The hotly anticipated climbing film ‘Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey’ is to be released to UK cinemas on Friday 10th August.
Directed by Dave O’Leske, the film tells the story of one of the most prolific climbers in history, Fred Beckey. Hailed as the original American “Dirtbag” – one who abandons societal norms and material comforts in pursuit of a nomadic mountaineering lifestyle, Beckey was a rebellious soul who likely summited more unclimbed peaks than anyone on the planet. He was making first ascents of remote North American mountains as far back as the 1930’s and continued trying first ascent’s well into the 2000’s.
An uncompromising character, Beckey burned bridges, eschewed fame and stayed unencumbered so that his only obligation would be to conquer the next summit. However, his approach and attitude to life and mountaineering had its drawbacks, and alongside the negative effects on his close personal relationships, Beckey narrowly missed out on being the first American to conquer Everest.
Over his life, Beckey kept meticulous personal journals where he mused on everything from arcane geology to his romantic life and the myriad sunrises he witnessed from vantages not seen by anyone else on Earth. An environmentalist before there was such a term, Beckey’s legacy includes 13 essential books that act as blueprints for successive generations of climbers. He defiantly continued climbing until he passed away in October 2017 at the age of 94.
Director Dave O’Leske filmed with Beckey for almost a decade before his death, and with access to nearly a century’s worth of precious photos, personal journals and rare films entrusted to O’Leske by Beckey, the resulting film is a fascinating, emotional and funny insight into a truly captivating and complicated unsung legend.
The film will be supported in its UK release by film distribution consultant Jonny Tull, who this year has brought climbing documentaries ‘Psycho Vertical’, and ‘Alan Hinkes: The First Briton to Climb the World’s Highest Mountains’ to cinemas. Later this year Tull will be teaming up with Matt Heason/Sheffield Adventure Film Festival to release ‘The Best of Shaff’, and with filmmaker Charlie Fripp to release kayaking documentary ‘The Yukon Assignment’.
The film is to be released to UK cinemas in August and will screen around the UK across the autumn. For confirmed screenings, you should visit the film’s website at www.dirtbagmovie.com