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Film selection criteria


Mountain Film Database and all web content in general solely revolve around mountain films that fit our selection criteria: thematic scope, genre and production type.

Thematic scope


Mountain film
Mountain film is a general term that usually includes all kind of topics related to mountain world. By definition, this genre could include productions on geographic, landscape, anthropology or historical aspects of mountain areas. But because of specialization, Mountain Film Institute (MFI)'s work and Mountain Film Database (MFDB)'s thematic scope revolve around the aspect that approaches mountains as the setting for activities related to its ascent. We consider only films in which climbing or mountaineering are important to the argument:
• Climbing in all its modalities: rock, ice, sport, classic, bouldering, big walls, urban climbing, mixed climbing, psicobloc, dry tooling, etc.
• Mountaineering: mountain activities that require a technique, knowledge or skills to ascend great peaks.
• Other subjects related to the previous ones: mountain rescue, medicine and science to do with climbing and mountaineering, climbing and mountaineering activity filming, climbing history, mountaineering or mountain film, etc.
FILMS OUT OF MFDB'S THEMATIC SCOPE All topics that are linked to mountains but hold no relation with climbing or mountaineering are out of MFDB's thematic scope:
• Subjects to do with mountain but without the goal to climb mountains: nature (environment and wildlife), geology, mountain culture and people, tourism, natural disasters, etc.
• Mountain sports and activities different to climbing and mountaineering: hiking and trekking, mountain bike, kayak, speleology, polar expeditions and treks, trail running, paragliding and base jumping, skiing, snowboard, etc.
Films with just a small presence of climbing and mountaineering irrelevant to the film's storyline are also out of MFDB's thematic scope.




Cinematographic genres


What are genres
Cinematographic genres are film typologies used to identify films sharing common stylistic devices (narrative, language, format devices...). Different types of genre are not a standard convention, but vary according to stylistic criteria that has been chosen to define a certain classification. MFDB uses a classification based on genre and subgenre that we believe are specially suited to classify mountain films (see Film classification).

At MFDB we see films of most genres suitable as long as they have their own narrative entity and are not fragments or films that belong to mixed formats and that loose their meaning when seen separately. We also exclude certain specific formats like television shows, interviews, trailers, short length formats,...
INCLUDED GENRES MFDB basically works with the following genres: drama (fiction film), documentary, docudrama (a mix of drama and documentary), artistic or experimental productions, animation films.
EXCLUDED GENRES These genres are out of MFDB's scope: news and newsreel, news reports, footage (unedited filming), video clips (fragments), television shows, teasers and trailers, video-clips, television advertisements, internet clips, interviews, talk shows, gags from humour television programs, etc.




Type of production


Quality standards
It's difficult if not impossible to establish a quality criteria that's useful to select which films must be in MFDB database and which not. 
For example, the distinction between professional and amateur productions, besides it's sometimes not clear enough, it doesn't help to identify the films' quality. Many amateur productions have historically obtained prizes and recognition in many festivals. This is why at MFDB we have finally opted for a multiple criteria. In general we'll consider the following films:
ANTIQUITY CRITERIA Antique films: Antique films we consider favourably because of their unique historic value. We'll include in our database antique films that where produced for exhibition, distribution or as a testimony for an epic achievement even though images are poor or it has a very basic narration.
LENGTH CRITERIA Durada: In general, the film's length will not limit its inclusion in the database, however short it may be. It will be considered as long as it was conceived as a complete, autonomous and independent film.
PROFESSIONAL FILMS Professional productions: Are all films produced in a professional sphere. This is, that have been produced with professional means and also produced to be distributed professionally (cinema exhibition, television broadcasts, commercialized in video, professional internet distribution or other media...).
AMATEUR FILMS Non professional productions or without professional distribution: It's difficult to determine a quality standard to accept or refuse this kind of material, so we'll just evaluate its historic trajectory and select productions that meet some of the following conditions:
• Having been distributed through a professional channel
• Having been selected to participate in mountain film festivals
Exceptionally we'll also include non professional productions in the following cases:
• Films by authors with other films already included in the database
• Films of special interest given their quality or historical value