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The Warsaw Voice » Other » November 12, 2008
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Thirst for Adventure
November 12, 2008   
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Feel the taste of real adventure, discover that life can be exciting

Mountaineers, sportsmen, explorers, adventurers and those who love the call of the wild are heading for £ód¼ for the 10th annual Explorers Festival starting Nov. 19. Organized since 1999, the event brings together world-famous travelers, climbers and documentary filmmakers.

Each year, the greatest explorers are presented with the Explorer award and the best films about exploration, extreme sports and breathtaking exploits vie for the Camera Extreme prize.

Participants and winners of previous festivals include Norman Kent, a famous American photographer and cinematographer, winner of the Camera Extreme 2005; Heinz Zak, winner in 2006, a master of extreme mountain scenery photography; Don Walsh, a legendary figure among marine explorers who won the Explorer 2006 award; Piotr Pustelnik, who has climbed 13 eight-thousand-meter summits and who won the Explorer 2007 award; and Martin Strel (Explorer 2007), a world-famous marathon swimmer who swam the Amazon in 66 days.

An integral part of the Explorers Festival is the Artshow - Visual Forms and Art of Presentation Contest. All the films in the competition will be screened for the festival-goers.

Apart from film screenings, multimedia presentations, photography exhibitions and discussions, the festival invites its youngest visitors to a Great Geography Lesson, a series of seminars led by explorers and travelers.

This year's Explorers Festival has invited an impressive list of guests: Hans Florine, the world's fastest climber; Colin Angus, the first man to circumnavigate the globe in a rowing boat; Piotr Chmieliñski, who discovered the sources of the Amazon; Lynn Hill, a star of rock face climbing; Araceli Segarra, a model, actress and mountaineer; and Polish sailor Mateusz Kusznierewicz.

The participants will speak about their extraordinary exploits, struggles with nature and superhuman undertakings.

The Artshow program includes several films documenting mountaineering ascents: Everest: A Climb for Peace; 3 Peaks 3 Weeks: For the People of Africa; Acopan; and Magic Numbers.

Also showing will be a film documenting a bicycle journey through southeast Asia, Travels to the Heart of the World, by Jean Francois Castell. Audiences will also have a chance to catch At the End of the Road, Lhasa by Jean Guillemot, a fascinating story about a journey from China to Tibet following the route of a 19th-century expedition. The raw and wild scenery, the daring and blood-curdling exploits of mountaineers and globetrotters promises to delight audiences at the festival. The high quality of the films in this year's competition may make it hard for the jury to select the winner for the 3,000-euro main prize.

The 10th Explorers Festival will also feature Suspended State, an exhibition of Corey Rich's mountain photography, as well as a discussion panel entitled Business and Passion, dealing with the relationship between business and travel.

Music fans can enjoy two concerts, by multi-instrumentalist Ainu and Wojciech Hoffmann, one of Poland's foremost rock guitarists.

Climbing fans will be able to raise their adrenaline levels on the installed indoor climbing wall. On Nov. 22, a Saturday morning, festival guests and visitors will try to collectively beat a world speed climbing record, by climbing to the height of Mount Everest.

Each year the festival wins over the public. The guests show young people a world totally different to that of virtual reality, a world not ruled by the laws of money, but of nature. They demonstrate that one can overcome all barriers and human frailties in search of a desired goal. This year's festival will likely help people pause, if only for a moment, amid the daily rush and feel the taste of real adventure.

Barbara Fronczkowska
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