Mountainfilm Blogs: August 2012

Mountainfilm on Tour Heads to Qingdao, China

Henry Lystad, director of Mountainfilm on Tour, has put together a multi-day show in China. Here are some photos and a dispatch from him:

Filmmaker Update: Upcoming Works

By the time a film screens at Mountainfilm in Telluride, many of the filmmakers are already thinking about—if not actually making—his or her next project. With that in mind, here are some films that are fairly far along in production, many of which may screen at the festival in the near future.

2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Stage 1 Ends in Telluride

Telluride, Colorado, is no stranger to hosting sporting competitions. In 1910, Jack Dempsey reportedly sparred here, and the region’s high-alpine terrain has attracted world-class athletes to ski, mountain bike, run and compete in numerous elite competitions since. This Monday, August 20, however, brings a new event to town: the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Riders with Olympic, National Championships and Tour de France experience will race through the Rocky Mountains from August 20-26, climbing more passes than any other bike race in North America. Telluride hosts the finish line for the first day of the event, Stage 1, in which 135 riders will start in Durango to end on Telluride’s main street at an elevation of 8,750 feet. 

Population: Measuring Ecological Impact by Country

Population is a sticky subject. It’s personal, cultural and biological. It’s also complicated: The impact of parenting depends upon which part of the planet we live. As the Global Footprint Network (an organization that has developed a data-driven metric that tells us how close we are to the goal of sustainable living) explains, ecological footprints are dependent upon your home address, which is associated with government assistance, roads and infrastructure, public services and military expenses. In the Footprint Calculator, citizens of a country are allocated their share of these societal impacts. (Check out the calculator; it’s pretty cool.)

Aaron Huey: Taking Sides

Photographer Aaron Huey has showcased his work at Mountainfilm in Telluride several times. Most recently, in 2011, he spoke about his long-time project on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This work garnered him the attention of the programmers at TED who featured his talk on their website.

Huey’s photos of the hard life on the reservation are now featured in National Geographic with an extraordinary layout. There is also a new short film (below) about this work, where he states that he realized he had to stop being an observer and “take sides.”

One Less Car: Cash for You

Federal tax credits for electric cars are nothing new, but the Senate Finance Committee recently approved a10 percent tax credit, worth up to $2,500, for e-bike and e-motorcycle purchases.

Senator Ron Wyden proposed the amendment to reinstate a previous tax break from 2009 that was part of the $800 billion stimulus package, which expired at the beginning of 2012. Wyden’s hope is that the proposed measure will help create jobs in the U.S. and encourage the electric bicycle industry to grow. Currently, that market is biggest overseas; approximately 25 million e-bikes were sold in China last year (compared to fewer than 100,000 in the States). In addition to its economic-boosting intent, we like this tax credit if it entices Americans to drive conventional vehicles less.

As with any bill, this one has still got to make it through the Senate, the House and meet the president’s approval. But if you’re feeling optimistic, you could get cracking on your shopping research for an e-bike or e-motorcycle now. Don’t look into getting an electric golf cart, though, tax credits for those will end if this bill passes.