Films, mountains, adventures and the international competition for the “Grand Prix Graz

Every year in November, Mountainfilm Graz brings the latest outdoor film productions from all over the world to the Styrian capital Graz. For the audience, this is the opportunity to see the best mountain and adventure films and to talk about them in a festive atmosphere. With an exciting cinema programme, live presentations by the filmmakers and multi-vision talks as well as the “Long Night of Mountain Film”, the festival days fly by. Relaxation at the festival bar and informative talks in the exhibition area for outdoor sporting goods must not be neglected, of course.

The first phase of the competition begins in spring with the call for entries to all filmmakers. From the usually around 300 submissions, only the best are included in the programme – and are thus in the running for the festival prizes. Only shortly before the festival does the jury of international experts from the festival genres meet to determine the final winners of the international film competition and the “Long Night of Mountain Film”.

Mountainfilm Graz over the course of time

  1. Thierry Renault beim Showklettern in Peggau, © Archiv Robert Schauer
    Graz als Treffpunkt für Film-, Berg- und Naturbegeisterte

    In 1986, mountaineer Robert Schauer founded the “Internationales Grazer Bergfilmfestival”, which received 64 film submissions from 11 countries in its first year.

    In addition to a special jury prize, the “Kamera Alpin in Gold” prize was awarded in two categories at this first festival: Mountaineering Documentaries and Topics about Climbing on Rock and Ice.

    In those days, the festival took place in Congress Graz’s Steiermarksaal. The film screenings were already framed by a supporting programme, with special events including the spectacular climbing show under the motorway bridge in Peggau.

  2. Claude Remy, Alun Hughes und Kurt Diemberger bei der Siegerehrung 1990, © Archiv Robert Schauer

    By its third edition, in 1990, the festival had already grown to the point where a second venue was needed. Screenings now also took place at the Schubertkino. This historic cinema, situated in the historic centre of Graz, hosted a preliminary programme for the first time.

  3. Fassadenkletterer Hannes Arch, © Archiv Robert Schauer

    The then top climber and later Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch drew attention to the festival in 1992 with a spectacular stunt: Having climbed a four metre high, trophy-shaped pyramid, he proceeded to scale the entire façade of the Steiermärkische Sparkasse building.

    Originally held every two years, the international film festival has been taking place annually since 1992.

  4. Die Trophäe für den „Grand Prix Graz", © Archiv Robert Schauer

    In 1995, the festival’s new main prize, the Grand Prix Graz, was awarded for the first time. By now, there were already four award categories: Mountaineering Documentaries, Climbing on Rock and Ice, Adventure Films and Films About Nature and Environment.

  5. Das Jubiläumsjahr im Dom im Berg, © Archiv Robert Schauer

    In its twentieth year, part of the festival was held in the Dom im Berg – a cavern inside the Schlossberg hill in the centre of Graz.

  6. Plakat des ersten „Outdoor Film Tags“

    In the spring of 2008, the international mountain film festival featured an Outdoor Film Day for the first time. In collaboration with the Helmut List Halle, a selection of the best films from the festival’s archive were screened there.

  7. Dean Potter in der Helmut-List-Halle, © Matthias Aberer

    Known for his treacherous solo ascents in high alpine terrain, the American Dean Potter was also an avid slackliner.  In 2011, he surprised the audience at the Outdoor Film Day by balancing on a slackline above their heads in the Helmut List Halle.

    Dean Potter in the Helmut List Hall, © Matthias Aberer

  8. Die Trophäe im neuen Design, © achromaticphotography

    Originally named “Internationales Grazer Bergfilmfestival” (International Mountain Film Festival Graz), the festival was known for many years as “Internationales Berg- und Abenteuerfestival Graz” (International Mountain and Adventure Festival Graz) before receiving its current name, Mountainfilm Graz in 2014. In that year, the trophy was also redesigned and has since delighted the winners of the international film competition in its current round design.

  9. Mountainfilm Graz am Schloßberg, © RIPIX

    The pandemic years also presented Mountainfilm Graz with a challenge. Due to the lockdown, the 2020 festival had to be postponed to spring 2021 and was the first and only edition to be held both online and with a live audience. The mild June temperatures allowed some of the film screenings to take place on the Kasematten open-air stage on the Schlossberg.

    The next festival could once again be held in the autumn as usual, making 2021 the only year in which two editions of Mountainfilm Graz took place.

  10. Publikum im Stefaniensaal, © RIPIX

    Today, around 300 films from up to 50 countries are submitted each year in the four festival categories Alpinism & Expeditions, Sports in Mountains & Natural Environments, Nature & Environment, and People & Cultures. The best of these are shown in the Schubertkino cinema and the halls of Congress Graz. With a varied supporting programme and exciting lectures, Mountainfilm Graz will once again present a unique experience for everyone.


a part of Green Events Styria

Mountains and nature are our motto – in our films, but also at the festival itself. Mountainfilm Graz is committed to protecting and preserving our environment in the best possible way. That’s why sustainability is a top priority for us as well as for our partners and sponsors.

Mountainfilm Graz is orientated according to the criteria of “Green Events”.


The small but fine core team of Mountainfilm Graz is supported by dedicated staff during the festival period.