National Geographic Documentary Films announced today that TORN, from photographer and National Geographic Explorer Max Lowe and producer Chris Murphy, along with Lightbox's award-winning producers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, will open in select theaters on Dec. 3, 2021. The film premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival and won the award for Best Feature Film at BANFF. Released in partnership with Dada Films, TORN, which the Hollywood Reporter called "a remarkable story told with admirable intimacy," captures the Lowe-Ankers' intense personal journey through love and loss with eldest son, Max, behind the lens.
On Oct. 5, 1999, Alex was tragically lost alongside cameraman and fellow climber David Bridges in a deadly avalanche on the slopes of the Tibetan mountain, Shishapangma. Miraculously surviving the avalanche was Alex's best friend and climbing partner, renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker. After the tragedy, Anker and Alex's widow, Jennifer, fell in love, married, and Anker stepped in to help raise Alex's three sons.
In 2016, 17 years after their deaths, Lowe's and Bridges' bodies were discovered, and Lowe's family journeyed to the remote Himalayan Mountains to recover the men's remains. In the powerful and deeply moving TORN, director Max Lowe examines the long-buried feelings that the discovery unearthed for him and his family members. Weaving together archival footage of Alex's spellbinding adventures, revealing home movies, and emotional interviews with Jennifer, Sam, Isaac and Conrad, Lowe challenges long-held family myths and questions his own beliefs as he creates an insightful examination of fatherhood, love, loss and resilience set against the high-stakes world of professional mountain climbing.
"I will never make another film in my life quite like TORN," said director Max Lowe. "I have poured my soul into this intimate story of my family's loss and redemption. To be able to share that with audiences across the world is a very special opportunity."
"Their story is singular but its themes of healing and resilience in the face of tragedy are universal," said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films for National Geographic. "We know TORN will provide a beautiful and cathartic emotional experience for audiences around the world."
TORN is directed by first-time feature filmmaker Max Lowe with Murphy as producer. Producing for Lightbox is two-time Academy Award® winner Simon Chinn ("Man on Wire," "Searching for Sugar Man") and Academy Award® nominee Jonathan Chinn ("Black Sheep," "LA 92"); the editor is Michael Harte ("Three Identical Strangers").
National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film "Free Solo" and the Academy Award-nominated film "The Cave." Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include Ron Howard's "Rebuilding Paradise"; Sundance Audience Award winners "Science Fair" and "Sea of Shadows"; Emmy winners "LA 92" and "Jane," both of which were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Academy Award in 2017; and Dupont Award winner "Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS."
About National Geographic Documentary Films
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers ... and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27% percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multiplatform media company creating high-quality nonfiction content for an array of distribution platforms. It was founded by two-time Academy Award®-winning producer Simon Chinn ("Man on Wire," "Searching for Sugar Man") and Emmy®-winning producer Jonathan Chinn ("LA 92," "American High"). Lightbox's recent productions include "Whitney," a major theatrical feature documentary directed by Academy Award® winner Kevin Macdonald, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; Academy Award®-nominated "Black Sheep"; "Untouchable," a theatrical documentary on the Weinstein scandal, which premiered at Sundance 2019 and aired on BBC2 and Hulu; high-profile Netflix hit series "Murder Mountain"; "Diagnosis," an innovative Netflix Original eight-part documentary series produced in partnership with Scott Rudin Productions and The New York Times; feature documentary "Cajun Navy" for Discovery; and "Gypsy's Revenge," a feature-length documentary for Investigation Discovery. The company is currently in production on "Tina Turner" (w/t), a theatrical feature documentary that will tell the full story ? for the first time ? of the global icon and undisputed queen of rock ?n' roll, directed by Academy Award® and Emmy® winners Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin; feature documentary "Storm Over Brooklyn" for HBO Documentary Films; and the documentary series "Hip Hop Untold" for FX, together with projects for a range of U.S., U.K. and international broadcasters and platforms.