• Dave Burke and David Caffery

    Dave Burke and David Caffery

  • Cheika Kone and Alicia Flack-Kone, Ruth Martin and Shane Rattenbury and Louise Biltson

    Cheika Kone and Alicia Flack-Kone, Ruth Martin and Shane Rattenbury and Louise Biltson

  • Simon Cunich, Alica Taylor, Sophia Hamblin Wang and Sam Dignand

    Simon Cunich, Alica Taylor, Sophia Hamblin Wang and Sam Dignand

  • Deb Kingsland and Ralph Chalmers of  festival partner Eden Valley Wines

    Deb Kingsland and Ralph Chalmers of festival partner Eden Valley Wines

  • Eden Valley's Shiraz

    Eden Valley's Shiraz

  • Melissa Reed and rnnifer

    Melissa Reed and rnnifer

  • Director of 'Sherpa' Canberra filmmaker Jennifer Peedom

    Director of 'Sherpa' Canberra filmmaker Jennifer Peedom

  • Stuart Harris and Sam Dignand

    Stuart Harris and Sam Dignand

  • New Yorker,Crystal Moselle, director of 'The Wolfpack' and Eoin McManus

    New Yorker,Crystal Moselle, director of 'The Wolfpack' and Eoin McManus

  • Simon Weaving and Laura White

    Simon Weaving and Laura White

  • Jeff Fung and Hallam Drury

    Jeff Fung and Hallam Drury

  • Deb Kingsland and Andrew Pike

    Deb Kingsland and Andrew Pike

  • Martin Holmes and Lesley Thompson

    Martin Holmes and Lesley Thompson

  • Amanda Power, Sue Lyons and Fiona and Erik Lithander

    Amanda Power, Sue Lyons and Fiona and Erik Lithander

  • Bruce and Gillian McFarland

    Bruce and Gillian McFarland

  • Peter and Loreign Randall

    Peter and Loreign Randall

  •   Robin Poke with Sue and Ross Kingsland

    Robin Poke with Sue and Ross Kingsland

Stronger than Fiction Documentary Film Festival

30 July 2015

Stronger than Fiction, the Canberra documentary film festival, has grown because of good local support and a commitment by co-producers Simon Weaving and Deb Kingsland to seek and obtain extraordinary stories that prove that the truth, the unusual, the confronting, the energetic and the magical are stronger than any fiction. And in the hands of talented and astute documentary creatives the results are a pleasant departure from the current comic book and computer generated fantasies that meld into a mishmash of sameness.

Opening night and we were off to the Himalayas for ‘Sherpa’ directed by Canberra filmmaker Jennifer Peedom. Not quite with the need for puffy jackets, thermals and hiking boots but definitely with an open mind about the role of those who make cheque book mountaineering possible. Let’s hear it for the Sherpas – and we did - their work is essential to the climbers, delivering everything that makes for a camping and climbing experience that has gone up a few notches since Hillary and Tensing conquered Everest. The early morning hot cloths and tea just a tad too far for me, but there was worse to come.

Jennifer Peedom fortuitously found herself slap bang in the middle of a Sherpa dispute after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas on the infamous Khumbu Icefall. That it was the precursor to a change in the relationship of these mild mannered, deeply religious and respectful Sherpas to the western climbers new sense of entitlement, after 50 years of serving the needs of the climbers with little benefit from this multi -million dollar industry, is the stuff of a balanced and confronting story well told. It should be compulsory viewing for all foreigners who venture to ascend the mountain.

Stronger than Fiction continues at Palace Electric until Sunday 2 August with ‘by popular demand’ screenings to be announced on Monday 3 August. Highly recommended, The Wolfpack directed by Crystal Moselle and The Hunting Ground directed by Kirby Dick. More info at strongerthanfictiondocs.com.