of the shoot was rigging those ropes, in the rain, puking. It was fun. Really.


Dream Lines IV

Film Norway, 2014 (6 mins) Filmmaker Jokke Sommer

Some of the world's top wingsuit flyers take on wild new lines in France and Switzerland





Spice Girl

Film USA, 2013 (24 mins) Makers Josh Lowell, Alex Lowther, Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen

The UK climbing scene is known for its strict traditional ethic, and competitive machismo. Not where you’d expect to find a petite blond girl putting the lads to shame, but Hazel Findlay is doing just that. The first woman to climb the British grade of E9, Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear, and big runouts.



Flow - The Elements of Freeride

Film USA, 2013, (3 mins) Filmmaker Oly Mingo

Geophysicist Rex Flake takes on a high adrenaline mountain bike ride through the Cascade Mountains identifying the flora, fauna, and geology as he goes. Uniquely edited, Flow uses creative graphics and sound design to bring the viewer uncomfortably close to the action. “Flow” follows geophysicist and mountain biker Rex as he rides “Trace,” a popular trail in Peshastin unsanctioned by the U.S. Forest Service. With graphics and little sound effects, Mingo, the filmmaker, points out the flora, fauna by their scientific name and gives measurements for Flake’s heart rate, speed and flight path as he rides his bike off jumps and rocks.


The Last Great Climb

Film UK, 2013 (26 mins) Filmmaker Alastair Lee

Leo Houlding, Sean “Stanley” Leary, and Jason Pickles with a few friends plan a bold new line on remote Ulvetanna Peak in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, a sharp peak just shy of 3000 metres located in Antarctica, and only discovered in 1994. But they're in the middle of nowhere, miserably cold, and a bit delirious. Hopefully it's nothing a little adrenaline can't cure.

In the current age of mountaineering, few great lines remained unclimbed. Every inch of the daring journey showcased in our next film is captured by multi-award winner Alastair Lee. Conditions turn from ‘highly favourable’ to ‘less favourable’ as the teams attempts to complete the climb.





Surviving a deadly situation can seem simple: you either live, or you don’t. But have you ever wondered why – in incidents from mountain accidents to terrorism attacks – some people survived, while others didn't? In many cases this was not destiny, or fate, or even luck: it was a particular decision or action at a critical moment. A simple act. Logical. But not necessarily obvious.

Lyle Brotherton is a world expert in risk. He trains Search & Rescue teams worldwide and is the author of the revolutionary Ultimate Navigation Manual. Lyle’s day job is analysing threat in both extreme and everyday environments at a governmental level for both the British and American Administrations; he has been involved in on-the-ground analysis of incidents such as the Sandy Hook shootings, the 2011 Utøya Island massacre in Norway and the Pakistan Floods of 2010. In all cases he has asked the fundamental question: why did some people survive, and how did they do it?

Lyle’s ground-breaking work studying the decisions ordinary people make in extraordinary circumstances has shown that by changing the dynamics of your situation – whether you’re exposed on a winter Munro, in the midst of a natural disaster or trapped in a supermarket with a gunman – the ability to shift the odds in your favour is the key to your survival. In short, he can teach you the simple, straightforward things to do that will make the difference between you living, and not living.

Whoever you are – be it a hillwalker, an Everest trainee or just someone who wants to arm themselves with effective techniques for modern survival – this is must-know information, and an unmissable event.



This evening's programme is presented in association with Tiso


London to London

Film, UK, 2013 (42 mins). Filmmaker Justine Curgenven

Having become the first woman to row solo across the Indian ocean, Sarah Outen set her sights on rowing, cycling and kayaking around the world. This is the story of the challenging sea kayaking legs from London to France and from Russia to Japan. She crosses the world’s busiest shipping lane at night and embarks on a series of challenging open water crossings that have never been attempted before. A damaged kayak, brown bears, exhaustion and Russian rules add to her difficulties. Sarah’s courage and optimistic personality make this film feel-good and funny, despite her substantial struggles.


North of the Sun (Nordfor Sola)

Film, Norway, 2012 (46 mins). Filmmakers Inge Wegge, Anne Bergseng

Tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the slopes of a remote, arctic island, two young
Norwegian adventurers discover their own private playground. They build themselves a cabin
out of flotsam, then spend the long winter skiing and surfing in the haunting low light. This highly acclaimed film has won numerous awards including the Banff Mountain Film Festival Grand Prize and People's Choice award. See the total number of awards here! This film is in Norwegian with English subtitles.

Last winter, if you had happened upon a specific remote and frosty beach north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, you might have been startled to find two young men, two surfboards and a pile of garbage. The location of their makeshift home will remain a secret, but they are generous enough to share the story of their winter North of the Sun with us.




Imagine pedalling thousands of miles by armpower alone...over mountains and high passes for kilometre after kilometre, wind and dust in your face. Recently returned from a high altitude Himalayan Handbike journey through Tibet, Karen will share her story of hand-biking across the Tibetan plateau - her 'out-of-race-season' holiday, along with insights into training and racing as part of the British Paraycling Team, from London 2012 to Rio 2016.

Karen has the philosophy that to have the most impact in life we should challenge our constraints, adopt a positive mindset and support each other to be the best we can be.

Somewhat an expert in overcoming challenges, Karen finds much of her inspiration through outdoor adventure. She was a keen runner and mountaineer before becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident, and has since pursued alternative ways to access the outdoors – canoeing, sit-skiing and hand-cycling. She has hand-cycled in various corners of the world, including Central Asia and the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the length of the Japanese archipelago. Karen has co-organised expeditions sea kayaking along the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska, skiing across the Greenland icecap, climbing the kilometre-high vertical rock-face of El Capitan, and kayaking through the fjords of Patagonia.

As a coach and facilitator, author and speaker, Karen works regularly with young people, schools, businesses and other organisations particularly on the subject of challenge and change. She is currently a full-time athlete with the British Paracycling Team, won a silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics, was World Paratriathlon Champion in 2012 and silver medallist in 2013.

Karen continues to train with the British Cycling Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympics, whilst running her business Inspire and Impact and fitting other adventures in whenever possible!“What is life if it isn’t an adventure? I’m constantly amazed by what can be achieved if we set our heart and mind to it. It’s all about finding belief, confidence, motivation and commitment. And of course, friends. Then there are no limits.”

Karen will be selling books at the interval and at the end of the session, and will be happy to sign them for you.


















Our major sponsors this year are Tiso, The Scottish Mountaineering Trust and Rab

About the Festival

The first Dundee Mountain Film Festival (DMFF), a one-evening event, was staged to raise funds for building the replacement bridge at Bachnagairn in memory of our friend Roy Tait, a member of the Grampian Club and Tayside Mountain Rescue Team. We just carried on, a fitting tribute to one we loved and admired. More about our history here..