QTV and Mediadante have won the CINE Golden Eagle for Television Series in 2013 announced in Washington DC. The award was for the twelve part TV series ‘On the Top’, a series that tells the story of the first Qatari man, and a Palestinian man and first Saudi woman`s journey to the top of Mount Everest in April 2013.
‘On the Top’, produced by Mediadante, is about the first Qatari man Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, an ambassador of Reach Out to Asia, climbing Mount Everest to raise awareness and funding for education projects in Nepal. Raha Moharrak; the first Saudi woman and youngest ever Arab to climb the mountain, also joined Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani on the expedition.
Rosie Garthwaite, Executive Producer and Founder of Mediadante commented “It is a real perk of the job – making documentaries – when we get to be there with a camera in hand as great moments of achievement are marked in history. Having lived in Qatar for seven years watching Sheikh Moe reach his goal and the reaction of the country back home, bought tears to my eyes. And as a woman, seeing the brave Raha Moharrak doing something most women, let alone Saudi women, cannot even dare to dream about was an inspiration.”
Filming up Everest was incredibly challenging for the team. Adam Sobel the producer and co-director spent six weeks living at Everest basecamp said “When you’re living above 5,500 meters, every day is spent slowly dying. The human body simply is not capable of acclimatizing to this altitude, and bit by bit it breaks down. Sleep is intermittent, when it comes at all. Digestion is defective, as blood circulates to more critical organs. And weight loss is all but unavoidable – your body actually devours your muscles in order to provide energy to itself. But the journey was incredible.”
The hundreds of kilos of luggage was taken up by plane and then carried for six days by donkeys and sherpas to basecamp. At one point Mediadante had seventeen people up the mountain and in the dangerzone where one in every nine people can die. In addition they had to train Nepali porters, sherpas and climbing guides to work the cameras and sound equipment in order to have a back-up team for the summit cameraman.
The CINE Golden Eagle awards supports emerging and established producers of film, television and digital media through its film competitions, educational panels, screenings and networking opportunities. Past recipients include Steven Spielberg, Ken Burns, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Ron Howard, Taylor Hackford, Forrest Whitaker as well as many others. http://www.cine.org/spring-2014-golden-eagle-award-recipients/
Mediadante is currently in production on the region’s first ever live interactive online documentary as a part of Qatar Museums Year of Culture 2014 with the support of Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani and with Vodafone Firsts platform taking seven young Qataris to the Amazon jungle to climb, trek and survive in the jungle before building a community center on the edge of the river for a village where the school burned down earlier this year.
Currently Mediadante has two feature documentaries in production, one about the Workers Cup, played earlier this year in Qatar between 24 teams of laborers and another story about extraordinary people emerging from very ordinary circumstances in Saudi Arabia.