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MOUNTAIN MEN SAGA – Interview with Jennifer Peedom, director of Sherpa

MML

MOUNTAIN MEN SAGA – Interview with Jennifer Peedom, director of Sherpa

When Sydney filmmaker Jennifer Peedom set off with her crew to Mount Everest she intended to make a film about the long-neglected sherpas who risk their lives helping tourists climb the summit.

Things changed half-way during the shoot, however, when an avalanche hit, killing 16 sherpas.

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Though Peedom founds herself in the middle of a very different scenario to the one she envisaged, the tragedy actually served to focus the original brief of her film to show how poorly the sherpas have been treated.

Sherpa has proved a big success at the Australian box office. After five weeks of release it has taken $1.02 million. Only three other Australian non-IMAX documentaries have hit that mark: Bra Boys (2007; $2.08m in adjusted dollars); Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988; $1.33m); and Mrs Carey’s Concert (2011; $1.26m).

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‘You expect a documentary to last about five minutes in the theatres,’ says Peedom. ‘So to see that it’s really being embraced is surprising and delighting at the same time.’

In this revealing video interview, Peedom discusses the difficult making of the film, the split mindset of the documentary filmmaker and why she has down-shifted her love of high-risk adventure.

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Peedom’s previous works include the remarkable 2008 adventure documentary Solo about Andrew McAuley who attempted to kayak across the Tasman from Australia to New Zealand. He died shortly before reaching land. His body was never recovered but a video diary of his journey provided a vivid account of his trials.

Please enjoy.

 

Watch the Jennifer Peedom interview here

For those wanting to hear more from Jennifer, please click on to Part 2 of the interview towards the end. There is also a link to her reaction on the film’s box office success at the beginning.

Watch the trailer for Sherpa here

 

 

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