First Run Features presents the new award-winning feature documentary K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS in New York City on August 22.
K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS follows a breathtaking high-altitude mountaineering experience presenting the stunning vistas, perilous adventure, close teamwork and blissful serenity that is part of an elite climbing group’s 2009 attempt to summit the world’s most challenging peak.
Shot in the Karakoram range of the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan, K2 follows world renowned alpinists Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner– National Geographic Explorer of the Year and the first woman to reach all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters without porters or supplemental oxygen; Jake Meyer, the youngest Brit to climb the Seven Summits; and veteran North American alpine leaders Fabrizio Zangrilli and Chris Szymiec.
Director Dave Ohlson followed this elite group’s attempt to summit the world’s second-highest peak, K2, in 2009, marking the 100-year anniversary of Italian exploration of the Duke of Abruzzi and Vittorio Sella’s landmark expedition to the same peak in 1909. Rare archival footage and vintage photos from the Duke’s attempt, as well as his commentary, provide a historical perspective on extreme mountaineering expeditions throughout the past century.
Mixed amongst the spectacular views and harrowing mountain experiences of the climbs is the stunning history and breath-taking geography of the Karakoram mountains, and discussion where each climber contemplates the risks, rewards and personal nature of exploration, in an age when there are few blank spots left on the map.
K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS had its world premiere at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada and then made its U.S. Premiere at Mountainfilm in Telluride in 2013. It has played several international festivals, winning the Grand Prize at both the Torello Mountain Film Festival in Spain and the Bansko Mountain Film Festival in Bulgaria; Best Action Sports Film at the Salyulita Festival in Mexcio and the Best Audience Award and the Golden Spiffy at the Spokane International Film Festival.
More About the Climbers:
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner – Alpinist/Explorer of the Year
Originally from Austria, Gerlinde now calls Germany home, where she lives with her husband Ralf Dujmovits. In 2011, Gerlinde became the first woman to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without oxygen when she reached the summit of K2 via the rarely climbed North Pillar route. She was named the 2012 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. www.gerlinde-kaltenbrunner.at/en
Jake Meyer – Alpinist
Jake is based in the UK near London. When he was 21 years old, he became the youngest Brit to climb the Seven Summits after reaching the top of Mt. Everest. He is a sought after speaker for corporate and charitable organizations, where he uses his experiences in the mountains to motivate and entertain.
Fabrizio Zangrili – Alpinist
Based in Colorado, Fabrizio spends a good portion of every year guiding in Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan. When he’s not guiding, he pursues personal goals on some of the biggest mountain faces in the world. fabriziozangrilli.com
Chris Szymiec – Alpinist
Based in the Canadian Rockies, Chris spends most of his time guiding on mountains in India and Pakistan. He has led successful expeditions to several 8,000- meter peaks including Cho Oyu and Broad Peak. ganeshadventures.com
The Duke of Abruzzi – 1909 Explorer
The Duke led expeditions all over the world during the late 19th and early 20th century. He travelled to the Wrangell St. Elias Range in Alaska, the Rumenzori’s of Africa and in 1909 he travelled to K2 to “contribute to the solution of the problem as to the greatest height to which man may attain in mountain climbing.”
Vittorio Sella – 1909 Photographer
Sella was undoubtedly the greatest mountain photographer of his time. He accompanied the Duke on several expeditions and also explored the Alps and Caucusus extensively. He was considered a master by none other than Ansel Adams.
Dave Ohlson – Director / Producer
Dave is a photographer, filmmaker and student of life. His interests in climbing and photography have taken him to Africa, Tibet, Nepal and Pakistan. When he’s not enjoying the outdoors, he’s currently pursuing a degree in medicine. www.ursusfilms.com
K2: Siren of the Himalayas
2012, 75 mins, English, Digital, Stereo
Dave Ohlson – Director / Producer
Jason Reid – Producer / Editor
Andy McDonough – Producer
Darren Lund – Editor / Associate Producer
Adam Brown – Associate Producer / Media Director
Colin Baxter – Associate Producer
Jonathan Haidle – Original Score
Simone Leorin – Narrator
Image and video courtesy First Run Features