Love Ambleside are the public face of ‘Ambleside Together’ – a group formed in January 2016 in the wake of the December 2015 floods. After putting together an active promotional campaign using a distinctive heart shaped logo, they have now organised an exciting line-up for their inaugural Festival of the Fells programme. Designed to appeal to fell lovers of all levels, it promises a cultural celebration of guided walks and swims, illustrated talks and lectures, music, special menus in local restaurants and cafes. All to be held over a long weekend from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th September. For film buffs, there is also an excellent set of mountain movies at Zeffirellis Cinema on offer.
Following the official opening of the festival at 6pm on the 22nd, there is a rare screening of North Face, an acclaimed award-winning 2008 German movie about the first major attempt to climb the north face of the Eiger in 1936. (SCREEN 1: 8.30pm 127 mins Cert 12A £8.50)
Fittingly, both of the Lake District showpiece films from the highly talented film-maker, Terry Abraham are set to be shown too. There is an early start for 2014’s Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike on Friday 23rd; the film that first captured the imagination of a whole new audience and subsequently went on to enjoy regular outings on the BBC. You can find more extensive details on the film in the new book ‘An A-Z of Cumbria & the Lake District on Film’ – available for pre-order here. (Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike SCREEN 2: 11am, 75 mins Cert – tbc Adults £7.00 Children, OAPs & Students £6.00)
The excellent 2016 follow-up: Life of a Mountain: Blencathra is the main attraction of the festival’s Saturday night. Terry will be in attendance too, introducing the film and then taking questions after the screening. If you haven’t seen either film on the big screen before, then make sure you don’t miss out this time. (SCREEN 1: 8.15pm, 65 mins Cert tbc. £8.50)
Other highlights include Kevin MacDonald’s BATFA winning 2003 film Touching the Void. A true story, the tense and dramatic events show mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates on a life-threatening ascent of the 20,813 ft Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. (Fri 23 SCREEN 2: 2.30pm, 102 mins Cert 15 – Adults £7.00 Children, OAPs & Students £6.00).
Friday evening’s main event features an all-star cast in the 2015 film Everest. Including Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley and Emily Watson, the gripping action documents the main incidents of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. (SCREEN 2: 8.15pm, 121 mins, Cert 12A – £8.50)
Saturday’s matinee offering is the spectacular Sherpa, another film related to the perilous experiences on the roof of the world. In 2013, violent confrontations broke out between Sherpas and Europeans when an ice avalanche occurred on Everest’s notorious Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. The critically acclaimed documentary relays the 2014 Everest climbing season from the Sherpas’ point of view, focusing mainly on Phurba Tashi, a Sherpa who made an astonishing 21 ascents of Everest. It was also scored the second best film by audiences at this years 17th Keswick Film Festival.
Audiences of the Kendal Mountain Festival may already be familiar with the incredible story and determination of Ambleside endurance runner, Ben Abdelnoor (current holder of the Lakeland 50 Ultra Race Record). Who features in Free Running the first of two shorts to be shown early on Saturday morning. The other Free Diving is the moving story of Stig Pryds, who similarly overcame a debilitating condition to become the world champion free diver. (SCREEN 2: 11am, 18 mins combined run-time, Cert tbc. Combined ticket price £5.00)
For more information visit: Festival of the Fells
To book tickets call Zeffirellis on: 015394 33845 or visit www.zeffirellis.com