The question I ask after every festival is: What sort of impact did this year's edition of Mountainfilm in Telluride make? Of course the answer is never simple to quantify because intangibles, such as inspiration, are tough to measure.
We do know that many people in our audience have experiences at the festival that they describe as "life altering" or "attitude adjusting," but I’d like to know what that means in more concrete terms.
For example, one of my favorite Mountainfilm presentations was around 2004 when Rick Ridgeway, Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin spoke about their journey to western Tibet, an expedition they concocted at the previous year’s festival.
I know that Mountainfilm played a key role in catalyzing that wild adventure, but I also know that the festival impacts people in a variety of other ways, as well. One woman wrote me that Mountainfilm inspired her to run for city council because "I've decided that instead of fighting the government, we need to be the government. Hopefully, I can have an impact locally, at least."