Featured, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing

Winner of the Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards, Free Solo, a film directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin will premiere in Switzerland next month. The film profiles rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan in June 2017.

In partnership with Pathé Cinemas, the UIAA will co-host the Swiss premiere of the film on 9 April.  Three screenings will take place on the same night, in Zurich, Lugano and Lusanne.  The film will also be screened across Pathé Cinemas in major Swiss cities including Bern, Basel, Geneva, St Gallen and Lucerne on 11 April. There are also premieres scheduled in Les Breuleux, Verbier and Brig. Please note new events are being added regularly. Information, and dedicated event pages, can also be found on the UIAA Facebook page as well as on the Free Solo Switzerland channel.

The latest list of events can be found here.

Click the city link for information on purchasing tickets.

The film has been met with universal acclaim having won a host of awards.  Along with winning the Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards, Free Solo also won the ‘People’s Choice Documentary’ at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, ‘Best Documentary’ at the 2019 British Academy Film Awards as well as receiving a raft of awards at the 2018 ‘Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards’.

The film synopsis from the official site reads:

“Free Solo is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock … the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park … without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge places his story in the annals of human achievement. Free Solo is an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who challenges both his body and his beliefs on a quest to triumph over the impossible, revealing the personal toll of excellence. As the climber begins his training, the armor of invincibility he’s built up over decades unexpectedly breaks apart when Honnold begins to fall in love, threatening his focus and giving way to injury and setbacks. Vasarhelyi and Chin succeed in beautifully capturing deeply human moments with Honnold as well as the death-defying climb with exquisite artistry and masterful, vertigo-inducing camerawork. The result is a triumph of the human spirit that represents what The New York Times calls “a miraculous opportunity for the rest of us to experience the human sublime.”

The UIAA is committed to the promotion of rock climbing through various channels – including its annual UIAA Rock Climbing Festival Award, its recently-launched international calendar for rock climbing festivals and through its support of international film awards like the Trento Film Festival.

Main Image: Courtesy of © 2018 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved