Felt Soul Media

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.

DamNation Update: The Momentum of River Restoration

The Mountainfilm Commitment Grant was created to help ensure that important stories are not only told, but also heard. What follows is an update from Ben Knight, one of the recipients of a 2011 grant.

Ninety-nine years after Olympic National Park’s Elwha River was illegally dammed, wild Chinook salmon still instinctively gather at the foot of the lower dam as if they sense a change in the current. Upstream, the usual low rumble of antique turbines generating electricity has faded, and the piercing sound of an excavator-mounted jackhammer reverberates off the 210-foot-tall Glines Canyon Dam. De-construction crews have begun the painstaking process of chipping away at its mossy, con-caved facade. This moment marks the beginning of the largest dam removal in U.S. history, unveiling the best opportunity for wild salmon recovery in the country.

Bristol Bay Still Under Threat From Mining Development

Ben Knight and Travis Rummel of Felt Soul Media brought the story of Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay to Mountainfilm audiences in 2008 with their film, Red Gold. The issue of whether a copper and gold mine will wreck this pristine salmon run is still up in the air with many groups trying to prevent it, including a major push by the NRDC. Even though they have enlisted Robert Redford in this battle, it's an issue that could still use help.

Announcing the 2011 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant Recipients

Representing a highly diverse scope of projects – from a biographical film about a living legend of Himalayan mountaineering to a photographic exploration of art and activism in the aftermath of Japan’s recent tsunami – five Mountainfilm Commitment grantees will receive $5,000, each, as well as a new Mac Book Pro. The winning applicants were chosen from a field of over one hundred contenders. Mountainfilm introduced its granting initiative last year as a means to help ensure that important stories are told – and heard.

“This was an enormously tough decision for the judges,” said Festival Director David Holbrooke. “It was even tougher than last year as there were so many compelling projects that we had to look closely at multiple factors, including artistic ability, budget, vision and not unimportantly, feasibility. It was a challenging process but we are thrilled with the projects that we are granting.”

“We were deeply impressed by the quality of this year’s submissions,” said Mountainfilm Program Director Emily Long who manages the granting initiative.

Bag It and Red Gold Headed for PBS

Congrats to Reel Thing Productions and the crew behind Bag It as well as Felt Soul Media and their film Red Gold, both of which initially premiered at Mountainfilm and will be featured on PBS in the coming months. A 56-minute version of Bag It will be running on PBS on April 18. The air date for Red Gold, which will be edited into an hour-long version by FRONTLINE and re-titled "Alaska Gold," has yet to be determined, but keep an eye out for it this spring or summer. From the Telluride Daily Planet: