BBC announces feature length documentary The Last Mountain
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BBC Factual announces The Last Mountain, an Uppercut Films, Dorothy St. Pictures and Globus Pictures feature-length documentary. Commissioned for BBC Two and iPlayer, it tells the compelling story of 30-yr-old climber Tom Ballard.
The 105-minute feature length film is directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Chris Terrill (Alison’s Last Mountain) and produced by award-winning producer Julia Nottingham (Skate Kitchen), and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker Olivia Lichtenstein (Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me).
This is the compelling story of 30-yr-old climber Tom Ballard, who disappeared on one of the Himalayas most deadly mountains in February 2019. Tom was the son of mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who perished on K2 in 1995. Mother and son, two of the greatest climbers of all time, died at almost the same age, in the same mountain range, both doing what they loved best. They now lie forever encased in the ice of the high Himalayas. Left behind to cope with the enduring tragedy are Tom’s sister, Kate and their father, Jim.
In 1995, Jim Ballard took his children, Tom, 6 and Kate, 4 on an expedition to K2’s basecamp to say farewell to their mother, the result was a BBC film, Alison’s Last Mountain. Now, The Last Mountain follows Kate Ballard on a parallel trip to say goodbye to her brother on Nanga Parbat. Using archive footage from 1995 and Tom's own extraordinary footage taken up until the days before his death, the film explores what made Tom continue his ascent with Italian climber, Daniele Nardi after the other two members of the expedition turned back. Tom had always followed his credo to ‘listen’ to the mountain and climb as though he were a part of it, a moving piece of rock or ice.
Combining 25 years of intimate, unseen family archive with footage of the family that director, Chris Terrill, has shot in the years since Alison’s passing, the documentary tells the unforgettable story of a family who lived and were prepared to die for the love of scaling the icy heights of the world’s highest peaks, and explores what it is that drives people to pit themselves against nature at its most ferocious and unforgiving.
Patrick Holland, Director of Factual, Arts and Classical Music, says: “This is a deeply personal, deeply moving film about an extraordinary family and their passion to live life at the extremes. We are hugely privileged to be allowed on this journey, a pilgrimage into the mountains, following Kate Ballard as she says goodbye to her brother, Tom. I’d like to thank Kate and Jim for sharing their story and Chris Terrill for making this elegiac, awe-inspiring and haunting film."
The Last Mountain, a 1x105 (minutes) for BBC Two and iPlayer, is an Uppercut Films, Dorothy St. Pictures and Globus Pictures production. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director of Factual, Arts and Classical Music and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. It is made by Globus Films Producer Olivia Lichtenstein, Dorothy St. Pictures Producer Julia Nottingham and Director Chris Terrill. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney.
Source BBC TWO
September 16, 2021 5:00am ET by BBC TWO