November 20-24, Bansko – world capital of mountaineering culture! Banskofilmfest’s motto – 100% extreme, 100% adventure, 100% adrenaline

Banskofilmfest 2013 is near! For the 13th time we will show You the best extreme sports films in the world and we will make it possible for You to meet legendary alpinists, climbers, and extreme sports people. What could be better than experiencing mountains and going to the cinema, meetings, presentations, exhibitions and parties, all at the same place?! All of Banskofilmfest’s events are free of charge. You create the atmosphere. Banskofilmfest’s staff welcomes you to the town of Bansko!

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Sinanitza peak, Pirin

Photos: Sevdelin Atanasov

Organizers: “International Mountain film fest” alliance

Municipality of Bansko.

In association with:

Embassy of Austria in Bulgaria

Embassy of Mongolia in Bulgaria

Polish Institute Sofia

Slovak Republic Embassy in Bulgaria

November 20th to 24th, 2013 – More than 110 movies from 27 countries will participate in the competition and retrospective programmes of Banskofilmfest 2013.

Bansko will host the 13th edition of the only international film festival in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans for mountaineering, extreme sports, and adventures – member of the International Alliance for Mountain Film since 2005. The tradition to have guests from among the worldwide legendary figures of winter and extreme sports will go on. Until now, our official guests have been: Reinhold Messner (Italy) – the greatest alpinist and adventure hunter of all time; Børge Ousland (Norway) – the greatest polar traveler, nicknamed “the Second Amundsen”, legendary skier Gustavo Thöni (Italy); alpinism legends Walter Bonatti (Italy) and Kurt Diemberger (Austria); Krzysztof Wielicki (Poland) – the 5th man to climb all 14 peaks above 8000 meters in the world; Erhard Loretan (Switzerland) – the third person (after Reinhold Messner and Jerzy Kukuczka) to achieve the same feat; Alexander Huber (Germany) – the best extreme climber in the world, the renowned filmmaker Michael Brown (USA), who has been to the top of Mt. Everest 4 times and captured the unique shots in the IMAX movie of the same name, and who has won 3 Emmy awards; Tamotsu Nakamura (Japan) – the greatest explorer of the Tibetan mountains; among others.

Banskofilmfest 2013’s official guests will be:

Géraldine Fassnacht (Switzerland) – one who could easily claim to be “the most extreme female in the world”: extreme skier and snowboarder (having won the most important free riding competitions 11 times), parachute jumper, sky diver, B. A. S. E. jumper (first jumps in history in Antarctica, Mali, Iran), wing suite flyer. Author, co-author and subject of 12 movies.

Benedikt Purner (Austria) – one of the best and most prominent ice-climbers in the world, forming the best European team in the discipline together with his compatriot Albert Leichtfried.

Simone Origone (Italy) – the fastest man on earth, holder of the speed skiing world record with 251,400 km/h, a participant in one of the most adrenalin rich competitions. Winner of the World speed skiing cup in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Out of 56 starts, he has 48 podium finishes – 24 1st places, 16 2nd places and 8 3rd ones. He has been world champion in the same discipline – at FIS 2005 (Breuil – Cervinia), 2007 (Verbier), 2009 (Vars), 2011 (again in Verbier), and for professional competitors (2004, 2006, 2008, 2009).

Christian Stangl (Austria) – one of the greatest “skyrunners” in the world and the first person to achieve a Triple Seven Summits record – to have climbed the 3 highest peaks on each of the continents.

Juanito Oiarzabal (Spain) – holder of the world record for most climbs on eight-thousanders (peaks higher than 8000 m.) with 28 climbs; the first man to twice climb the three highest peaks in the world – Everest (8848 m.), K2 (8611 m.), Khangchendzonga (8586 m.); the 6th person with the Himalayan crown (climbing all the 14 main eight-thousanders on Earth – and he has done so without using bottled oxygen).

Peter Habeler (Austria) – Reinhold Messner’s partner during the first ascent of Mt. Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen; an icon of alpinism himself.


The audience will be able to learn about the biggest achievements of Bulgarian alpinists, cavers, travelers and adventurers during the last year. Prof. Hristo Pimpirev and His Excellency Lhamsuren Dugerzhav, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia in Bulgaria, will tell about their successful joint expedition to the South pole in the beginning of the year, and about taking part in the Bulgarian Antarctic expedition on Livingston island in 2012/2013. The 75th anniversary of the first ascent of the famous North face of the Eiger will be marked by a presentations by Maria Hristova, Spas Malinov and Metodi Savov – participants in the fist Bulgarian ascents of the Normal route and the Japanese Diretissima (1975 and 1978), and by climbers from Bansko, who climbed the peak in 2013. Teodor Kisimov will talk about his second descent to the “Everest of Caves” – the bottom of Krubera Voronja, the deepest cave in the world (at -2145 m.) in the Caucasus. His colleagues Kamen Bonev and Alexey Zhalov will acquaint the public with their participation in the forth Chinese-Bulgarian expedition to unexplored underground caves in “Gaolingongshan” National Nature Reserve in the district of Baoshan near the border with Myanmar (Burma), and in the surroundings of Kunming city. The audience will also meet Kiril “Dizela” (The Disl) Nikolov – the most famous Bulgarian classic-, ski- and mountain bike orienteer, mountain runner and multisport racer.

For this year and the future we wish to enrich the existing tradition by “shaking the dust off” somewhat forgotten, but exceptionally Honored Bulgarian travelers. The beginning will be made with Nikolai Yotov’s presentation of sea-farer Doncho Papazov.

Additional Events – The accompanying programme includes nine exhibitions, seminars, open lectures, workshops. A central part of that programme is taken by the events, specially dedicated to the youth. These events include open lessons by famous travelers and explorers, a photography contest, photo-workshops, a children’s paintings exhibition on the subject “Childran draw the Pirin mountains”, a special film selection for the young ones.

A special presentation of Mongolia

Another new thing, which will continue in the future, will be the introducing of attractive exotic adventure destinations to the audience. The first one will be the “Destination – Mongolia” programme, which will incorporate six films, a photo exhibition and the presentations of the abovementioned His Excellency Lhamsuren Dugerzhav and Gangaamaa Badamgarav.

In memoriam Vladimir Vysotsky (for the 75th anniversary of his birthday), one of his two “alpinism” movies – “Vertical” (the other one being “The White Explosion”), featuring his songs “Pesnya o druge”, “Svoi obidy kazhdy chelovek…”, “Vershina” (Zdes’ vam ne ravnina, zdes’ klimat inoy…”), “Ballada ob al’piyskih strelkah” (“Mertsal zakat, kak blesk klinka…”), “Proshtanie s gorami”– will be played. The song “Skalolazka” had also been composed for this film, but it was not included in the cut. Two unforgettable movies will be played in memory of Patrick Edlinger – “Opera Vertical” and “Life by the Fingertips.

The following books will be presented:

–          “Antarctic Diaries” by Hristo Pimpirev – “This is a confession of a dream, which looks like a child’s dream, and a story of a realization, without which your life lacks purpose”, as Professor Boyan Biolchev put it in the foreword.

–          “Walter Bonatti. The brother who never known that I have” – Sandro Fillippini

–          “Before the Oblivion” by Rumen Stoichkov – this book contains 75 publications and about 400 colour photographs by Rumen Stoichkov. They come from a lucky combination of the profession and the hobby of a journalist, traveler, philologist, historian and a photographer, peeking “Before the Oblivion”.

–          „Travelling to Livingston”, Marina Marincheva

A very strong accent will be placed on the second edition of the Mountaineering academy, which includes seminars, lectures, meetings, and workshops (among which there is one by Benedikt Purner on current trends in ice climbing, which will be held in the biggest climbing gym in the region, located in a privet hotel in Banya village, situated about 5 km away from Bansko).

Banskofilmfest 2013’s jury consists of:

Alexander Donev (film producer), Kamen Alipiev (journalist at the Sports Department of the Bulgarian Natioanl Television), Ivan Obreykov (former cameraman for BNT), Vinicio Stefanello (Italy, editor of the most respectable Italian specialized website PlanetMountain.Com, member of the jury of “Piolet d’Or”), Dariusz Załuski (Poland, film director, one of the best high-altitude cameramen in the world, who has climbed Everest twice, as well as K2, Lhotse, Gasherbrum 2, Cho Oyu).

After parties in the well-known Bansko pubs “Base Camp”, “Pirin 75” and “Banderitsa” are planned as usual.

Banskofilmfest 2013’s guests will be able to take advantage of the special festival offer of the hotels, which are traditionally partners of the event.

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