Berlin: Red Bull Media House, Sender, Team on ‘Dawn Wall’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Dawn Wall
Photo by Corey Rich

Narrating maybe the toughest big wall climb in history, ‘The Dawn Wall’ aims to help take sports action films to a new theatrical level

BERLIN – Sender Films is teaming with Red Bull Media House for “The Dawn Wall,” the 2015 story of the first free ascent of Yosemite’s El Capitan. Deal sees Red Bull Media House, the world’s action sports movie industry driver, fully financing, distributing and selling “Dawn Wall,” according to Philipp Manderla, RBMH head of feature films.

Seven years in preparation, the scaling of the 3,000-foot sheer granite face of El Capitan by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson captured the world’s imagination sparking massive social media engagement, a front-page the New York Times story, and even a President Obama congratulatory post saying “anything is possible.”a

Equally, RBMH and Sender aim for “Dawn Wall” to take the burgeoning action sports movie scene to the new level – U.S. theatrical distribution, following on Music Box’s release in U.S. theaters of “Meru,” a 2015 Sundance Fest Audience Award winner.

Illustrating the step-up in ambitions of action sports movies, “Dawn Wall” is a docu-feature that records not only the 19-day free climb, but the back story and psychological journey of its climbers, Manderla said. According to Manderla, Caldwell suffered abduction by Islamist radicals in Kyrgyzstan, a breathtaking escape, marriage and divorce to a fellow hostage, then a years-long obsession with climbing Dawn Wall, described by one fellow climber as his Moby Dick.

On the wall itself, one of the ascent’s 31 pitches, nearly all 5.12 or above, took Jorgenson one week and 10 attempts to climb.

“Dawn Wall is one of the biggest achievements in the history of climbing, sparked huge interest outside climbing circles and has the capacity to reach a far broader audience,” said Manderla. Key to that would be big festival exposure, he added.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading