In 2008, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk set out to climb the Shark's Fin of Mount Meru in the Himalayas, a route that peaks at 20,700 feet. No one had ever made it to the top. After 19 days of climbing, they fell short of the summit by a mere 100 meters. In 2011, they tried it again.
Chin — an accomplished National Geographic photographer — had filmed both attempts, but was having trouble editing it all together, so he reached out to an acquaintance who had directed a couple of movies. That acquaintance was Chai Vasarhelyi and together they took the raw footage from the climb and turned it into a movie that won the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
When Chin and Vasarhelyi spoke with The Frame at Sundance, they spoke about the challenges of filming while hanging from the side of a mountain, and the emotional elements of the story that brought the whole thing together. Oh, and how they ended up being married.