Mountainfilm Graz - About us
Films, mountains, adventure and the international “Grand Prix Graz” competition
Each year in November, Mountainfilm Graz brings the latest outdoor film productions from all over the world to the Austrian city of Graz. For the audience, this is the perfect opportunity to see the best mountain and adventure films and discuss them in the buzz of a vibrant festival atmosphere. With a packed programme of film screenings, live presentations by filmmakers and multimedia talks as well as the “Long Night of Mountain Film”, the festival holds something for everyone. In between events, visitors can relax at the festival bar or peruse the outdoor sports equipment on display in the exhibition area and chat with the exhibitors.
Mountainfilm Graz 2021 Photo: achromaticphotography_Nadine Geuter
In a grand award ceremony on the last day of the festival, the winners of our international film competition are announced.
The competition’s first phase starts in spring with a call for entries to all filmmakers. Of the 300 or so submissions that we usually receive, only the best are included in the festival programme and hence in the running for an award. The international jury, all experts in the festival’s genres, meet only just before the festival begins to choose the winners from among the eligible entries. Who will take home the coveted trophies? That remains a secret until the very end.
At the award ceremony in the splendid Stefaniensaal auditorium of Congress Graz, the festival’s best entry will receive the “Grand Prix Graz”-Trophy, which is endowed with € 5000!
The “Kamera Alpin in Gold”, with a cash prize of € 3000, is awarded in each of the festival’s four categories: “Alpinism & Expeditions”, “Sports in Mountains & Natural Environments”, “Nature & Environment”, and “People & Cultures”.
And the best of Austrian filmmaking is honoured with the “Kamera Alpin Austria”-Trophy award with a cash prize of € 2000.
Following the awards ceremony, the award-winning films will be screened again in the Stefaniensaal for the benefit of competition participants and public audience as part of the “Long Night of Mountain Film”.
Mountainfilm Graz 2021-Trophy, Photo: achromaticphotography_Nadine Geuter
Graz - a meeting place for film, mountain and nature enthusiasts since 1986
It all started when a handful of climbers organised film evenings in the cafés of the famous French mountaineering resort of Chamonix. The Alpine adventures, projected on bedsheets in the makeshift cinemas, inspired a young Austrian mountaineer among the small audience to give mountain film a stage in his hometown of Graz. That was in 1986 and marked the beginning of a story that continues to this day.
The evolution of Mountainfilm Graz is inextricably linked to the life of festival founder and organiser Robert Schauer. Already an enthusiastic climber in his teenage years, he always had his camera with him on outings around his hometown of Graz. Thus, his career as a high-altitude mountaineer and cameraman began. Together with other well-known mountaineers he has climbed five of the eight-thousand metre peaks, including, no less than three times, the world’s highest, Mount Everest. Robert Schauer, who has been involved in international film productions, time and again took the role of cameraman himself on these expeditions.
Robert Schauer Photo: Archive of Mountainfilm Graz
In 1986 Robert Schauer founded the “International Grazer Bergfilmfestival” in Graz, which received 64 submissions from 11 countries in its first year.
At this first festival, the “Kamera Alpin in Gold” prize was awarded in just two categories: “Mountaineering Documentaries” and “Topics about Climbing on Rock and Ice”, in addition to a Special Jury Prize.
Over the years, the festival continued to develop, changing its name from “Internationales Grazer Bergfilmfestival” (International Mountain Film Festival Graz) to “Internationales Berg- und Abenteuerfestival Graz” (International Mountain and Adventure Festival Graz) before receiving its current name of “Mountainfilm Graz” in 2004.
By now, around 300 films are submitted for screening every year. The best are shown at the festival and entered in the Mountainfilm Graz Film Makers’ Competition.
Mountainfilm Graz 2021-Lounge, Photo: achromaticphotography_Nadine Geuter
Mountains and nature are our passion - in our films, but also at the festival itself. Mountainfilm Graz is committed to protecting and preserving the environment to the best of our ability. That’s why sustainability is a top priority for both us and our partners and sponsors.
Our venues - Schubertkino and Congress Graz - take innovative approaches to sustainability, for which they have been awarded certificates. The most convenient way to reach the festival venues is by public transport.
Regional sourcing is trumps. Our partners, such as Hotel Weitzer, JUFA Graz, Revita Catering and Brau Union place a strong emphasis on regionally sourced products from Graz and its surroundings.
Our programme booklet is printed on paper made in Europe by Sappi Gratkorn and has received sustainability awards. Our printers, Medienfabrik Graz, are experts in environmentally friendly printing and have also been awarded various ecolabels.
Festival founder and organiser Robert Schauer and the core team are supported by additional dedicated staff members, especially during the time around the festival.
Winners of the 2020 festival and festival staff at Mountainfilm Graz 2020 Photo: ripix_Richard Großschädl