Lowest to Highest
Matthew Newton, Rummin Productions
Catherine Pettman, Rummin Productions
Country / Nationality
Our Judges say:
Five men take on an incredible journey, to cycle from the lowest point to the highest In Australia, more than 2000km. They also happen to have serious disabilities, and although that’s just part of their story, their honesty and openness in the face of their challenge makes this an engaging film.
This is real life and death crusade. Quite possibly the most life-threatening in the festival. It my not be above 6000m elevation it my not be -60 but my god it demands respect.
Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions
Through the boundless landscape of Australia, five friends attempt to be the first to cycle 2150km from Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre - a vast salt lake in the central desert 15 metres below sea level - to the snow-capped summit of Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia. What is a sensational effort for an able-bodied rider may well have been the ultimate challenge for Walter Van Praag with 35% lung function (due to Cystic Fibrosis), Daniel Kojta who is paraplegic and uses a hand-cycle, and Conrad Wansbrough who suffers from a debilitating spinal injury. What is a steady and manageable hill climb to the summit of Kosciuszko for some, was a monumental achievement for Paul Pritchard with half a working body (due to Hemiplegia). To get there, Paul rode a custom built tandem-recumbent-trike with Duncan Meerding, who has 5% remaining vision, although that didn’t stop him from pushing the trike along some of the steepest and roughest parts of the road. Accompanied by a romping great soundtrack, the riders travel through stunning and varied Australian landscapes, cruising past road critters and through clouds of dust kicked up by the onslaught of passing road trains, recuperating in riverside campsites and seeking bike repair shops along the way. The documentary captures the banter, the hardship & remarkable determination they have to complete the journey. " Who hasn’t dreamed of doing something extraordinary? Being disabled does not mean you are unable. Everyone needs help sometimes and by helping each other on the ride, we will show that with a little help, everyone - disabled or not, is capable of extraordinary things. ” (Paul Pritchard)