George Smith - Genius and other LLAMFF News

© Mick Ryan -
The North Wales climbing community pulled together this weekend to produce the fourth successful Llanberis Mountain Film Festival (LLAMFF), a delightful mix of films, lectures, exhibitions and chin-wagging covering the the whole spectrum of the climbing experience.

The star of the Festival was without a doubt, George Smith, Gogarth new router, father and husband, and dare we say it, amazing thespian and storyteller. Winner of LLAMFF was his film 'George Smith's UpsideDown Wales'. It's outstanding, will be a winner at any film festival it enters and to use a cliché it is a must see. What makes it special? The humour, attitude, facial expressions and dialogue of George Smith and his take on modern climbing. It's unique, creative and engaging. Full credit to George, Noel Crain, Alun Hughes, Ray Saunders and several other North Wales climbers for putting it all together. Ten out of ten and both my thumbs up!

After George, Johnny Dawes read a piece from his forthcoming book accompanied by some pieces of slate, moodily lit, used as props to illustrate his talk. It was pure Johnny Dawes, unfathomable but at the same time entertaining. Everyone has a soft spot for the madcap Dawes.

Merging into this on Saturday evening was the resurrection of Lord Slatehead, the late Paul Williams' slide show, Slate of the Art, humerously and reverently introduced by Paul's son, Chris; organised and with commentary by Mike Raine, accompanied by a couched flock of slateheads, including an argumentative and reflective John Redhead and Johnny Dawes. But again, big George Smith excelled, this time with his readings from Martin Crook's diary about the slate exploration in the 1980's, some of the best climbing prose you will hear or read.

Nicola Wilding, winner of the DMM My First Outdoor Lead Essay Competition, travelled down from Glasgow to North Wales as a guest of She read out Confessions of A Coward her winning essay, beautifully. She picked up her hula-skirt of new gear from DMM (£500's worth) and had a great day on Sunday exploring the slate quarries with our guide, Fat Elvis. You can see Nicola doing some acrobatics here

Next week we will have video up of Nicola reading out her winning essay.

Meanwhile here is George Smith............. is a sponsor of the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival

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10 Mar, 2008
Missed Georges Film, will try and get hold of a copy, didn't know Noel was involved so feel bad for missing it. Had a busy weekend so only made a few films, though Nick Bullocks and Andy Caves talks were great, very different, but great to watch.
10 Mar, 2008
George's film was brilliant! I was appreciated by climbers and non-climbers alike! Slate of the Art afterwards, was quite a let down on the whole.
10 Mar, 2008
george's film was by far the best item at the festival, it deserves every award it will get over the next couple of years! hiking up snowdon, eiger speed riding and tim emmett's lecture also gave splendid entertainment!
10 Mar, 2008
Couldnt agree more. Upside Wales is ace. I was excited to see Slate of Art, but felt Jonny was indulged too much with his slate boat candle thing, and that the slideshow was actually a bit dull. And I love the quarries! The show could have been organised better too - surely working out how to set the projector up could have been done beforehand? I missed the drumming at the party cos the show ran on so late :( On the brighter side, although jonnys delivery was a bit...errr...hard to follow, I thought his written style sounded interesting, would be interested to read his book. And some of the slides in the show were amazing - rainbow slab in the snow, brilliant shots of Serengeti slab (made it look like the prow of a conatiner ship or something) crazy lycra leggings...
10 Mar, 2008
the prepared (original) projector blew an irreplacable bulb just at the wrong moment.... which is why a 10foot imnprovised stand had to be sorted for the last minute reserve projector! it did help create that atmosphere of an 80's slideshow though, don't you think? It wouldn't have been the same with an ultra-slick powerpoint presentation.
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