Mountainfilm Blog

Mountainfilm's blog has evolved quickly and steadily to become the engine that drives Mountainfilm.org. 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.

A Symbol of Progress and Peace in Afghanistan

Last month, Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke visited Skateistan, a skate park in Afghanistan that represents much more than just a place to skate.

In December 2013, I traveled to Afghanistan to film part of a documentary about my father, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke who was President Obama's Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. While I was there, I interviewed some of my father's former colleagues, past and future Afghan Presidential candidates and New Yorker writer Dexter Filkins (the brilliant book The Forever War.)

Mountainfilm’s New Smartphone App

Mountainfilm in Telluride 2014 will mark the inauguration of our festival smartphone app. The app will provide a number of handy (pun intended) features to help inform our audience and prevent people from heading to theaters that are already full:

General Festival Information: During the festival, use the app to view the schedule, film descriptions, TBAs and last-minute announcements.

Seat Availability in Real Time: The system will show a green, yellow or red light for each upcoming program. Green indicates that plenty of seats are still available; yellow means that queue cards are diminishing quickly; and red means we’ve stopped handing out queue numbers. (Learn about how queues work.)

Who Killed Mike the Bike?

Produced by Grit and Thistle The Rider and The Wolf tells the story of Mountain Bike Hall of Fame cyclist Mike Rust who went missing without a trace in 2009. The film celebrates Rust’s life as a Colorado bicycle pioneer and delves into his disappearance in the San Luis Valley—an almost lawless part of Colorado’s Wild West—examining innovation, tradition, independence, irreverence, body hunting and what it’s like for a tight Irish family to lose a brother.

Who killed Mike the Bike? As our calendars clicks around to March 31, it marks the fifth year that Mountain Bike Hall of Fame cyclist Mike Rust has been missing after confronting thieves near his home in Saguache, Colorado. Local rumors run wild —some think the killers tossed his body down a mine shaft: others say he’s just one of 13 missing people in the San Luis Valley; a few believe that he ran off to Mexico — we hear many versions as people drop by our studio after learning that we are making this film: The Rider and The Wolf.

The Armstrong Lie - December 26, 2013

Mountainfilm is pleased to present a special screening of one of this year's best feature documentaries, The Armstrong Lie. The film, produced by Frank Marshall and directed by Alex Gibney, is on the Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary for 2013. The Armstrong Lie is currently screening limited engagements in select cities only. Please join Mountainfilm for the Telluride premiere at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

This is a benefit screening for Mountainfilm in Telluride. If you cannot attend but would like to support Mountainfilm's nonprofit mission, please donate here. Any and all contributions are most welcome. Thank you!

THE ARMSTRONG LIE
DECEMBER 26TH, 2013
THE HISTORIC SHERIDAN OPERA HOUSE


Film Synopsis:

WILDshorts @ WILD10

Mountainfilm in Telluride program director Emily Long is currently in Spain at the World Wilderness Congress, where she caught up with Jenny Nichols, director of Return to the Tepuis (Mountainfilm 2013), who is running a mini film festival at the event this week called WILDshorts.

MF: What is the World Wilderness Congress (WILD10), and how did your idea for WILDshorts evolve?

Boulder Floods: Worse Than You Can Imagine

We’ve been thinking about our many friends who live and work in Boulder, Colorado, where the recent floods have taken lives and caused enormous damage to property. James Balog, a longtime guest of Mountainfilm and the photographer whose work is featured in Chasing Ice, shares his story from last weekend when he returned to Boulder (from Maine) to spend two days cleaning up his house, dealing with road closures and logistics and shooting pictures:

It's way, way worse than you can imagine.

In the foothills outside Boulder, rain gauges caught 16 to 20 inches of rain in four days—but it fell on ground that was already super saturated by weeks of afternoon downpours. The moisture broke all relevant records. The rain would have equaled snow 13 to16 feet deep.

Remembrances of Kongar-ol Ondar

Kongar-ol Ondar, the Tuvan throat singer who starred in Genghis Blues and performed multiple times for Mountainfilm audiences, passed away in his homeland of Tuva recently. He was cherished by Mountainfilm audiences, and festival director David Holbrooke and former festival director Rick Silverman share a few memories about the Tuvan legend below.

We were all deeply saddened at Mountainfilm in Telluride to hear about the death of Kongar-ol Ondar, the brilliant Tuvan throat singer and dynamic character in the great documentary Genghis Blues (Mountainfilm 1999). I don't remember the exact words, but I believe the directors (the wonderful Belic Brothers, Adrian and Roko) described him in the film as "a celebrity in Tuva in the order of Elvis, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson."

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