In 2014, Renan joined forces with the indomitable Australian director Jen Peedom for the acclaimed feature documentary film SHERPA: Trouble on Everest. After over a dozen trips to Nepal spread out across a decade, Renan came to see how often indigenous Nepali perspectives were misrepresented or ignored in climbing media. Together with Jen, Renan set out to share the Sherpa perspective on the peak that they call Chomolungma, and to explore the key questions that the industry seemed too afraid to ask: How do these high altitude workers deal with taking on the lion's share of the risk so that clients can stand on the summit? How do the Sherpa people square with participating in an industry that requires defiling a sacred space?
During filming at Everest Base Camp, events took a tragic turn. As expedition workers were in full-swing carrying loads onto the mountain, a 14 million ton block of ice crashed into the dreaded Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 workers. This was the worst tragedy in the mountain’s history at the time, and the film crew had to react immediately. It took a great deal of emotional sensitivity to stay in sync with the Sherpa families and workers who wanted their stories told amidst devastating sadness and grief. In the end, SHERPA tells the story of how, in the face of fierce opposition, the Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain they call Chomolungma.