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In an effort to continue pursuing my interest in both mountaineering and visual arts, I recently had a great pleasure of making this story for What Weekly Magazine about Renan Ozturk, an accomplished expedition climber, landscape artist and filmmaker. To showcase the wide variety of Renan's artistic work mediums and projects, I interviewed the artist ahead of the Sundance Film Festival award night, where his Meru Film won the Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary. In creative partnership with photographer Isaiah Williams we were able to capture exclusive portrait photographs in the setting of nearby Gallery MAR where Renan had a rare exhibition of his original artwork.


Today, the award-winning documentary film Meru finally celebrates its official nation-wide release across the United States. It was an honour to brush shoulders with some of the filmmakers and follow all the exciting developments from the film premiere during Sundance Film Festival, to its limited showing at the San Francisco Film Festival, and to this day! The film hits New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and Boulder on August 14. Film goers in Baltimore and San Francisco, should mark August 21 on their calendars to catch the film opening at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas and The Charles Theater, respectively. Although most Canadian viewers will have to wait until wider release dates, Albertans will have an opportunity to see the film at the Banff Centre Eric Harvie Theatre on October 31.


Meru is an excellent example of what personal passion and high-altitude determination can achieve. Big congratulations to Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk and their support teams on a truly impressive alpine and filmmaking achievement! Believe in the impossible!

Visit the film's official website for a complete list of theaters:


    San Francisco mountain film buffs enjoyed a limited screening of the film

during the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival in May.

Our added challenge was to try to bring the in-depth article to life through Baltimore's What Weekly Magazine ahead of other media outlets once the Sundance awards were announced. It has been an exciting experience to be covering the fascinating story of Renan and his team's Sundance achievement alongside Mary Ann Potts of National Geographic and their recent Proof interview with Jimmy Chin, Patricia Thompson of the American Cinematographer Magazine, Scott Macaulay of the Filmmaker Magazine, Canada's Gripped Magazine, The Clymb, Los Angeles Times, Park City Television and