Champion Kiwi freediver Kathryn Nevatt on the big screen at Mountain Film Festival

Holding her breath has become a career for Queenstown freediver Kathryn Nevatt, who is one of several adventurers featuring on the big screen at this year's Mountain Film Festival.

Nevatt was first introduced to freediving when a scuba buddy invited her to a training session in Queenstown. She admits initially find the sport "odd" but after setting a national record, she was hooked.

"Freediving is a very personal challenge. Even when you're competing, you're not competing against other people, you're competing against yourself," she says in a clip from the film, titled The Breath Connection.

Nevatt went on to become a world champion and has a breath-holding best time of almost eight minutes.

Wanaka filmmaker Aliscia Young captured her friends dedication for the short film.

A record 206 films were submitted from around the world for this year's NZ Mountain Film Festival and Central Otago adventurers and filmmakers feature strongly.

"Wanaka and Queenstown especially can be proud of the athletes and the filmmakers that we have in this area. It's world class, and it's great to give them the opportunity to show their work on the big screen," said festival director Mark Sedon.

There's also some talented international adventurers, including Australian Jade Hameister. She's the youngest person ever to complete the Polar Hat Trick, at age 16, skiing over the world's three largest ice caps - to the North Pole, South Pole, and the Greenland ice sheet.

Hameister's visit this weekend is hoped to help inspire others to get out and push the envelope.

The Mountain Film Festival is on now in Wanaka, and moves onto Queenstown next week.


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