On Oct. 5, 1999, legendary climber Alex Lowe was tragically lost in a deadly avalanche on the Himalayan peak, Mount Shishapangma. Miraculously surviving the avalanche was Alex’s best friend and climbing partner, the renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker who went on to marry Alex’s widow and help raise his three sons.
Filmmaker, photographer and National Geographic Explorer, Max Lowe, turns the lens on his own family in the film Torn. As the body of his father is uncovered 17 years after his death, this story gives a profoundly intimate look at the Lowe-Anker family. Max captures their intense personal journey toward understanding Alex as a man, not a myth and the emotionally and physically harrowing trek to Shishapangma, where they will finally put him to rest.
This film was part of
Fall Series 2021
and is no longer available for viewing.
This year’s winner for the category of Best Climbing film is an intimate portrayal of a legendary character from the climbing world. It’s a story told powerfully but sensitively from the inside and through delicate pacing it allows much needed ‘room to breathe’ not only for the protagonists and the filmmaker but also for the audience. The inclusion of the filmmaking process with its pre-roll moments lends a ‘very real’ feel to a film that is ultimately moving and deeply affecting. It is a brave and compelling film. The winner of Best Climbing Film goes to Torn, Directed by Max Lowe.
— Keith Partridge
Before he could walk, Max’s parents Alex and Jennifer Lowe, were packing him along on far flung adventures across the globe. A curiosity for distant places and the people who inhabit them was impressed upon Max and his brothers as they were treated to a wayward atypical upbringing. Now known for his ability to depict those human stories drawn from close to him in Montana as well as in the most untouched reaches of the world, Max excels at capturing story through his search for human narratives unheard.
From his backyard in the Northern Rocky Mountains to now countless countries landscapes and cultures across the globe, Max has been witness to stories spanning the gap of human experience. It was from his travels and experiences therein that stemmed his drive to begin a career as a storyteller, bringing the world as he observed and experienced it to life in film and photo, and he continues to travel to the far reaches of the globe in pursuit of his own story and others.