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  1. A promo for this documentary film.

  2. A 5 minute excerpt from this film.


Off the Edge is director Michael Firth's ode to the exhilaration of adventuring on the spine of NZ's Southern Alps. Something of a snowy Endless Summer, Firth follows an American and a Canadian as they ski, hang-glide, walk, climb and delve beneath glaciers, over nine months in the Aoraki-Mt Cook area. Thrilling footage amidst requisite spectacular scenery was shot over 45 days, where extreme weather and geography meant few chances for second takes. The film was nominated for an Oscar (Best Documentary, 1977); the LA Times called it, "beautiful and awesome".


Off the Edge - 1977 production notes by Off the Edge 06.04.2010

"A beautiful and awesome film [...] Off the Edge is a stunner with one amazing vista following another [...] a thoroughly exhilarating experience and one that can be shared by the entire family." Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles ...

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Credits (10)

 Michael Firth
 Molly Gregory
 Blair Trenholme

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Comments (12)

 Mike Hibbit

Mike Hibbit

Fabulous! I used to have a video of this film too. Great filming and music to match. Love the preparation for flight sequence - takes me back to learning to hang glide near Brighton, England in 1975 - and the flying shots are magic.
Must try to get the DVD.



I remembered watching this on TV growing up in Christchurch - on the back door I saw the Southern Alps during the winter months with snow on the Alps. These guys are the pioneers on such filming in adverse conditions to make truly awesome footage of New Zealand beauty...that even after I moved overseas 30 yrs its still a beautiful country that makes me appreciate every time I go home to New Zealand that it still the same when I departed New Zealand for its pristine mountains & National Parks.

 Deb kingsland

Deb kingsland

Loved it for different reasons, I owned a pony named George with a white question mark shape on his head. That was him in this film!

 Bruce Hudson

Bruce Hudson

I just want to credit the most excellent music to John Hanlon with his song "Higher Trails". He has a couple of new albums: Just Quietly and 12 Shades of Blue, both of which are excellent and are available through Marbecks.

 Charles Eggen

Charles Eggen | website

The dvd of the film can be purchased from various nz sources for about $20. Three such are:

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Their search led them into New Zealand's treacherous mountain wilderness ... never to return the same! 
The most exceptional ski and hang-gliding photography we have seen. 
No second chance on this, first time around is it. My hands are so cold ..." 


1977 Academy Awards
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature

Festival of the Americas
Gold Medal