Pitch Productions is behind climbing documentary Race to the Summit, a 90-minute feature that launches worldwide on Netflix on Wednesday 4th October.
Race to the Summit unfolds the intersecting narratives of two Swiss alpinists, Dani Arnold and Ueli Steck, whose lightning-quick ascents of the Alps’ most perilous north faces captured the world’s attention and opened up a controversial new frontier in the ancient pursuit of mountain climbing.
Mountains like the Eiger or the Matterhorn take an accomplished mountaineer a day or more to scale. Dani and Ueli soloed them in less than three hours – with no ropes or safety equipment – and, in doing so, wrote their names into mountaineering history. But this high stakes duel came with unintended consequences and led both men to discover where their limits lay.
The film features never-before-seen-footage and interviews with those closest to Ueli and Dani, including legendary climbers Alex Honnold and Don Bowie.
Following the release of Mark Cavendish: Never Enough, the film is Pitch’s fifth collaboration with Netflix, coming in the wake of Pelé, The Figo Affair: The Transfer that Changed Football, and Neymar: The Perfect Chaos.
Dani Arnold says, “Two years ago I finished the biggest project of my life: climbing all the great north faces of the Alps in record time. I never thought some of these climbs would make it into a Netflix documentary one day.”
The directors, Nicholas de Taranto & Goetz Werner say, “We were privileged to be given an opportunity to break new ground with Race to the Summit – a film that’s as much about pace, rivalry, and the media as it is about supreme athletes summiting mountains.
“We wanted to transpose a motor racing film onto the Alps; where the mountains are the racetracks, Dani and Ueli are the drivers, and the goal – for the first time in mountaineering history – isn’t just to be first, but to be quickest.”
David Tryhorn, producer, and creative director for Pitch, says, “While climbing documentaries have tended to focus on the confrontation between man and mountain, this is a story of man versus man, and is so much richer and more complex for that.
“Set against the stunning backdrop of the great north faces of the Alps, Race to the Summit is a questioning, revelatory and intimate insight into a world many feel they know but few truly understand. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with stories like these, that take documentaries to such new and unexpected emotional places.”
Max Dobbyn, producer and head of documentary for Pitch, says, “Mountains were once climbed ‘because they were there’. But in the days of the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and sponsorship deals, it’s become much more complicated.
“Climbing and the world around it has changed, but the risks of free soloing have stayed the same. Race to the Summit demonstrates that it takes a special person to weigh those risks against their talent, to leave ropes and belays behind, and test themselves against a hostile mountain.”
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