Sanctity of Space

No Image To Display

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


Lured by a black and white photograph, three renowned climbers pursue the ultimate adventure and show us why humans MUST explore.


Lured by a black and white photograph, three renowned climbers pursue the ultimate adventure and show us why humans must explore. As the group endures open bivies, disintegrating ropes, and constant rockfall, their desire to be the first to complete the audacious line grows into an obsession. but friendships begin to fray when one climber suffers a near fatal brain injury, forcing all three partners to decide what’s most important to them.


In a time in which the very concept of public land is under attack, THE SANCTITY OF SPACE delivers a timely message: it is not enough to simply explore or conquer wilderness - it must also be celebrated. Washburn’s many endeavors combine to tell the story of the discovery and exploration of the great mountain ranges of Alaska and the Yukon – the last unknown terrestrial regions in North America. Working with a diverse group of scientists, pilots, mountaineers, and photographers, his life’s work embodied the multi-disciplinary nature of cutting-edge exploration and effectively put the punctuation point on the closing of the American frontier. By adopting a tandem narrative structure, the film weaves a multi-generational story about how human relationships with a singular geographic place – the Mooses Tooth and the Great Gorge of Denali National Park – have evolved over time. We believe audiences are preconditioned to expect a film about mountain climbing to focus on the well-worn character conflicts that typically animate life-or-death adventure tales: Why do they do it? What’s to gain by risking your life going to such extreme places? THE SANCTITY OF SPACE cleverly subverts this cliched line of inquiry by refocusing the audience’s attention on the beauty and joy of wilderness exploration, not the suffering and risk. Artfully edited to capture the changes and continuities in exploration over the last century, the two narratives combine to reveal a rich vision of human endeavor that ultimately leads to an unexpected realization: what counts isn’t just going into the unknown, but coming back with something to share.


Renan Ozturk - Director/Producer
Renan lives to tell stories about our connection to the natural world, often set within the most challenging environments on Earth. He’s constantly searching for projects that move him -- films that have a strong visual identity matched with some deeply compelling human element. He began his career as an expedition climber and landscape artist, spending years living in a tent beneath the big walls of U.S. National Parks and in the snowy Himalayas. All of his paintings were created on expedition, carrying large cotton canvases on his back, sometimes even using natural pigments pulled straight from the earth to capture these wildly beautiful landscapes. He received National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2013 for his combination of cutting edge first ascents and visual storytelling. Currently, Renan works as a commercial and documentary filmmaker, an expedition climber for The North Face, and a photojournalist for Sony and National Geographic. The films he’s made over the years have had a global presence; he’s probably best known for Meru (cinematographer/subject), which won the 2015 Audience Award at Sundance, and the critically acclaimed Sherpa (cinematographer/co-director), which screened at TIFF and Telluride. He’s directed and shot commercial work for major international brands such as Apple, Google, DJI, and Nike.

Freddie Wilkinson - Director/Producer
Freddie is an alpinist and adventure writer known for his unique and substantive style. His in-depth reporting on the 2008 K2 disaster changed public perception of the tragedy by telling the story through the eyes of the climbing Sherpas, and resulted in the narrative non- fiction book One Mountain Thousand Summits (2010). His writing has appeared in Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Outside, The New York Times, Alpinist, Rock and Ice, and online at The Huffington Post. From the teahouses of Khumbu Himal to obscure glaciers of the Alaska Range to storm-lashed Patagonian spires, Wilkinson is also known for his infectious energy and original lines of ascent. In 2012, Wilkinson received the prestigious Piolet d’Or for making the first ascent of Saser Kangri II, the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world at the time.

Producer - Producer
In 2005, Ryan founded Visit Films, a leading worldwide boutique film sales company that now has more than 200 titles in its catalog. Since then, he has continued to build the portfolio of the company by opening Monument Releasing, a New York-based distribution company, and Pretty ____ Ideas, an LA-based development and incubation company. Prior to starting Visit Films, Ryan spent a number of years in International Distribution at Focus Features. Earlier in his career, he worked in physical production in New York City on numerous film and TV productions. With Visit Films, he has been responsible for the acquisition, worldwide sales and development of a number of important American independent and international films that have premiered at and won numerous prizes in all of the major film festivals, such as Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Venice and Toronto. He has worked with filmmakers as diverse as Harmony Korine, Werner Herzog, the Duplass Brothers, Rolf de Heer, Joe Swanberg, Valerie Donzelli, Josephine Decker and David Robert Mitchell. In addition to many Gotham and Independent Spirit Award winning titles, he recently worked on TANNA, an Oscar nominated film from Australia. Ryan has also consulted for Sundance Channel Global on the acquisitions of over 120 titles per year. Ryan speaks on numerous industry panels each year, including for IFP, the Sundance Institute, and the Cannes Producer's Network. He has served on a number of film festival juries around the world.

Chad Ervin - Editor
Chad has edited over two dozen documentary films, including three Emmy-winners, for the PBS series FRONTLINE and the Peabody Award winner Sighted Eyes / Feeling Heart that premiered at the Toronto International Film Fest in 2017. Born and raised in East Tennessee, Chad draws from the rich oral storytelling tradition of his youth to inform and infuse his work with compelling characters and rich storylines.

Paul Wiegard - Exec Producer
Paul is co-founder of Madman Entertainment, a leading independent film distribution and rights management company, with offices in Australia and New Zealand. Madman has investment shareholdings in local production companies and is renowned for its commitment to quality Australian, foreign film and feature documentary content. Paul has Executive Producer credits on more than twenty feature and documentary films.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2020


Help promote my fundraising campaign
Put our donation widget on your website

Get Widget Code



IFP Logo


© 2020 IFP. All Rights Reserved
   Design by Andrew Martin

The Independent Filmmaker Project fosters the development, production and promotion of hundreds of feature and documentary films a year.

Learn more about us or become a member