Started in 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. Through the years, in and out of trends and fads, the Mountainfilm in Telluride Festival has always been best described by one unchanging word: inspiring. Far more than any other adjective, that’s how festival audiences describe their experience.
In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a full-day symposium on a critical contemporary issue, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, a book signing party, an ice cream social, student programs and a closing picnic/awards ceremony. Presentations and panels are scheduled throughout the Memorial Day weekend event with a wide diversity of special guests, ranging from artists to adventurers and academics to activists.
While nothing can replace experiencing the festival in person, this short video, “What is Mountainfilm,” captures the essence nicely:
Just as the festival is made up of many moving parts, so is the organization overall. Here's a brief rundown on what else we’re up to:
Year-round and worldwide, we take a selection of festival films out on the road. We present both single-event and multi-day shows, hosted by a wide array of organizations, including schools and colleges, corporations, community groups and theater operators. Through the tour, we touch the lives of some 20,000 people every year and visit more than 70 locations on five continents.
Through a partnership with Outside Television—a cable channel reaching over 61 million viewers annually across the country—we've expanded our audience far beyond the reach of the festival and the tour. Festival films, as well as interviews with filmmakers and special guests shot at the festival, screen on Outside TV four nights a week at prime time. If Outside TV serves your community, don’t miss it! If it doesn't, go to Outsidetelevision.com and give them your zip code so that they can bring Mountainfilm on TV into your home.
Mountainfilm's school program introduces students to essential environmental, cultural and social issues through hands-on film editing projects. After watching a content-rich film from our festival archives, students have permission from the filmmaker to use images and sequences from the film to edit their own short adaptation and call to action. They make the work truly their own by adding graphics, music, voiceover, subtitles and special effects. The combination of practical and cognitive learning skills thrills teachers. Students love working in a “cool” medium that is a prevalent part of their daily lives.
In the interest of helping individuals tell important stories—and have those stories heard—we award five $5,000 grants annually. The recipients are filmmakers, artists, photographers and adventurers whose projects are intended to move audiences to action on issues that matter. This is our way of giving back to the amazing community of filmmakers and other content providers that have generously supported Mountainfilm over the decades.