You may remember the news stories from late in the summer of 2008. Eleven climbers died trying to climb the second tallest, and most treacherous mountain in the world: K2. The specific details of the tragedy were never made public, mostly because the survivors all had different stories to tell.

The precise intersection of those stories is the mystery director Nick Ryan unravels in The Summit, a documentary combining footage from the actual mountain with stunning reenactments and eyewitness interviews. Transitioning between the three disciplines, Ryan is able to not only tell the story of 24 climbers who climbed the mountain, he’s actually able to piece together exactly how 11 of them perished. Blending those two stories together, however, presents a problem.

Read more about the film below. Read More »

A few days after the kickoff the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, deal-making is in full swing. The well-reviewed drama The Spectacular Now, by Smashed director James Ponsoldt, is headed to newish distributor A24, while the crowdpleasing comedy Austenland, from Napoleon Dynamite writer Jerusha Hess, is nearing a deal with FilmDistrict. Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan‘s The Look of Love had a mixed reception, but that’s not stopping IFC Films from closing in on a deal; the distributor also released the pair’s last comedy together, The Trip. Meanwhile, Anchor Bay has picked up two narrative features so far, the Dermot Mulroney-starring The Rambler and Leland Orser‘s Morning. (The latter is not playing at Sundance.)

Over in the world of documentaries, music-centric films seem to be doing quite well. Showtime has acquired the broadcast rights to the two-part documentary History of the Eagles, which will air on the channel February 15 & 16. Also headed to television is Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer, which has been snapped up by HBO Documentary Films. Finally, Twenty Feet From Stardom, which follows some of popular music’s greatest backup singers, will get a theatrical release by RADiUS-TWC. And in non-music news, AMC’s Sundance Selects has grabbed Dirty Wars, about America’s covert wars, and The Summit, about climbers scaling the most dangerous peak in the world.

Hit the jump to read descriptions of the films mentioned above.

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Mountain climbing appeals to a certain kind of thrillseeker: someone who is incredibly athletic, somewhat wealthy and completely fearless. That last one is the most important because the risk of death is always so prevalent. Nick Ryan‘s Sundance 2013 documentary The Summit focuses on that. It pieces together the story of a group of 24 climbers who climbed the legendary mountain K2 in the summer of 2008. Only 11 returned.

The Summit was selected in the World Cinema Documentary category but if you watch this trailer, you might think there’s no way it can be real. Can it? Watch it below. Read More »