‘Free Solo’ Picked Up the Oscar for ‘Best Documentary’ at the Academy Awards Last Night

CragBrains | ClimbingClimbing
Alex Honnold, El Capitan, free solo, yosemite, California,
…the ethical calculus of filming a friend who could, with the slip of a finger, plummet to his death. Credit: New York Times | YouTube

“Free Solo” won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Acadamy Awards ceremony last night in Los Angeles, CA. The documentary, directed by husband and wife team Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, gives a unique insight into rock climber Alex Honnold’s mindblowing quest to perform a free solo (no harness or safety ropes) ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

“This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible,” Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi said. “It was the work of an army.”

free solo, Alex Honnold, el cap, Yosemite, California
Whatever you do, just don’t look down. Credit: National Geographic

Since premiering to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival last fall, “Free Solo” has become one of the most successful documentaries of all time. The National Geographic release has grossed over $19 million worldwide during its five-month theatrical run.

Producer Evan Hayes said Honnold lives a simple existence, so he was thoroughly enjoying his brush with Hollywood.

“He’s embedded, thrilled,” Hayes said. “He deserves so much of the credit for this.”


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