“You don’t conquer a mountain. If you’re lucky enough, the mountain gives you a chance to stand on the top.”

The first trailer for Beyond the Edge, the film documenting Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s historic climb to the top of Mount Everest, has been released and it’s a rousing and dramatic look at an event etched into our Kiwi pysche like no other.

One of the greatest adventure stories of all time has been reconstructed through a mixture of original colour footage, photographs and recreation. The Hillary family gave the film its blessing and the Royal Geographical Society in London (who were joint sponsors of the 1953 expedition) provided the filmmakers with photographs and original materials.

Wellington-based actor Chad Moffitt scored the coveted role after producers saw shots of him posing with a $5 note bearing Sir Ed’s image – the resemblance to a young Hillary is remarkable. The documentary is directed by Leanne Pooley, who is use to documenting Kiwi icons after her work on The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.

The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which opens 5 September. We get to scale Everest on 24 October.

Some very dramatic and cinematic moments on display. The shot from the top is breath-taking, so too the image of Hillary falling down a mountain crevasse.

There’s not too much insight into how they “knocked the bastard off” though. Hopefully we’ll see a bit more in a subsequent trailer.

And here’s hoping the use of 3D in this film is subtle, like in TT 3D: Closer to the Edge, adding depth to the image and enhancing the sense of adventure. Thankfully we didn’t see any cheesy moments that looked like they’d been shot for 3D’s sake.

Has this got your adrenaline pumping?


In 1953, the ascent of Everest remained the last of Earth’s great challenges. Standing at over 29,000ft, the world’s highest mountain posed a fearsome challenge and had already claimed thirteen lives in previous expeditions.

Faced with treacherous winds, sub-zero temperatures and battling altitude sickness, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay finally achieved the impossible and became the first men to conquer Everest. It was an event that stunned the world and defined an era.

Directed by Leanne Pooley, the film stars Chad Moffitt, Sonam Sherpa, John Wraight, Joshua Rutter, and Dan Musgrove.

Beyond the Edge opens 24 October, 2013.

Beyond the Edge Poster