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Irish film about K2 mountain tragedy selected for Sundance 2013

The Irish-produced film tells the story of the worst K2 climbing disaster in history – and “extraordinary” Limerick man Ger McDonnell.

Image: Image Now Films

IRISH FEATURE LENGTH documentary The Summit, which tells the story of the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing, has been selected to screen in competition at the Sundance International Film Festival.

The Summit, produced and directed by Nick Ryan, has also be nominated to the prestigious Grierson Award for Best Documentary at this year’s London Film Festival.

The film tells the story of 24 mountain climbers who reached the top of K2 in August and how, 48 hours later, 11 people were dead.

It was the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.

The figure at the heart of the film is Limerick man Ger McDonnell, who director Nick Ryan describes as an “extraordinary man”.

The extreme conditions of K2  means climbers adhere to an unwritten code to leave climbers who fall or wander off the track for dead. However, after encountering three climbers tangled in ropes in the so-called ‘death zone’ (above 8,000 metres), McDonnell did what all climbers are told not to – he tried to help.

“Had Ger McDonnell stuck to the climbers’ code, he might still be alive,” said Ryan.

“To be selected for competition at Sundance is one of the highest levels of recognition for any film and it is a real honour for all those who worked so hard to bring The Summit to the screen,” the director added.

The Summit was produced by Image Now Films and Pat Falvey Productions, in association with Passion Pictures, Diamond Docs and Fantastic Films. It is funded by Irish Film Board, RTE, BAI and BBC.

Image: Image Now Films

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