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Documentary about rock-climbing NHS paramedic wins film prize

Lock Down, Rock Up by Nico Hambleton won Best Short at the Kendal Mountain Festival.

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A still from Lock Down Rock Up (Kendal Mountain Festival)

A still from Lock Down Rock Up (Kendal Mountain Festival)

A still from Lock Down Rock Up (Kendal Mountain Festival)

A documentary about the life of an NHS paramedic has won recognition at a global film festival.

Lock Down, Rock Up follows the life of Jerome Mowat, 31, as he uses rock climbing as an escape from working on the front line during the Covid pandemic.

It took the Best Short prize at Kendal Mountain Festival, which celebrates mountaineering and outdoor culture.

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(Kendal Mountain Festival)

(Kendal Mountain Festival)

(Kendal Mountain Festival)

Director Nico Hambleton, 31, said: “This win isn’t just for Jerome, it’s representative of all frontline workers surviving out there.”

The film focuses on Mr Mowat, from Sheffield, who worked for the Yorkshire and then London Ambulance Services during the coronavirus crisis.

According to festival organisers, the film demonstrated “his coping mechanism of rock climbing and how he used this hobby as a means to escape the visions that constantly circled round his mind”.

Mr Hambleton said: “I didn’t set out to make an award-winning film, just to document a means of escape from this worldwide crisis we are in, thinking it might inspire others who need it.

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(Kendal Mountain Festival)

(Kendal Mountain Festival)

(Kendal Mountain Festival)

“I’m so thankful to Kendal Mountain for accepting the film and understanding the themes. I’m blown away.”

Kendal Mountain Festival, which is in its 40th year, featured 10 days of films, live discussions and literature entirely online because of Covid restrictions.

It received over 400 submissions for consideration, a record number of entries.

The Grand Prize was won by director Adam Brown for his film Into The Storm, which documents the life of an indigenous surfer from Peru who rises from deprivation to become a professional athlete.

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