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Title:Himalayan Education at Woodstock School

Mussoorie Writers' Mountain Festival, hosted by Woodstock School and the Hanifl Centre for Outdoor and Environmental Study, in Mussoorie, India, brings together more than twenty international authors, mountaineers, artists and experts on Himalayan culture.

Written and Directed by Stephen Alter

Produced by Rupin Dang, Wilderness Films India Ltd.

"Mussoorie Writers' EXPERIENCE THE HIMALAYA: A MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL (Nov. 1-4, 2012) celebrated exploration, natural history and mountain culture. Events ranged from a photographic exhibition to a just-released film, The Old Breed, about Steve Swenson's recent ascent of the highest unclimbed summit in the world - Saser Kangri II. Swenson himself, one of America's toughest climbers, spoke about the adventure of this expedition, along with the values and philosophy that drives him to reach extreme heights. A large audience of students, teachers and visitors enjoyed the mountain poetry of Gulzar, accompanied by Pavan Varma and Sukrita Paul Kumar.

Woodstock's Parker Hall was filled with the lyrical folk songs of Nagaland, performed by the Tetseo Sisters. Italian alpinists, Manolo and Herve Bermasse spoke of the challenges they overcome on the mountains and showed films about their perpendicular exploits, while Rekha Bhardwaj sang mountain lyrics together with Bollywood hits. Dr. Charles Clarke, one of Britain's most eminent mountaineers, discussed mountain literature as well as the important traditions of Tibetan medicine. Controversy, politics and intrigue are all a part of Himalayan history and Capt. M. S. Kohli, who led India's first successful ascent of Everest, revealed first-hand details about the joint CIA and Indian Intelligence operation on Nanda Devi during the 1960's.

As part of the same panel, Prof. Shekhar Pathak discussed the legacy of Pandit Nain Singh Rawat, one of Uttarakhand's heroic surveyors, who mapped Tibet in the 19th Century. While an international gathering of climbers spoke of pushing themselves to the limits of endurance on vertical surfaces of ice and rock, Viraf Mehta unveiled prehistoric narratives and images etched on the stones of Ladakh, ancient petroglyphs of snow leopards and ibex. The festival brought together scholars, scientists, authors, artists and mountaineers, including chief guest Loveraj Singh Dharmshaktu, who has climbed Everest four times, as well as many other major Himalayan peaks. Rupin Dang spoke of local idiocyncratic Landour wildlife and "Wilderness Wanderings" while conservation and responsible use of mountain environments was another theme, explored by eco-activist Ishita Khanna and wildlife biologists Pankaj Chandan and Rajarshi Chakraborty of WWF.

On Sunday, Nov. 4, as part of the festival, more than 200 runners competed in the first Mussoorie Half-Marathon, along Mussoorie's Mall Road to a turnaround point at Everest House and a finish line at Woodstock School. Over the four days of the Mountain Festival, participants and audience members drew inspiration from a variety of presentations and performances, all of which emphasized the educational significance and opportunities of our Himalayan heritage."

This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at rupindang [at] gmail [dot] com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com

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