MERU, the Himalayan big wall climbing documentary has brought the incredible perspective from Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru to Sundance 2015. The audience award winner is shared with the trailer and story behind the climb, people, and movie from the directors/subject-husband/wife combo, Jimmy Chin & E. Chai Vasarhelyi. Shooting on the perilous face of a mountain, the dangerous climb that resulted in a captivating film, and the experience of getting the movie made and to the people is explored in this BYOD interview, hosted by Ondi Timoner.
GUEST BIO & FILM INFO:
Three elite mountain climbers sacrifice everything but their friendship as they struggle through heartbreaking loss and nature’s harshest elements to attempt the never-before-completed Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most coveted first ascent in the dangerous game of Himalayan big wall climbing.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is an award-winning film director and producer with Hungarian, Chinese, and Brazilian roots. Her first film A Normal Life, about young Kosovars who came of age during the recent war, won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003. Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, chronicles Senegalese icon Youssou N’Dour and his Grammy-award winning album Egypt, was released in theaters in the US and internationally. Vasarhelyi is a graduate of The Brearley School and Princeton University where she majored in Comparative Literature. In 2005, she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” In 2008, she received an Achievement Award from the Creative Visions Foundation.
Jimmy Chin is one of the most sought after and recognized adventure sports photographers and filmmakers working today. In the past decade, Jimmy has collaborated with some of the most progressive athletes and explorers in the world, participating in and documenting break through expeditions around the planet, from climbing notable first ascents in the Karakoram, to skiing first descents in the Himalayas.
BYOD Full Episodes Playlist:
BYOD Short Clips Playlist:
00:01 Welcoming Jimmy Chin & E. Chai Vasarhelyi of MERU.
01:15 Explaining MERU and Jimmy’s climbing.
02:30 Shooting on mountains.
06:05 MERU, Clip: Day 1.
07:35 Hanging off the side of a mountain.
12:16 MERU, Clip: Climbing in darkness and day.
13:43 Parenthood and risks of climbing.
16:01 Personal and directorial challenges for making the film.
18:58 MERU, Clip: Getting stuck in a storm.
21:35 Safety on the mountain?
24:05 MERU, Clip: The dangerous climb.
26:15 Living with avalanches.
30:42 Thanks and Goodbye.