Mountainfilm Blog

Mountainfilm's blog has evolved quickly and steadily to become the engine that drives This steady current of images, words and action carry global news about Mountainfilm themes, issues and personalities. Please join in the conversation, and let us know what you think about the cultural, environmental and socio-political issues and  heroes of adventure and activism that we highlight.

December 26, 2014 - Valley Uprising

Telluride Mountainfilm is pleased to present two special screenings of Valley Uprising, a captivating documentary from Sender Films about the history of climbing in Yosemite National Park and the counterculture roots of outdoor sports. Please join Mountainfilm for the Telluride premiere at the historic Sheridan Opera House.


4:00pm | Doors & Cash Bar: 3:30pm
 | Doors & Cash Bar: 6:30pm

Tickets online $15 • $20 at the door

If it’s Monday, Then This Must be Boise

As its residents sleep, I slip out of Telluride, Colorado, at an inhumane hour en route to the Montrose airport, 65 miles north, to begin my week-long road trip for Mountainfilm on Tour. Before I can make it past the restrictive speed zones, I’m slowed by a resident herd of elk. I roll down my window to inquire with the nearest bull, “How long until the road is clear?” But by then, the group has parted.

A full day of travel finds me at Fairfield, Connecticut, where I return for the fourth consecutive year. I like the vibe here and happily pencil my name onto the presenter list each year. This is an educated crowd and eager to applaud film selections each year. Other than reconnecting with the hosts, I look forward to the annual visit to The Colony for lip-searing, eye-watering, stinger pepper pizza. It’s funny how good food can tie your memories to a location.

2015 Moving Mountains Symposium Theme: Afghanistan

For much of the past decade, we’ve chosen environmental themes for the Moving Mountains Symposium, issues that we’ve felt were essential to the global conversation. This year, we’re changing directions and will focus on Afghanistan as the theme for the 2015 symposium. We haven't selected a theme directly tied to a country since 2006 (Mongolia), so we’re ready to revisit Afghanistan, where the situation has changed considerably since we last spotlighted it during the symposium of 1997 (and since  "Mountains of Islam" was our symposium subject in 2002).

I had a chance to see what was happening there myself when I traveled to Kabul in December of 2013. I made the trip with my eldest daughter to film the third act of The Diplomat, a documentary I’m making about my father, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was President Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like my father, I was taken by the country's unique cultural flavor and, even more, by its stark mountain landscape.

Hello from Sage Martin, Mountainfilm’s New Executive Director

The night before the 2014 Mountainfilm festival, we gathered as a family and poured over the festival program. We took turns reading the film descriptions and blurted out the names of the films we had to see. My boys voted for Virunga and Living Wild, my husband for Mission Blue and Dear Governor Hickenlooper. I couldn't wait to see Wrenched, but proposed we kick things off with DamNation Friday night. As it turned out, DamNation was a terrific choice because it spoke to all of us. It fired up my personal fascination with monkeywrenching, kept the boys entertained with a great message about our nation's rivers and ended in the best possible way with spying, helicopters and blowing up things.

Peter Kenworthy, Outgoing Executive Director, Shares His Favorite Mountainfilm Moment

One of the questions we asked candidates applying to become the new Mountainfilm executive director was what has been their favorite Mountainfilm moment. As I step away from my eight-year stint, I’d like to share my own.

It was Saturday morning of the Mountainfilm 2011 festival. Not unusually, I was back and forth between Hospitality and the Mountainfilm office, meeting and greeting and trouble-shooting. As I jumped on my bike at Camel’s Garden, I recognized a van parked in front of the hotel. It was the one used to bring Prudence Mabhena, and her specialized, extremely heavy wheelchair, from Denver. Prudence was the star of Music by Prudence, which we screened in 2010. Severely disabled at birth, with a truly angelic singing voice, Prudence completely captivated everyone who saw and heard her at the festival.

A Journey to Compassion

Jhamtse Gatsal, the remote children’s community where we made our film Tashi And the Monk, is a long way from the nearest city. After my first visit a couple of years ago, I shared the bouncy, seemingly endless 18-hour Jeep ride back through the mountains of Northeast India with two American volunteers who’d been teaching the kids. At some point, one of them asked whether I’d seen a documentary called I Am, a Mountainfilm 2010 world premiere about Hollywood director Tom Shadyac, who changes his life and sets out to meet wise people and ask them the big questions.

Mountainfilm Represented at the People’s Climate March in NYC

On Sunday, September 21, I was one of more than 400,000 people who participated in the People's Climate March in New York City.  The event was buoyant and impressive. As the New York Times wrote, "the People’s Climate March was a spectacle even for a city known for doing things big."