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Irish disaster film snapped up by major US distributor

The Summit documentary is about the K2 mountain disaster which killed Limerickman Ger McDonnell

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Sandra Roche
10:00 Monday 21 January 2013

The Summit details the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing history. It's an Irish documentary about the K2 mountain disaster in August 2008 which killed 11 climbers including Limerickman Ger McDonnell.

Twenty-four climbers from several international expeditions met on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth.

Within 48 hours 11 had been killed or had vanished, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.

The Summit includes never before seen footage of the climb and interviews with Sherpa Pemba Gyalje, who was awarded the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for his heroic deeds on K2; Norit team leader Wilco van Rooijen, who survived three days in the death zone; and Marco Confortola, the last man to speak to Ger McDonnell.

The film has been snapped up by a major US distributor, Sundance Selects, at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival 2013.

It was produced and directed by Nick Ryan of Image Now Films and has also been nominated for the documentary award at the Sundance Film festival. The result will be announced on Saturday, January 26.

Newstalk and Green Room presenter, Orla Barry spoke to Nick Ryan about the film and asked him how this all began for him....

“The Summit is a thrilling, beautiful documentary that kept us on the edge of our seats. We're thrilled to work with Nick Ryan and producers John Battsek, Pat Falvey, Darrell Kavanagh, and John McDonnell,” Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said.

Sundance Selects, a subsidiary of IFC which is owned by American media giant AMC, secured the US distribution rights over the weekend. AMC is the studio behind the hit TV show, The Walking Dead, and IFC previously produced Touching The Void, the 2003 documentary also about mountain climbing.

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