Mountainfilm on Tour brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm festival held every Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado. The tour visits Santa Cruz at the Rio Theatre on November 11 with films that will explore the themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission: using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. A Mountainfilm presenter will guide the audience through the program providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subjects.
Established in 1979 and celebrating their 40th Anniversary, Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action. The festival has attracted leading documentary filmmakers, artists, photographers, conservationists, mountaineers, scientists, journalists and explorers from around the world to engage in the festival’s tag line of “celebrating indomitable spirit.”
A LETTER TO CONGRESS
Directed by: Christopher Newman
Christopher Newman’s short, lyrical visual poem was inspired by and is an homage to Wallace Stegner’s 1960 “Letter to Congress,” in which the writer advocated for the preservation of the wilderness that then remained. “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed,” Stegner wrote. In hindsight, the 1960s were hopeful; today, the exhortation is more urgent than ever.
Directed by: Anjali Nayar
There is something gloriously incongruous — and almost incomprehensible — about a risk-averse, non-athletic, native Rwandan DJ finding the real meaning in his life by pedaling across Canada to its frozen Arctic Ocean shore in an attempt to break the record for the longest, continuous, fixed- gear bike ride. Through the course of this unlikely adventure, the protagonist, Jean-Aime Bigirimana, also finds that the truth about escaping is not as black and white as, say, his spandex silhouette against the cold Canadian snowscape.
Directed by: Stash Wislocki
The hard work of science — its investigative, analytical, proof-driven mission — is inspiring. Couple it with the passion and humanitarianism of youth, and even a reality as dark as climate change takes on a light of hope.
Directed by: Renan Ozturk, Taylor Rees
Climber and filmmaker Renan Ozturk makes the pilgrimage to the toothy and harsh landscape of Alaska’s Ruth Glacier every year. This time around, he and fellow climber Alex Honnold have their sights set on a beautiful route up Mount Dickey. But the weather is horrendous. So instead, they end up sitting in tents talking about their feelings. What unfolds is not your typical climbing film, but rather a touching examination into life’s big questions.
BROTHERS OF CLIMBING
Directed by: Duncan Sullivan
Go to a typical climbing gym and you’re not likely to see many people of color. But Brothers of Climbing co-founder Mikhail Martin says if young black people never see someone who looks like them, they will think a rock wall is no place for them. His organization aims to change that. With a mission of boosting minorities’ involvement in outdoor activities, the group’s positive energy is increasing diversity and challenging stereotypes in the climbing world.
A NEW VIEW OF THE MOON
Directed by: Wylie Overstreet
Wylie Overstreet was hanging out in his L.A. apartment one night and, out of boredom, decided to take his high-powered telescope out to the street to peer at the moon. Pretty soon people began wandering up and asking him what he was up to. When he showed them, they nearly fell over in awe. A New View of the Moon is just the reminder we need to keep looking up. Because as Galileo said, back in 1610, “it’s a beautiful and wondrous sight to behold the body of the moon.”
DROP EVERYTHING: MICHELLE PARKER SEGMENT
Directed by: Scott Gaffney
Fast, fearless, steep and deep. That about sums up Michelle Parker as she carves graceful lines into the spines of Alaska.
THE WOLF PACK
Directed by: Nick Waggoner, Zac Ramras
High in the San Juan Mountains above Silverton, Colorado, a pack of runners roams, jogging through meadows, hiking over mineral-stained peaks, ducking through forests and exploring the rugged landscape of their backyard. It’s the Braford-Lefebvre family — mom, dad and three kids — who have used running both as a healing mechanism and a tool to help them experience life together. The Wolf Pack chronicles a family raised the right way — on fresh air, high peaks and the wonder of the outdoors.
MY MOM VALA
Directed by: RC Cone
Rivers run through Vala Árnadóttir’s blood; she was raised by fishing guides. She lives in the city of Reykjavík, Iceland, with her 10-year-old daughter Mathilda, and teaches Mathilda the art of casting, the tricks of fish, the peace of standing on the banks watching the water flow by. But when Vala travels to Greenland for guiding work, immersing herself in a landscape that’s as beautiful and fertile as it is barren and unforgiving, Mathilda doesn’t come along. Not yet. This short film paints the fantastical and mysterious country of Greenland through Mathilda’s fantasies and Vala’s eyes.
FREE LIKE THE BIRDS
Directed by: Paola Mendoza
Precocious Sophie Cruz convinced her martial arts teacher to let her attend classes when she was just 3 years old. She is a luchadora, a fighter. So when her parents, who are undocumented immigrants, told her they don’t have papers and could be deported back to Mexico, Sophie vowed to keep her family together. On a trip to Washington, D.C., Sophie, then just 6, cleared a security barrier to deliver her message to Pope Francis. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which would grant protected status to Sophie’s family and thousands of others and let them live free like the birds.
Directed by: Joey Schusler, Aidan Haley
Rajesh Magar has been obsessed with bikes since he was a small child growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal. When the other kids were studying, he’d be dreaming about, designing and drawing bikes. As the son of a construction worker and housemaid, however, a bike wasn’t easy to come by. Undeterred, he built one, a clunky Frankenstein, but a mountain bike nonetheless. He started racing, and his drive and raw talent got noticed, leading to a job as a mountain bike guide and a path to professional racing. Today, Nepal’s National Champion is living proof that it pays to stick to your passion, no matter how implausible it seems.
CORBET’S COULOIR SEGMENT of ROGUE ELEMENTS
Directed by: Todd Jones, Steve Jones
A right of passage for any Jackson Hole skier, Corbet’s Couloir is conquered here not on two planks, but two wheels.
Local Sponsors: Dream Inn and Aquarius Restaurant, CaboVillas.com, Sandbar Solar, Erik's Deli Cafe, Kind Peoples, Pacific Coffee Roasting Company, Osprey Packs, Good Times and SantaCruz.com, Adventure Sports Journal and Well Within Spa