Tour Films

A New Perspective

David Lama is best known as the young competition climber who conquered an 8b+ at the age of 12 and went on to become a junior world championship and twice winner of the European Youth Cup. But these days, Lama is focused on the toothy peaks in the world’s tallest mountain ranges. A New Perspective follows the soft-spoken climber and his partner, Peter Ortner, as they tackle these heights. After free climbing the Cerro Torre in Patagonia, the pair travels to Pakistan to attempt to free climb Eternal Flame, a pitch up the Nameless Tower in the lofty Karakorum Range.

Alison Gannett, A MoveShake Story

Alison Gannett is a renowned professional skier who understands the connection between the environment and outdoor pursuits. Heading up three nonprofits, including Save Our Snow, she also runs a 75-acre farm in Paonia, Colorado, She is unnerved, however, because the land she nurtures is threatened by natural gas interests.

American Tintype

Tintype was one of the first “instant” forms of photography that allowed images to be developed quickly and inexpensively. The process was popular at fairs around the time of the Civil War, so it preceded the modern-day Instagram by over 150 years. Harry Taylor, who learned tintype as a way to keep his mind distracted during a family tragedy, says, “The perfection that you get with digital is so easy, you can’t help but take it for granted.” So he decided to go old school.

Badru's Story

Badru Mugerwa is part of an international effort to monitor changes in vegetation and animal composition from climate change. His piece of the puzzle is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, where he sets dozens of camera traps designed to record the movements and habits of animals, which range from agile felines to stolid primates and from tiny deer to giant elephants. It’s a job that connects Mugerwa not only to Biwindi’s animals, and to local biodiversity concerns, but also to a global issue of the most profound significance — climate change.

Cascada

When a crew of filmmakers and kayakers head to the Mexican jungle to hunt big waterfalls, they find a place of unrelenting rain, heinous insects, thick mud, scary viruses and utter perfection. Cascada, another gorgeous short film by Forge Motion Pictures, follows the crew as they explore a world beyond expectations, where biting flies, tangled vines and shoddy hotel rooms can’t detract from the unrivaled waterfalls and powerful rapids they discover.

Der Schwarze Spur (The Black Line)

One spring day, the guys from Ebis Films ventured into the mountains of Japan for a shoot and couldn’t help but notice the surreal, silvery quality of the snow, which had been glossed over with a fine-film crust. It reminded them so much of a photo featured in Kuroi Spur (The Black Line), the 1965 book by pioneering skiing cinematographer Keizo Miura, that they made this three-minute vignette as a tribute. In it, snowflakes waft like fine metal shavings, snow dust floats over the crust like a specter and ski tracks look like graphite lines on a chrome-finished slope.

Django Django Wor

Indie band Django Django became obsessed by the infamous Indian “Well of Death” riders in Allahabad. This music video for their song “Wor” features a bunch of guys with the most rock-solid testicles in India as they outpace gravity to the delight of spectators.

Duk County

Mountainfilm audiences have come to know the hyper-achieving Dr. Geoff Tabin, a world-class climber who has ascended the Seven Summits and who is best known for dramatically changing the rates of curable blindness in Nepal and Rwanda.

Flutter

John Bedford is a 75-year-old man obsessed with the butterflies. Traveling around the globe — from the jungles of Vietnam to Mayan ruins in Guatemala — to watch and collect the beautiful insects, Bedford’s passion for the extraordinary takes the form of visual poetry in this short documentary. Collecting since childhood, Bedford brings his cherished specimens home to Toronto and carefully preserves them, hoping to make them last forever. 

Georgena Terry

The parting shot of this short documentary makes the surprised viewer want to go back and watch from the beginning more carefully. The appealing Georgena Terry, who fabricates bicycles scientifically designed for a woman’s shape and size, proves that bikes, at the least, are personally liberating machines.

Gloop

“Once upon a time, a genius of science, a chemist called Leo, stumbled on a substance, a curious gloopy mess, that molded into any shape the genius cared to test.” While his marvelous gloop seemed to have unlimited uses, it also had a darker side that no one could foresee.

Gregg Treinish, A MoveShake Story

What does it really take to combine passion for adventure and a responsibility to protect the environment? In this “MoveShake” film, a character-driven series, we meet Gregg Treinish, a National Geographic Adventurer who launched the nonprofit Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) in 2011. Based on the idea that those who recreate in natural areas have a responsibility to protect them, ASC facilitates partnerships between adventure athletes and researchers.

Home Turf

In part because of long, systemic poverty, Ireland has managed to keep alive traditions that might have otherwise gone the way of progress. Home Turf takes us to a bog where a band of old turf cutters have assembled to work and catch up on news and banter. The laborious process to extract fuel from the ancient bog for winter fires is a tradition these men cherish, and one that is now starting to die.

Honnold 3.0

Just a few years ago, Alex Honnold was just another girlfriendless climber living in his van and roaming the Yosemite Valley. But he began putting up routes with increasing audacity and remarkable composure and then pulled off a couple of insanely bold free solo feats on Moonlight Buttress and Half Dome, shocking the climbing world and drawing media attention and public intrigue in equal measure.

Honor the Treaties

Aaron Huey is a photographer whose evocative and richly textured work has graced Mountainfilm’s gallery walls more than once. This short piece profiles his work at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home to some 300 Lakota Sioux Indians. It’s a dark world of poverty and violence but one in which Aaron has allowed himself to be deeply drawn. Why? So that he can give voice to a people’s unspoken pain and suffering and the injustice that caused it and sustains it.

Irish Folk Furniture

Tony Donoghue has brought the locavore philosophy to filmmaking. His earlier A Film from My Parish - 6 Farms (Mountainfilm 2009) and the new Irish Folk Furniture were created entirely within 2 miles of his home and feature subjects that appear, initially, to be of only limited interest. But something as simple as an old chest of drawers, when seen through Donoghue’s lens, becomes a living and breathing character, and Donoghue proves that a talented storyteller can charm us with any subject matter.

Je Veux

You’ve never seen a climbing film like Je Veux. Joachim Hellinger, who has been bringing his inventive and well-produced mountaineering and adventure films to Mountainfilm in Telluride for 20 years, is a bit of a Francophile. He fell in love with the music of French singer Zaz (one of the most popular and identifiable musicians in France today) and was in the unique position to help her carry out her dream: performing on the top of the tallest mountain in Europe.

Joy of Air

“From the youngest age, we are taught to believe that safety is our greatest need. We created Icarus and his dream of flight, and then we walled ourselves in with cubicles tight.” So begins the poem in Joy of Air, which demonstrates that safety does not necessarily mean “no fun.”

Keeper of the Mountains

It’s odd to consider that the one person who has exhaustively tracked, detailed and archived Himalayan expeditions of the past half century is someone who has never climbed a mountain herself. Elizabeth Hawley has interviewed thousands of expedition leaders and is a force of nature every bit as impressive and indefatigable as any alpinist, but she has never been interested in joining them on any of the routes that she’s come to know intimately in her mind’s eye. This portrait of Miss Hawley reflects the character it chronicles by being direct, sharp and not without a sense of humor.

Kilian Martin: Altered Route

Kilian Martin has brought his own unique style of skateboarding to the masses through the thoughtful eye of Brett Novak. If you remember the days of Powell Peralta and Rodney Mullen, you’ll appreciate Martin keeping that innovative style of skateboarding alive.

Kunye

Did these men and women travel here, to the windswept and starkly beautiful grasslands of Spioenkop, South Africa, to fight on historic battlegrounds, or did they come for celebration? Both, it would seem. Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding,” this short film tells the story of the 2012 Single Speed World Championships, the first held in Africa. With dreamlike shots and oblique narration, it follows mountain bikers as they fight, struggle and rediscover their love for the bike. As the film puts it, “Dust in the air suspended. The beauty vanquished. They paw the ground.

Lacon De Catalonia

If your backyard mountain bike jumps require a five-story drop-in ramp for speed, chances are your name is Andreu Lacondeguy. The Antimedia film crew takes us to Lacondeguy’s training compound in the suburbs of Barcelona, Spain, for a day in the life of one of the best riders in the world.

Nord for Sola (North of the Sun)

Last winter, if you had happened upon a particular isolated and frigid beach north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, you might have been surprised to find two young men, two surfboards and a pile of garbage. Inge Wegge (age 25) and Jørn Ranum (age 22) spent nine months of the year — of which all could arguably be considered winter in the frozen north — testing a hypothesis that they could live happily, and even comfortably, off the waste of others.

Paper Shredder

A snowboarder shreds a sick line in this sweet stop-motion animation film.

Paradise Found

Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes have spent nearly a decade documenting the 39 species of birds of paradise that live in Papua New Guinea. The birds — which are both gorgeous and silly — prove to be elusive prey for the cameras of Laman and Scholes, but, as usual, the adventure is as much about the journey as it is the destination

Return to the Tepuis

“Science is important,” says Bruce Means, whose investigative work into a species of tiny toads in remotest Guyana, South America, is featured in this engaging short. Science is also, by the look of it, exotic, exciting and not without a hint of danger. His work is about understanding biodiversity in order to help conserve it and to do so, he has to reach the toad’s habitat. In his second foray to the ancient and lost world of the Tepuis, he is joined by National Geographic photographer Joe Riis and professional climber Mark Synnott.

Rock Wall Climbing

Jason Houston and Hal Clifford have delivered short gems of films to Mountainfilm for the past several years — vignettes that offer slice-of-life glimpses into unusual characters. This year, the character is not so unusual: She is a quite normal, if beguiling, little girl.

Running Blind

We hold ordinary heroes in the highest regard at Mountainfilm, so E.J. Scott should feel at home in Telluride as he fits the description perfectly. Suffering from a degenerative, genetic disease of the retina called choroideremia, Scott is slowly losing his vision. His response is to commit enormous amounts of time, money and, most likely, knee cartilage to raise funds and awareness for a cure by running a dozen marathons in a dozen states in 2012.

Scavenger

“Can we endure the things we do or not?” asks Wichan Chaona, a  poor trash picker who lives in Thailand. Reminiscent of Lucy Walker’s Waste Land (Mountainfilm 2010), this short film looks at the life of someone who has to work hard in tough conditions and still retains his dignity. Scavenger is a wonderfully spare film, telling the story of this simple and content man in a handsome, straightforward way.

Sea of Rock

Four decades ago, a couple of young guys hauled a bicycle up Mont Simmerstein in a rugged pocket of the Austrian Alps and attempted to ride down. The mountain — known as the Sea of Rock for its jagged armor of boulders, stones and cliffs — destroyed the bike. Local mountain biker Harald Philipp has attempted the descent many times and failed — pits, technical sections and razor-sharp stones make it a nightmare. In Sea of Rock, Philipp recruits pro trails rider Thomas Ohler in the hope that, by combining their knowledge, they can successfully thread through the wicked terrain.

Secrets of Winter

Shocking behind-the-scenes footage reveals the secrets of how to make your quaint, little mountain cabin look "wintery."

SLOMO

How has John Kitchin found a way to connect physically to the center of the world and spiritually to the divine? By rollerblading. Sounds crazy, but before you write Kitchin off as certifiable, you should consider that his actual certifications are in neurology and psychiatry. If you’re someone who questions the sanity of daily life on the success treadmill, this film may push you to do what you want — and reap the rich psychic rewards that come with rolling through life.

Split of a Second

Prepare for a mix of goose bumps and nausea as finely calculated risk meets pure insanity. Split of a Second gets inside the thoughts and motives of wingsuit world champion Espen Fadnes.

Strong

On April 6, 2011, Roger Strong was skinning to one of his favorite backcountry runs on Washington’s Snoqualmie Pass with some friends when he triggered a violent avalanche. The slide tore through the couloir, leaving Strong and the other skiers badly injured. A year to the day after the tragedy, Strong — who spent three months in a wheelchair recovering — returns to ski the Slot Couloir and contemplate the fine balance between risk and passion. The film follows him as he reflects on his family, his love of the mountains and what he can learn from his mistakes.

Tempting Fear

Andreas Fransson is an extreme skier who has garnered attention for dicey first ascents in a half-dozen countries and a horrific accident that nearly killed him. On the outside, he’s an amazing skier who isn’t afraid to confront massive danger, and a deeper look reveals an inward-gazing individual whose musings about life on the edge are thoughtful and eloquent. “Could you get the thrill of your life and feel truly alive if you knew they were perfectly safe?” he asks. “Would your consciousness be completely in the moment if you didn’t know this was serious business?

The Burn

Every summer, forest fires burn wildly across the mountains. As destructive as they are, they have a purpose and beauty that often goes unappreciated: When winter arrives in these charred forests, so do skiers.

The Gimp Monkeys

After four nights and five days, Craig DeMartino, Jarem Frye and Pete Davis scrambled to the top of the 1,800-foot Zodiac Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan on June 9, 2012. It’s a route that’s been climbed countless times, but not like this: the first all-disabled ascent. DeMartino (who lost a leg in a climbing accident), Frye (who lost a leg to bone cancer) and Davis (who was born without an arm) didn’t accomplish the feat to raise awareness or champion their cause. They did it because they are climbers first and disabled second.

The Kyrgyzstan Project

Impeccable rock, one-of-a kind setting, good and trusted friends: the stuff of climbers’ dreams. Real life is rarely so straightforward, though, and this story of a climbing trip in Kyrgyzstan is haunted by the specter of an earlier one that had frightening and dire results. In 2000, John Dickey went on an expedition to Kyrgyzstan and was kidnapped by violent militants who held him and his partners at gunpoint for six days. They made a harrowing escape, but Dickey is still troubled by the memories of what they had to do to save their own lives.

The Rider And The Storm

A New York City iron worker named Timmy Brennan found escape by surfing in the waves of Breezy Point. Then, Superstorm Sandy hit, destroying everything he had, including his cherished surfboard.

The Scared Is Scared

Bianca Giaever asked a 6 year old what her movie should be about, and this is what he told her.

The Secrets of the Mongolian Archers

Archery is in the Mongol blood. After all, Genghis Khan conquered half the world with it.

The Squeakiest Roar

A lion’s roar is supposed to be deep and loud, but Bapoto, the smallest cub in his pride, is worried about the sound of his roar. The lovely animated short The Squeakiest Roar shows us that being different can be beautiful.

The Water Tower

Following his elegiac look at the plight of the Colorado River in Chasing Water (Mountainfilm 2011), filmmaker, photographer and adventurer Peter McBride turns his talents to an analogous story about the vast watershed beneath Mt. Kenya and the challenges it faces. Beautifully shot and thoughtfully written, this film paints a human portrait of climate change and frames it in forces far greater than human.

Trip (Colored Snow)

Twisting the perspective of skiing powder with dazzling colors, this film harks back to the days of Roger Brown and The Mobius Flip.

Two Wheels Good

There’s a certain effervescent quality to this short film about some older Irish men and women who have a childlike love of bicycling. As one of the featured cyclists puts it, “It’s a great place to dream, a bicycle.”

UpCycling

A passion for surfing, shaping and creating something new out of something old permeates the short documentary Upcycling, which was discovered by Mountainfilm in Brazil during a São Paulo tour show. The film examines the world of a craftsman who takes used longboards and reshapes them into new ones, a process that requires many hands. This story not only captures the beauty of bringing new life to a reclaimed object, it also demonstrates the power that comes with doing something you love.

Uranium Drive-In

If you head out of Telluride approximately 50 miles to the northwest, you’ll come to a cluster of small towns — Naturita, Paradox and the ghost-town of Uravan — which are collectively called the West End. These dusty, hardscrabble places are vastly different from comparatively plush Telluride, which has tourism to fuel its economic engine. Without such revenues in the West End, many locals there hope that a proposed uranium mill will provide the livelihood they desperately need.

Well-Fed

In the plant kingdom, carnivorous organisms hold a certain allure. Despite their viciousness, they are beautiful, complex creations that have inspired in some people an interest that verges on obsession. Well-Fed takes a look inside the unusual world of carnivorous plants and its devoted collectors — from a man in California who houses one of the largest collections in the world to a young man who was forced to construct a greenhouse when he started with one plant and quickly amassed more than 200.

WideBoyz

This film features bloody knuckles, all-out grunt sessions and willful participation in pain. Welcome to the world of off-width crack climbing, a sub-genre that attracts a rare breed willing to jam elbows, knees, torsos — whatever it takes, really — into large cracks for climbing ascents. It’s painful, tough and occasionally downright awful. But two British climbers, Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, love it.

Wolf Mountain

The wolves featured in this short live in a shelter and have never known life in the wild. But you would never know that by looking into their eyes or listening to their howls, which express a connection to a deep, abiding and mysterious place that has no link with captivity.