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AFF To Host US Premiere of The Beckoning Silence

–Follow-up to award-winning Touching the Void will conclude 2008 AFF–

Jackson, Wyoming – December 13, 2007 – The Alpinist Film Festival announced today that it will host the US premiere of The Beckoning Silence on January 19, 2008, at the Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyoming. The film will conclude “Stone Night” of the 2008 AFF, and will be in contention for the People’s Choice Awards, the winners of which will be shown January 20 at the People’s Choice Ceremonies in Jackson Hole.

The Beckoning Silence–the film adaptation of Joe Simpson’s bestselling book–follows Simpson to the North Face of the Eiger, where the notorious and tragic story of Toni Kurtz’s 1936 attempt unravels alongside Simpson’s own horrifying experience in the Peruvian Andes. Directed by Louise Osmond, the 2007 film won Best Mountaineering Film at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Its appearance at The Alpinist Film Festival will mark its American debut.

Joe Simpson’s 1985 climbing classic Touching the Void, which chronicled his fight for survival on the west face of Peru’s Siula Grande, was made into a multi-award-winning film in 2004. In The Beckoning Silence, Simpson travels to the storied north face of the Eiger to tell the story of one of mountaineering’s most epic tragedies. As a child, it was this story that first captured Simpson’s imagination and inspired him to take up mountaineering.

In 1936, the north face of the Eiger was the last great objective in the Alps. Toni Kurtz–a brilliant young mountaineer–attempted the face with three other climbers, but although the climb began well, it ended in disaster. One by one, Kurtz’s partners were killed, leaving him alone, dangling at the end of a rope, fighting for his life. More than fifty years later, in Peru, Kurtz’s story haunted Simpson as he battled for his own survival. His plight uncannily mirrored that of Kurtz–except, against the odds, Simpson lived while his hero had perished.

“It’s an unbelievable tale by one of the great storytellers of our day,” said Alpinist Film Festival director Christian Beckwith, who traveled to the Kendal (England) MountainFilm Festival to procure the rights to screen the film. “Touching the Void” was one of the great climbing films ever made, and The Beckoning Silence is a stunning successor. The intimacy of its portraits of the young climbers and the contrast with Simpson’s internal struggle with his own accident are showcased with superlative production values. Our audience will love it.”

The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival will feature its signature Snow, Surf and Stone nights January 17-19 at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyoming. A fourth evening, The People’s Choice Ceremonies, will present the People’s Choice award-winning films from the previous three evenings at the Center for the Arts in downtown Jackson. Tickets for The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival are $18 for the Snow, Surf and Stone nights and $20 for the People’s Choice Ceremonies. Tickets and additional information can be found online at To date, every event in The Alpinist Film Festival’s three-year history has sold out.

About The Alpinist Film Festival

The Alpinist Film Festival celebrates the adventure lifestyle across disciplines and generations with three nights of film in skiing, surfing and climbing. The Festival’s mission is to advance the art of cinematographic storytelling as it underscores the unity among the adventure lifestyle communities. A portion of every year’s proceeds are donated to charities that help preserve the places of our inspiration. Because one of these places is our planet, beginning in 2008, the Festival will purchase carbon offsets to counteract its carbon footprint.

About Alpinist Magazine

Hailed by Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner as “The best climbing magazine in the world today,” Alpinist Magazine is an archival-quality, quarterly publication dedicated to world alpinism and adventure climbing. The pages of Alpinist capture the art of ascent in its most powerful manifestations, presenting an articulation of climbing and its lifestyle that matches the intensity of the pursuit itself. Alpinist has been awarded three Maggie Awards, for Best Quarterly/Consumer Division, Best Overall Design, and Best Electronic Newsletter, and was featured in a seven-page article in Outside Magazine (“The Purists”) in March 2005. The magazine’s editorial and publishing offices are based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and online at