3 most anticipated Himalayan Documentary Films of 2015


This year’s prestigious Banff Mountain and Sundance Film Festivals showcased some of the most intense Mountain Documentary Films to be seen. Few of the movies stood out capturing the spirit of climbing in the Himalayas.

We list three most well-received Himalayan Documentary Films of 2015 and why you should not miss them. They are our most anticipated Himalayan Films as we wait for its release for Asian audiences.

1. ‘Meru’, An Anti Everest Conquest.

Plot Summary:  What do one do when a dream to climb the most formidable climbs in the world becomes a deadly obsession.

An elusive peak in Garhwal region of Indian Himalayas has the most dangerous knife-edged summit approach in the world. At 21,850 foot, the anomaly appears to be a shape of a shark’s fin that remained unconquered until three elite climbers gave it a shot.

In 2008, three men marched willingly into the jaws of death, testing their mettle against a 1,500-foot pure granite bully that cannot be reasoned with. Jimmy Chen, Conard Anker, and Renan Ozturk came agonizingly close to reaching the summit. They missed the mark by mere 100 meters.

The 20-day expedition took its toll. Jimmy swore never to return. Undeterred, climbing the Shark’s Fin became an obsession for Conard.

After three years, the obsessive impulse of Conard led to the team regrouping for a final shot at Meru.

It is difficult to say why they choose to go there. The answer lies in the Film.

Why should you care? 

When passion for the pursuit is singular, it is then it consumes the spirit. Meru is an intense climbing movie that shows how loyalty, obsession, and friendship propelled Jimmy, Conard and Renan in climbing an unclimbable peak.

Unlike Everest, climbing Meru requires the highest level of competency in Alpine Big Wall Climbing. Imagine a 1,500-foot vertical wall with no place to pitch a tent, no sherpa’s to support you.

The Documentary Film is the best mountain climb of the decade. It is hard to imagine how these three men made the climb and document it on camera. Simply put, spectacularly unreal.

Watch the Trailor of the Fim here.


2. ‘Sherpa’, A race row on Everest.

Plot Summary:  On April 18th, 2014, a block of ice ricochet down the Khumbu Glacier killing 16 Sherpa’s fixing ropes for the season. This was the darkest hour in Everest History.

Sitting at the Everest Base Camp was Director Jennifer Peedom documenting the Sherpa’s side of the story of the rising industrial dispute among Western Climbers and the ethnic Nepali people. Little did she know she would head back home with an emotionally riveting story never told before.

The aftermath of the tragedy led to a political awakening among Sherpa Community who refused to work on Everest for the remainder of the season.

Jennifer instantly knew the avalanche and the deaths have altered her film plot. She would end up abandoning documenting Mountaineer Russell Brice’s Everest Expedition. The focus changed to capturing the effects of climbing Everest has on people.

The Documentary has already garnered a huge applause over its surreal depiction of how Nepali Sherpa’s are taking control over of climbing Everest.

Why should you care? 

If Everest-The Movie was a celebration of the heroic efforts of Western Climbers, Sherpa, celebrates the contributions of Sherpa community.

The emotional documentary captures excruciating moments of how the Sherpas united in grief and anger went about shutting climbing Everest for the season.

Where the Documentary score is on capturing the emotional moments of grieving family members without crossing the line of sensitivity.

It reminds us the price this resilient community has paid for making the dreams of Western Climbers a blooming success.

Watch the Trailor of the Fim here.


3. ‘Down to Nothing’, How a faraway peak in Burma broke a team of elite climbers.

Plot Summary:  A bold expedition to validate the height of Mt. Hkakabo Razi assumed to be the highest peak of Southeast Asia got together a team of five elite climbers and Outdoor filmmakers. With a fantastic geographical mystery to be resolved in an old-fashioned, anti-Everest expedition approach, everything seemed in order.

What unfolded was a harrowing journey of being slammed back and forth in shaky trains, riding on dirt bikes on world most unforgiving jungle trails. Burmese Himalayas is altogether different. The effort and time it took to reach the base of the mountain drained the team of their resources and mental acumen. Lack of food and porters on the trail made it impossible to run an expedition in a planned manner.

What started as a well-planned exploration turned into a disaster with the finest assembled team fighting for their survival.

Why should you care? 

Just getting to the base of Mt. Hkakabo Razi took the team one month. It is unusual to see a fully funded team of the world’s best outdoor athletes crumble to the point of disarray. What made them lose the plot? It is a gripping tale with vivid storytelling (and camera work) by Renan Ozturk and Taylor Rees that one should not miss.

Watch a part of the film footage here.



5 thoughts on “3 most anticipated Himalayan Documentary Films of 2015

  1. I watched Meru. I love the grit and determination of trio to take Meru second time. No spoilers but Meru challenges any mountaineer.
    Regarding Hkakabo Razi, I read the NG magazine and now watching the video, by two three months gap. They didn’t anticipate that it would be so challenging. Myanmar doesn’t have that infrastructure to support that kind of expedition. Look at Nepal, it has been commercialized to the core, be it EBC trek or Annapurna circuit.


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