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Life is Climbing! film image; two men lean against camper van in desert

Life is Climbing!

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Ready for a reminder of how incredible human beings can be? Born in Tokyo in 1968, Koba started climbing at the age of 16. At 28, he was diagnosed with an intractable eye disease called “pigmentary retinal degeneration” and slowly, inexorably, went totally blind. But this hasn’t stopped him from climbing. In 2006 he recorded his first victory in the International Paraclimbing Competition (Men Blind category), with his friend Naoya guiding him, shouting out instructions from the ground. Since then, he’s earned numerous world titles, including four consecutive gold medals in the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. But Naoya has a dream: he wants to bring Koba out to Indian Creek, Utah, one of the most iconic climbing challenges in the world, and talk him up a twisty, spiral sandstone outcrop poised atop a precipitous cliff face…

An exhilarating, sometimes heartbreaking film about friendship, the gifts of adversity, and the courage it takes to put everything on the line for the thing you love, Life is Climbing! culminates in a breathtaking sequence you won’t soon forget.

June 4, 6:20 pm screening with English Audio Description


Jun 3 & 4: Q&A with Koichiro Kobayashi (Koba), his sighted guide Naoya and director Nakahara


Sokichi Nakahara


Koichiro Kobayashi, Naoya Suzuki

Country of Origin





In Japanese with English subtitles

89 min

Book Tickets

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Sokichi Nakahara, Masataka Kiyono

Original Music

Chihei Hatakeyama

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