Mountainfilm in Telluride began as a homespun gathering of outdoor enthusiasts 33+ years ago has evolved into a colorful tapestry of talks, exhibits, music and films. And Mountainfim has grown legs. Good news for Telluride, because there could be no better ambassador for the “brand.”
The road show that travels the world as Mountainfilm on Tour spreads the gospel according to the Festival, which is all about supporting endangered cultures, species, and ideas. In September, Mountainfilm’s World Tour landed in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In October, the Tour is back in North America, scheduled for an encore in The Big Apple.
Friday – Sunday, October 21 – October 23, Mountainfilm returns to Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater for a weekend of outstanding adventure programming, cutting-edge environmental films and incisive explorations of cultures far and near, with filmmakers and documentary subjects in attendance at almost every screening.
The Festival weekend in New York kicks off with a film that is new to Mountainfilm audiences. Directed by Mary Mazzio, “Apple Pushers” is about an initiative to bring Green Carts selling fruits and vegetables to so-called “food deserts” in New Yorks poorer neighborhoods. Other featured films include “Kadoma,” the gripping tale of a journey by kayak into the Congo that went horribly wrong when the leader of the expedition was attacked by a crocodile. From the cover of Outside Magazine to the Today Show, the story received international attention. Director Ben Stookesbury (and one of the kayakers) is in attendance. “Happy” by Roko Belic, which won the 2011 Mountainfilm Audience Award, is also scheduled.
Among the featured speakers is producer/director Frank Marshall, whose credit list includes some of the biggest films of the past 20 years: the Indiana Jones and Bourne series, “Seabiscuit,” “The Sixth Sense,” and the upcoming “War Horse.” Marshall’s Mountainfilm entry is “Right to Play,” which focuses on the Norwegian speed-skating great Johann Olav Koss and his Right to Play organization with the aim of bringing sports to those children in sadly war-torn and poverty-stricken areas.
Wade Davis, Mountainfilm regular, anthropologist, historian, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, is also on hand. Davis spent more than a decade writing his most recently published book “Into the Silence,” about the brilliant mountaineer George Mallory whose attempted summit of Mt. Everest in 1924 remains one of the great adventure mysteries of all time.
A slate of environmental films – ”eel/water/rock/man,” ”One Plastic Beach,” ”My Toxic Reality,” and ”Spoil” – is followed by a conversation with M. Sanjayan, the thoughtful and charismatic lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy.
Mountainfilm in New York even includes the option for a bike ride on Sunday in support of a program about the power of bikes.
To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Mountainfilm in Telluride’s talented director, David Holbrooke.