GILGIT: International award winning Canadian filmmaker Elia Saikaly arrived at the K2 base camp here on Monday to make a documentary on incredible achievements of Pakistani mountaineers Mohammad Ali Sadpara and his son, Sajid Sadpara, in efforts to promote adventure tourism in Pakistan.
Elia Saikaly will support two Pakistani high altitude climbers, Fazal Ali and Jalal from Shimshal valley, in shooting the documentary. Both the climbers have scaled K2.
The project has been made possible with the support of Pakistan’s Goodwill Ambassador Vanessa O’Brien, the first British-American woman to climb K2, and the ISPR.
Talking to Dawn before departing for K2 base camp, Elia Saikaly said: “My goal will be to capture the stories of the climbers, especially Mohammad Ali Sadpara, his son Sajid Ali, and John Snorri, who have reached the Camp 3 and are best positioned to make the next summit on K2 this winter.”
He said, “Personally, I have been thrilled to see the international press naming Pakistan as the next tourist destination post-Covid-19.”
“All eyes are on K2 and I can’t think of a better way, especially for adventure tourism, to show the magnificent beauty of this country.”
Mr Saikaly said he was grateful to the ISPR, Hassan bin Aftab, director of operations at Pakistan Analytica, Vanessa O’Brien, Wendy Gilmore, Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, the GB chief minister, and the Alpine Club of Pakistan, for supporting him in realising the project.
Through a social media post, Elia Saikaly said he was thrilled in the company of his fellow climbing partner, Pasang Kaji Sherpa.
“We are excited to be storytelling around Pakistani climbing hero Ali Sadpara and his 22-year-old son, Sajid Sadpara and their partner, John Snorri,” he added.
He said it had been an incredible inspiration to watch the powerful Nepalese team make history and summit K2 in winter.
“We are thrilled to be supporting the local contingent promoting Pakistan and celebrating their journey to summit K2 in winter,” Mr Saikaly said.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2021