Welcome to the third issue of Pitch.

The word around our office this year is “jam-packed.” We have more films, more artists and more breakfast talks than last year and have somehow been able to achieve this on a recession budget. With the 2009 festival just around the corner, I want to share our programming and provide an update on some of our past guests’ activities.

I hope to see you in Telluride over Memorial Day weekend. If you can’t make it to the festival and live in the Bay Area, we’ll bring a special Mountainfilm program to the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California over Memorial Day weekend.

All best,

David Holbrooke
Festival Director

Food Notes

With our Moving Mountains Symposium on Food, we’ve been reading a lot about the subject this year. This article from the New York Times business section asks if a food revolution is happening, and in a column on the paper’s editorial page, Wendell Berry and Dr. Wes Jackson of the Land Institute write, “Clearly, our present ways of agriculture are not sustainable, and so our food supply is not sustainable.” Berry has written seminal books about food (and also a brilliant essay in Harper’s titled “Faustian Economics”). While Wes Jackson cannot attend Mountainfilm, soil expert Jerry Glover can. He works with the Land Institute and was named by Nature magazine as one of five crop researchers who could change the world.

Another symposium guest is Dan Barber, who was just named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Daniel Nocera, a Mountainfilm guest in 2007, was also on that list.

The website www.meatlessmonday.com is starting a movement to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption by offering recipes and other suggestions. If you get your protein from fish, check which seafood is sustainable by texting Fishphone at 306-44. For example, if you type “fish” and a species, say, “salmon,” you’ll receive a text explaining that wild salmon from Alaska is the best choice (something Mountainfilm audiences know from watching Red Gold in 2008).

World Premiere Friday

We are thrilled to premier Ken Burns’ latest: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This will be the first time an audience can see the entire series, which won’t air on television until fall. On Friday at the Palm, both Burns and special guest Bill McKibben will stay for a Q&A after the screening of episode one.

The National Parks isn’t our only world premiere that evening. We will be the first festival to show Samsara by Renan Ozturk at the Sheridan Opera House, which features Mountainfilm regulars Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin as they attempt to climb a notorious route, the Shark’s Fin, on Meru in India. At the Nugget, we are excited to present the first screening of The Farm: Ten Down by Jonathan Stack, which is about Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison. Several shorts will also premiere: History Making Farmer on the Move, Interviews 50 Cents, and Clearing the Channel.

Sunday will have a world premiere as well, when The Edge of Telluride, directed by James Kleinert and featuring Josh Geeter, Kim Havel, and Scott Kennett screens.

See the entire film list for all selections, as well as show times, synopses and trailers.

Keeping in Touch with Mountainfilm
You can connect to the Mountainfilm world by going to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Cover photo by Tim Vierling, Food photo by Nick Wolcott , Symposium photo by Jennifer Koskinen , Premiere photo by Damon Johnston , Pico Iyer photo by Gus Gusciora

Voices Of A People's History Of The United States
On Sunday afternoon, we will present a special event that consists of readings from primary source documents— letters, speeches, court transcripts— written by significant characters in American history. This program was assembled by acclaimed historian Howard Zinn and includes the words of people such as Tecumseh, Frederick Douglas, and Emma Goldman. Free to the public, the pieces will be read by festival guests and Telluride locals.

Mountainfilm Schedule Online

The full festival schedule is now online if you want to check out the offerings. You can also see synopses and trailers.

Tibet: 50 Years Later
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary since the Chinese invaded Tibet and the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa. Mountainfilm 2008 guest Pico Iyer has a trenchant piece in the New York Review of Books about Tibet’s current status. He quotes His Holiness as saying, “The situation in Tibet is almost something like a death sentence.”

This year, we will play a powerful film called Tibet in Song by Ngawang Choephel who will be in town. We are dedicating a room in the Silver Bell for a Tibet Room, where we’ll host breakfast talks and screen films about the country during the day.

Speaking of Tibet and music, this Huffington Post story by Rebecca Novick, who is based on Dharamsala, India, is decidedly worth reading.

2008 Guest Updates

  • Sylvia Earle was profiled in the NY Times.
  • Jeff Scher has a new film about spring.
  • Roger Cohen’s columns about Iran have stirred up much discussion.
  • Chris Jordan has a new piece called “Gyre.”

  • Laurie Garrett wrote the cover story for Newsweek on the Swine Flu, and even more impressive, was on the Colbert Report.
Online Pass Sales
For all those procrastinators, online pass sales for Mountainfilm end Tuesday, May 19th. After that, you have to wait in line at Hospitality!

Don't want to buy a pass? We still need volunteers.