Mountainfilm in New York City: An Unlikely Locale?

Chasing Ice - James BalogBig in BollywoodLiving Downstream - Sandra SteingraberStuff EverywhereTrue Delta
Since David Holbrooke started working as the festival director at Mountainfilm in 2007, he’s split his time between New York City and Telluride, Colorado. This weekend, his two different worlds will collide when Mountainfilm on Tour visits New York’s Lincoln Center for three days of films and guest speakers on October 19-21. Below, he describes what New Yorkers will appreciate in Mountainfilm’s upcoming programming.

Mountainfilm travels all over the world — Brazil, Chile, China and Norway in just the last month — but New York City is, at first glance, an unlikely locale for the festival. Aside from the obvious physical landscape, there are also profound cultural differences. As someone who has lived in both places, however, I know that there are more common interests than one might think.

As David Owen wrote in his book Green Metropolis, the lifestyle of a New Yorker is environmentally friendly. Public transportation reduces our carbon emissions, and, of course, NYC apartments have famously small footprints, which is why the charming film Stuff Everywhere (about consumerism) was chosen for this weekend. I think it will resonate with city audiences.

Another important film we’ll play at the Lincoln Center is called Living Downstream, which is about biologist/poet Sandra Steingraber and her battle with bladder cancer that appears to have been caused by environmental toxins. Dr. Steingraber, who spoke at Mountainfilm in Telluride 2012, has also become a leading “fractivist,” fighting natural gas in New York City and across the country. (Coloradans can see her speak at Frack Free Colorado in Denver on October 23.)

Lincoln Center audiences are also used to diverse cultures and climates, so the documentaries Big in Bollywood and True Delta should strike a chord.

Central Park offers bouldering, and people enjoy kayaking on the Hudson, so I hope some of those intrepid folk show up for Jon Turk’s presentation about his 1,500-mile kayak circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island on Sunday at 7 p.m. Those same New Yorkers who love the environment will also appreciate Chasing Ice and photographer James Balog’s audacious quest to document the disappearance of glaciers by setting up time-lapse cameras around the world.

The challenge with putting on a festival in New York is that there’s a lot going on every day in the city, but I know that Mountainfilm offers programming that will affect New Yorkers, just as it does all of our international audiences. We’re thrilled to have terrific partners in the prestigious Film Society Lincoln Center and hope you’ll encourage your New York friends and family to buy tickets for the shows.

Photo Credits: 

Main image by Erik Boomer / Jon Turk

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