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photo © ExplorerMedia

Norman Dyhrenfurth, a sprightly 90-year-old, tells for the first time the fascinating story of his parents’ role in the race to the "Third Pole", the highest mountains on earth. Two expeditions in the 1930s stand up to their Nazi rivals’ state-sponsored expedition and beat them in setting world climbing records. In doing so, Guenter and Hettie Dyhrenfurth take the first moving pictures in high altitude during their Himalayan expeditions. Norman is especially well-suited to present this family saga which spans a time frame of 70 years of mountaineering and film history. He himself took the first Americans to the top of Mount Everest in 1963 and led the first traverse of an 8000-meter mountain. He participated in seven major Himalayan expeditions, many of which achieved mountaineering "firsts" – and he filmed every bit of it.

The film features mountaineering legends Sir Chris Bonington and Reinhold Messner. In their engaging interviews they put the Dyhrenfurth expeditions into contemporary context and convey an intense compassion for the heroic achievements and tragic failures of this family.

Juergen Czwienk was born in 1956. Since 1985, he has been active as a documentary writer and director for numerous TV documentaries, reports and magazine clips on cultural and historical subjects. His other films include: Qumran: The Secret of the Dead Sea Scrolls (TV, 1993), Heaven and Hell (1999, episode of 2000 Years of Christianity), and Secrets of Tibet - the Ernst Schaefer Expedition 1938 (TV, 2001).

Andreas Nickel is the author of the books Dyhrenfurth - Zum Dritten Pol and Himalaya - Norman Dyhrenfurth. To the Third Pole marks his directorial debut.
Genre Adventure, History, Sports, Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Directors Juergen Czwienk, Andreas Nickel
Screenplay Juergen Czwienk, Andreas Nickel
Cinematography Tibor Szalma, Denis Ducroz
Lodur Tettenborn
Enjott Schneider
Cast Reinhold Messner, Norman Dyhrenfurth, Christian Bonington
Producer Andreas Nickel
Production Company ExplorerMedia/Warngau, in co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk
Length 86 min
Format color, b&w
Dubbed Versions English
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Torelló (Barcelona) International Mountain Film Festival 2008, Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008, Explorers Club Film Festival New York 2008, International Mountain & Adventure Film Festival Moscow 2008, International Mountain & Adventure Film Festival Graz 2008, Banff Mountain Film Festival 2008
Awards Best Film & Best Script Torelló 2008, Best Cinematography Rhode Island 2008, Best Exploration Film New York 2008, Special Jury Award Moscow 2008, Best Documentary Graz 2008
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, ARTE
German Distributor Movienet Film/Munich

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