The film “Everest: The Other
Side,” a documentary that chronicles a young Colorado climber’s journey to the
top of the world, will premiere nationally May 14 on Dish Network.
In the documentary, which
will run through May 21 on Dish Network's pay per view service, filmmakers Ben
Clark and Jon Miller take viewers on the Himalayan adventure of a lifetime.
The 84 minute film is an eye-opening account of what goes into climbing the
world’s tallest peak, 29,035’ Mount Everest. This groundbreaking effort goes
beyond the standard majestic scenery and technical aspects of a dangerous,
arduous climb. It offers a rare glimpse into climber Ben Clark’s physical and
financial preparations; his 56 day journey around the world; his spiritual
discoveries and friendship with a Lama; and the strong and immediate bonds
shared with the international climbing community on Everest.
While the four day Everest
climb and the thrill of reaching the summit is a highpoint of the film, and
viewers are treated to many stunning shots of the Himalayan Range, it is the
human and cultural element that makes this film unique.
Film highlights include a
beautiful camp blessing ceremony conducted by a Lama from the Rongbuk
Monastery, and a sensitive portrayal of the relationship between Clark and his
two Sherpa climbing partners.
“The title ‘Everest: The
Other Side’ has a double meaning,” said Miller. “Ben ascended the less
traveled northern side in Tibet, but also we wanted to show the other side of
this kind of expedition—shopping for 400 pounds of food and gear; hunkering
down in basecamp passing days full of an odd mix of anxiety, boredom and
excitement; and eating, praying, crying and celebrating with new friends from
across the globe.”
Clark and Miller said they
also attempted to debunk several misconceptions about Everest that many
adventure films perpetuate. First, in the West, Everest is often portrayed as
a savage mountain, not as a deity to the local people. Secondly, Everest
climbers are often portrayed as extreme athletes. In this film, we see average
people who share a big dream. The third myth Miller and Clark note is that
Everest is often thought of individual pursuit, not as an international
community that shares resources. The final misconception is that attaining the
summit is the most important goal. This is the reason many to come to Everest,
but this film eloquently recounts the incredible cultural experiences that are
a part of the expedition.
“I believe that the cultural
context that surrounds the mountains I climb is as important as what is I
discover on the mountainside,” said Clark. “I feel a responsibility to share
the sense of discovery with others who may or may not be climbers themselves.
This film captures our cultural discoveries as well as accurately portraying
the fundamental risks and rewards that accompany high altitude climbing.”
Clark who wrote and produced
the film teamed up with Miller who owns TreeLine Productions, an award-winning
production company based in Fort Collins. He has produced video work around
the globe, including videos from 4,000 feet under the Continental Divide in
Colorado, to 21,000 feet up on the flanks of Mount Everest in Tibet. Before
launching TreeLine Productions, Miller built and operated the Northern
Colorado Bureau for CNN Headline News Local Edition.
Clark, one of the most
experienced young mountaineers in the world, has climbed on five continents.
During 11 international expeditions, Clark has summitted 29,035’ Mount
Everest; attempted two 8,000 meter peaks in the Himalayas; visited Central and
South America five times; stood on top of 18,710' Pico De Orizaba twice in
three attempts; guided on Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America;
summitted twice and guided three times on the highest peak outside Asia,
22,841' Cerro Aconcagua; and topped out on the highest peak in Africa, 19,340'
Mount Kilimanjaro. In the United States, his experience includes 23 ascents of
Mount Rainier, the longest endurance climb in America; and more than 200
ascents in the Rockies, Tetons, and Cascades.
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