2019 - Previous edition












Watch the teaser


Once again the Festival will offer us a unique encounter with some amazing men and women. During four days these roaming adventurers will share their visions and ideals with us making us want to understand and change the world. Over these next few days we will become heroes of a universe still full of promise…

Walk through the doors of the Henri Oreiller Centre and follow them to the four corners of the globe: Karako- ram, Sertão, Namibie, Nubri, Chongging … names that ring as an invitation to travel. I would like to welcome the public to this 23rd edition which I am sure will live  up to expectations. Its success is down to you attending in large numbers with enthusiasm. I hope you live the experience to the full.

Let these adventures and discoveries remain  in our hearts and souls for a long time.



Prize list

L'aigle d'or de l'aventure


Réalisation : Vincent Munier & Laurent Joffrion

This is the Grand Prix of the festival. The winning film will be screened after the closing ceremony.


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This film offers an intimate journey in the breath-taking environment    of the Cantabrique Cordillère in Northern Spain. It features the unique experience of an encounter with the cliff bear. As we follow the trail of this emblematic animal the film reveals its natural, primitive habitat where the flora and fauna are the living results of the preservation of nature.

The grey wolf, European otter, griffon vulture and black chickadee also live on the slopes of this mountain range. They all contribute to the picture   of a nature scene where man also has his place. The subject of the film is the interconnecting discourses of four French and Spanish characters, who nurture an intimate vision into the wildlife. They question our relationship with nature and the possibility of us living in harmony.

Prix Espoir Hiventy 2019


Réalisation : Margot Cami

Hiventy is the new name for the Monal Group including Monal, RGB, Digimage and Mediadub which are all major companies in the audiovisual world. The group offers a wide range of high quality audiovisual and cinematographic services. Hiventy is delighted to support the Val d’Isère Adventure and Discovery Film Festival and proud to award the “Prix Espoir” (prize for the most promising new-comer) which will win Hiventy technical services.

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« From Colombia to Argentina Circassian People have always chosen the street as their meeting point and creative place as well as their stage.

Their history is extraordinary and their lifestyle differs widely from today’s standard social behaviour. They defend an alternative way of life by performing at crossroads. The bright lights of the traffic signals intertwine on their trip to Latin America. Their hopes and dreams come to life as they sail across the ocean… »

Le prix Alain Estève


Réalisation : Henrick Dussolier

This prize for technical quality is awarded in memory of the climber Alain Estève, former head of GMHM (Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne) who lost while climbing in 1997.

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The oldest district of the immense town of Chongquig, is about to be demolished and its inhabitants re-housed. The film maker befriends the young Zhou Hong, a little prince of the district’s lively streets and Madam Xue Lian, the extraordinary fairy godmother to the migrant workers who are the last witnesses of a disappearing world. In this chronicle of foretold destruction, the film maker takes to the winding, run-down streets of  Shibati to show us what is about to disappear forever. Zhou Hong and Xue Lian must leave to live in one of the soulless tower blocks in a distant suburb.

Le Grand Prix du Public 2019


Réalisation : Mélusine Mallender

At the entrance for the screening of each film of the competition, members of the public receive a ticket that allows them to vote. Ballot boxes marked « Not at All », « A Little », « A lot », « Loved it » are situated at the Congress Centre exit. The tally of the votes is made in proportion to the number of spectators.

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Mélusine Mallender has led many an expedition based on the theme of freedom, more precisely the opinion of women concerning their own freedom in countries we know little of and of whom we often have a negative image: Iran, Rwanda, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somaliland etc. She has travelled alone to over fifty countries, astride her motorbike, to take her microphone to the farfetched corners of the world in search of those who are unheard and whose only protection is their smile, kindness and their determination. She is one of the few women of this world to undertake major solo expeditions on a motorbike, covering all  kinds  of  terrains and paths. This is the story of the life she has built for herself along the “pathways of freedom”.

Le Prix spécial Ushuaïa TV 2019


Réalisation : Eric Valli

For the past eight years the Ushuaïa TV Channel has supported the festival by giving an award for best director, with the winning film being broadcast on the channel. The film is chosen by the editorial team of Ushuaïa TV.

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The double earthquake which shook Nepal in Spring 2015 caused the deaths of 9 000 people and injured 23 000 others. Rescuers rushed to Katmandu but were unable to reach the higher valleys. One of these areas known as the Nubri valley at the foot of Mont Manaslu was totally isolated. Here, at the foot of this Himalayan giant, over 12 000 people were cut off from the rest of the world. Through their own creativity and bravery, the men and women up in one of the highest mountains in the world, take fate into their own hands.

Through necessity, after the earthquake two young boys Raj and Shiva, end up as mule drivers – a future for which their upbringing and traditions had not prepared them. The two friends toughen up, open themselves up and find their own way forward. The film not only highlights the accelerated rite of passage from childhood to adulthood caused by the devastating event but also the birth of new horizons.

Sylvain TESSON and the Festival team look forward to welcoming you from April 20th to 24th 2020 for the 24th edition. 11 new films and a new prize: highlighting the letters with a Literary Prize for Adventure & Discovery.


Master of ceremonies

Against serious mind

Sylvain Tesson's edito

Les aventuriers ne sont pas sérieux. Ils ne ressemblent pas à l’époque ! Ils ne tirent pas des mines d’enterrement, ils n’affichent pas de tristes figures, ils ne font pas de discours, ils n’ont pas à la bouche les mots « sécurité ! », « modération !» Cela nous repose des experts, des analystes, des hommes politiques, des penseurs et des spécialistes, ces cafards !

Les aventuriers ont des rêves d’enfants. Ils les accomplissent avec des moyens d’adulte. Ils vivent diablement. Parfois, ils meurent. Ils grimpent les montagnes, sautent dans le vide, plongent dans les mers, traversent les jungles. Ils ne théorisent pas, ils agissent. Ils ne tiennent pas en place. Ils vont voir. Des gosses ! vous dis-je. Quelle joie ! Quelle fête ! Car nous sommes lassés des ecclésiastiques laïcs, des modérateurs sinistres, des donneurs de leçons.

Maurice Leblanc, dans son roman L’Aiguille creuse (paru en 1909), brosse un merveilleux portrait d’Arsène Lupin. Le « gentleman cambrioleur » affecte une « gaminerie de geste et d’accent ». Il est gai, il veut s’amuser, il aime la vie, il se fiche des conventions. En outre, il est tiré à quatre épingles. Et Maurice Leblanc nous apprend un mot merveilleux pour exprimer cet appétit des choses : il écrit qu’Arsène Lupin possède « le primesaut ». Voilà le synonyme de l’aventure : « le primesaut ».

C’est le printemps de l’action, la jeunesse de la vie, l’amour du monde. Avoir le primesaut c’est prendre des risques, courir la Terre, saluer la nature, faire des choses inutiles, contempler le ciel, épuiser son corps, se dépasser inconsidérément, tirer la langue au conformisme et ne surtout pas respecter les doses prescrites.

À Val d’Isère, tout le monde aime Arsène Lupin.

Aventure et primesaut !

Jury President

Elisabeth Quin

Having a passion for the cinema, writer and journalist Elisabeth Quin subsequently became a professional critic for a number of television shows and magazines. She was also involved in fashion through her publications and her role as Minister to Industry from 2009 to 2011. She writes about a variety of subjects in her novels, children’s books and reflexions. She was president of the 2011 Queer Palm Festival Jury at Cannes Film Festival which is dedicated to worldwide young gay or queer young talents. Elisabeth Quin has also appeared in some quirky roles in « Fais-moi Rêver » by Jacky Katu, « Elle Critique Tout » by HYPERLINK Alain Riou, « Tous Les Hommes sont des Romans » by Alain Riou and Renan Pollès as well as « Ca Se Soigne ?» by Laurent Chouchan (2008).

Hélène Gateau

Vet, an ESCP business graduate

Hélène Gateau

Vet, an ESCP business graduate

Hélène Gateau is a vet, an ESCP business graduate and a Fellow of the Order of Agricultural Merit. In January 2011, she began her media career on France 3 as an animal reporter on the “Midi en France” daily programme up until December 2018. She also presented her own show “Hélène et les Animaux”, a documentary featuring animal lovers in France and abroad which was launched on France 5 and is still running on Ushuaia TV. Since September 2018, she joins Michel Drucker in the weekly show “Vivement Dimanche” to talk about pets and wild animals. She is also the new face of the Ushuaia Magazine featuring environmental adventurers for whom she has interviewed Christian Clot, Matthieu Tordeur, Joël de Rosnay and Anne Quéméré, to name but a few. Hélène Gateau may also be found every Saturday and Sunday morning on RTL radio presenting her animal chronicles. She has written three books,

« Des Hommes et des Animaux » published by Carnets Nord, plus « Tout sur Votre Chien » and « Tout sur Votre Chat » published by Albin Michel.

Christophe Raylat

Film dorector

Christophe Raylat

Film dorector

After a fifteen-year career in journalism firstly as editor in chief for “Montagnes Magazine”, then founder of “Trek Magazine” and Roadbook Media, Christophe Raylat went on to direct Guérin-Paulsen publications for five years. He also published « Immortelle Randonnée, Compostelle Malgré-moi  » by Jean-Christophe  Rufin, and « Berezina », by Sylvain Tesson. Today he devotes his time to making documentaries. In 2017 he produced two films for Arte;

« Octobre Blanc, Sylvain Tesson sur les sommets de la révolution » and « Oural, à la Poursuite de l’Automne », co- written with Cédric Gras. In 2018 he wrote and produced a film with Sylvain Tesson for « France Télévision »  called

« Les Iles Éparses”. For 2018-19 he is producing a series called “Dans le Sillage de l’Odyssée » comprised of five 26-minute films co-written with Sylvain Tesson .

Nouria Newman

A pur talent

Nouria Newman

A pur talent

A native of Villaret de Nial (a small village in between Val d’Isère and Tignes) Nouria began kayaking at the age of 5 on the calm Isere River. Despite spending several years primarily racing slalom (an Olympic discipline) she continued to kayak freestyle and extreme kayaking alongside her career as a top athlete and her political science studies in Toulouse. After achieving the title of vice world champion in 2013, she struggled to make a comeback after injury in 2015 and decided to press the reset button! She gave up her Olympic dream and the artificial white water stadiums to go back to her first love: the river. Today, at the age of 27, she travels with her kayak in search of not only white water but also human adventures: discovering new cultures, exploring, broadening her mind, sharing and meeting people across the globe.

Les prix

L'aigle d'or de l'aventure 2019

LE Grand Prix du Fesival, il a été attribué à Vincent Munier et Laurent Joffrion pour Ours Simplement Sauvage.

Prix alain estève 2019

Decerné en hommage à l’alpiniste et ancien chef du GMHM Alain Estève, il a été attribué à Hendrick Dusollier pour Derniers jours à Shibati.

Le grand prix du public

Grand Prix du Public 2019, il a été attribué à Mélusine Mallender pour Les voies de la liberté.

Le prix spécial ushuaïa tv 2019

Decerné par Ushuaïa TV, il a été attribué à Eric Valli pour Népal, par-delà les nuages.

On the sidelines of the festival




Congres Center


RealizationYUCCA FILMS
Duration3 min.

Lighting the mystic couloirs of the Dolomites was an experience as powerful as our headlamps. Up there, using lighting brings incredible possibilities, unlike a studio shoot here the result is random but mastering this challenge is a part of the beauty of the project. The temperature, quality of the snow, our physical condition, motivation and equipment were all also crucial parts of the result.




Aigle des Neige Hotel



RealizationStéphane Dugast

Ethnologist, writer, cartoonist, creator of the French Antarctic Expeditions,  Paul-Emile Victor was also an activist, very committed to the defence of the environment. For the first time, this documentary combines unreleased archives, powerful testimonies, and key places of his life. It recounts the fabulous destiny of this ecological pioneer.




Congres Center


RealizationNouria Newman

The Ladakh Project is the story of a kayaking expedition in the heart of the Himalayas. Alone with a POV camera, Nouria Newman takes us for a 7 day trip down the Tsarap, Zanskar and Indus rivers. A 375km paddle during which she immerses us in freezing water, magnificent scenery, and an emotional roller coaster.



Fly like an eagle thanks to virtual reality. From 12 years old.


TUESDAY APRIL 16TH - Aquasportif Center

It is  something  you’ve  always  put  off  until tomorrow? Have you always fancied trying out climbing but never dared to? This is the perfect occasion to have a go. Our very own climbing instructor, Yannick Roszak, invites you to maybe make your dream come true at last!

Information and free registration at the Tourist Office



Circus show with Colombian artist Alejo Santos, key figure in the film “Estrellas del semaforo”. Along with his sidekick Chipoté, he would be delighted to present to you his incredible 45 minute show full of colour, energy and laughter brought to your directly from South America. For young and old alike!

Workshop Photo « Ski & Aventure » avec ALPINE CREATIVE

THURSDAY APRIL 18TH - Maison de Val

Do photos of skiing fire your imagination? Incredible Himalayan scenery too? Are you planning your own trip in the Alps or elsewhere in the world and want to take the best photos possible? Learn all the technical tips of the trade with Alpine Creative. Action shots, landscape, portraits, creation: anything is possible when you’ve mastered your camera … and your environment.



PAUL ZIZKA - In The Starlight

From the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to iceberg- laden seas off the coast of Greenland, Paul’s journey to capture the “under-documented” is a testament to his passion for exploration, his creative vision and a fierce sense of determination.

Paul is known for an adventurous spirit that draws him to the extraordinary. These qualities, combined with his keen eye for unique compositions, have resulted in an exhaustive portfolio of cutting-edge images.


VINCENT MUNIER - Ours, simplement sauvage

Alongside the film « OURS, simplement sauvage » which means « Bear, simply wild » by Laurent Joffrion and Vincent Munier, this exhibition offers an insight in to one of the most mysterious wildernesses in Europe, the Cantabrique mountain range. A magical universe where nature has remained untouched over the years. One symbolic animal has adapted to this vertiginously high territory: the brown bear. The grey wolf, western capercaillie, deer, chamois and European otter also live in this barren wilderness.


PAUL-EMILE VICTOR - "Paul-Emile Victor, ethnologie amoureuse, 66N°"

Destined to succeed his father’s successor at the head of a factory in the Jura region, Paul Emile Victor was fascinated by the Maori and Eskimo populations in the early XX century. One day he decided to leave for Paris where he discovered then studied ethnology. He talked Jean-Baptiste Charcot in to dropping him off on the eastern coast of Greenland to study the Eskimos in the region of Ammassalik. His two trips there allowed him to deeply experience what he would later refer to as his “ethnological love”;


Come and discover the kayak of Nouria Newman, member of the 23rd Festival jury, which is on show at  the Congress Centre.


La moto de Mélusine Mallender, la protagoniste du film “les voies de la liberté”, est en exposition sur le site du Festival. C’est avec une moto que Mélusine a parcouru le monde entier pour questionner les habitants sur leur propre vision de la liberté et plus particulièrement les femmes.


Le livre s’est imposé à moi, très jeune, avec « Construire un feu » de Jack London. Je me rêvais aventurier en Alaska ou dans les mers du sud et finalement j’ai vécu l’Aventure un peu en visitant des ailleurs, parfois vers les grands espaces américains, souvent vers l’Orient avec dans mes bagages cette autre grande pionnière que fut Alexandra David Neel. Et, finalement, c’est surtout dans les livres que j’ai construit intensément cette aventure qu’est la vie. Jack London, écrivain, aventurier, journaliste et militant socialiste et Alexandra David Neel, aventurière, écrivaine, journaliste, cantatrice et bouddhiste : des personnages de romans…





Avec Jeanne Mascolo de Filippis et Noël Mauberret


AuthorJeanne Mascolo
EditionÉditions Paulsen

Alexandra David-Neel fut une femme hors du commun. L’aventurière pionnière du XXe siècle, passionnée par l’Orient, elle sillonna l’Europe et l’Afrique du Nord avant de partir pour l’Asie. À la suite de longs séjours au Sikkim, en Inde, au Japon et en Chine, elle accomplit un véritable exploit : en 1924, elle devient la première voyageuse occidentale à entrer dans Lhassa, la capitale du Tibet alors interdite aux étrangers.




Avec Sylvain Tesson et Vincent Munier


AuthorVincent Munier & Sylvain Tesson
EditionKobalann éditions

Le photographe Vincent Munier nous entraîne sur les traces de la panthère des neiges.

La trouver est un graal pour bien des voyageurs. Sa

quête ensorcelle : il faut se briser les yeux sur la roche, sur la neige, sur le dos de chaque montagne pour espérer l’apercevoir. Sylvain Tesson l’a accompagné dans son dernier périple et lui prête sa plume d’écrivain voyageur pour la première fois.





Avec Cédric Sapin-Defour et Jean Fabre


AuthorCédric Sapin-Defour
EditionCédric Sapin-Defour

Chroniques de la montagne comme on la vit là-haut, comme on en parle en bas, autour d’un café, serré si possible, pour l’intensité des moments vécus, partagés. Cédric Sapin-Defour excelle à saisir l’essentiel entre les lignes de nos existences.


AuthorJean Fabre
EditionLes éditions du Mont-Blanc

En 1979, Jean Fabre et Bernard Domenech réussissent la première française du point culminant du continent océanien, le mont Carstensz ou Puncak Jaya, situé en Irian Jaya, la partie occidentale de la

Nouvelle-Guinée. En 1979, l’état d’urgence avait été déclaré en Irian. Jean Fabre et Bernard Domenech parviennent malgré tout à se faufiler entre les mailles du filet ; une clandestinité qui ajoute une grosse pincée de sel au récit de leur aventure !


Eliott Schnofeld


Le       deuxième       livre       de l’explorateur Eliott Schonfeld. Cette fois-ci, il vous emmène dans un des territoires les plus sauvages du monde, l’Alaska. Face aux nombreux dangers, aux attaques d’ours, à l’hostilité du grand nord, Eliott s’est lancé un

défi : descendre la Yukon river en canoë puis rallier l’extrême nord du pays à pied. Pour y arriver, il devra s’adapter à la nature, y survivre, seul et pendant de long mois.

Eliott Schonfeld


Je suis parti 3 mois en Mongolie, des steppes du nord au désert de Gobi. Pendant un mois et demi, je me suis déplacé avec un cheval. Ensemble, nous avons parcouru 900 kilomètres. De yourte en yourte j’ai appris à vivre  et   à   prendre   soin  de mon compagnon et j’ai

découvert une culture et un mode de vie dont je ne savais jusqu’alors rien et qui m’a bouleversé :  le nomadisme. Puis, la deuxième étape de mon expédition a débuté, et j’ai commencé à marcher dans un des endroits les plus hostiles et impropres à la vie, le  désert  de  Gobi.  Pendant  34  jours,  j’ai marché 700 kilomètres, seul, à 22 ans, en autonomie totale avec l’inquiétude permanente de ne pas trouver assez d’eau.

Jocelyn Chavy et Mario Colonel


Ce livre est une invitation pour l’Himalaya. Celui des hauts sommets, des chemins d’altitude, des rencontres marquantes et d’une spiritualité à fleur de sommets. Tous les trekkeurs rêvent d’y accomplir un périple, côtoyer les 14 sommets de plus de 8000m, s’imprégner de la culture Hindouiste et Bouddhiste, se perdre sur des sentiers séculaires et vivre des rencontres lumineuses.

Avec son contenu pratique et ses photos à couper le souffle, il couple à merveille, informations et esthétisme…

Photo reportage