Welcome to the ninth issue of PITCH.

It seems, by most accounts, that our 32nd edition of Mountainfilm was particularly successful. Oscar-winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) told us it was his favorite film festival and one of the best weekends of his life (that he could remember). Photographer Joe Riis sent us a note saying, “Thank you for such an amazing experience. It changed my freakin’ life, literally.” Moving Mountains Judge Rabbi Irwin Kula wrote, “I honestly have never experienced a four-day period that so connected the personal and the public, the interior and the external, the mind, body, heart, and spirit.”

It’s been great for us to hear this affirmation about what we are doing at Mountainfilm. We were also thrilled to see our theaters full with audiences eager to take in the wide array of programming we offered, from Music by Prudence to Waste Land, from Tom Shadyac’s powerful film I Am to Suzan Beraza’s film Bag It (my 8 year-old son, Wiley, said, “Bag It is going to change the whole world, Daddy.”) These films, and others, helped us set an attendance record at the festival even though the sun was out in full force all weekend.

If you didn’t make it to Telluride, please visit our website where you can find all sorts of original content from our 2010 festival - from the Moving Mountains Symposium on Extinction to some great new Minds of Mountainfilm interviews. We’ve also provided links to film websites so you can learn more about your favorite films and, in many cases, where you can watch the whole film online or buy the DVD.

We’re working to give Mountainfilm a stronger than ever year-round presence with a more robust tour and a website with richer and deeper content. We hope you’ll come back to the festival itself but that you’ll tune in, too, to the work we are doing during the rest of the year.

In the meantime, many of you came up to us and told us that what you saw at Mountainfilm this year changed your life. I hope that you don’t let your life change back.

Thanks for being a part of it all.
David Holbrooke, Festival Director

Prudence Update

Dr. Rick Hodes, featured in the film Making the Crooked Straight, and the winner of the 2009 Moving Mountains Prize for his work on spinal patients in Ethiopia, has arranged for doctors to treat Prudence Mabhena, the star of the Oscar-winning short documentary, Music By Prudence. The details are still being worked out and they are looking to raise money for her operation, which would alleviate some of the pain that she is in. If you are interested in supporting that surgery, please email us.

Also, there is a page on our website, called The Domino Effect of Mountainfilm, where we chronicle some of the knock-on effects of our festival, such as what happened for Prudence. If you know of a Domino Effect, please email us and tell us about it.

Mountainfilm Press
We had a number of nice write-ups about the festival this year from outlets like Outside Magazine, the Whistler Magazine, and the Telluride Daily Planet and Telluride Watch. We also loved this column by one of our emcees, the inimitable Art Goodtimes, for Telluride Inside…And Out, which has a lot of other content on the festival. Our sponsor, Eddie Bauer/First Ascent, has a nice video up about the weekend, as well, and you can see photos from the festival here. I also wrote a piece for the Huffington Post and the Daily Planet about festival guest Tim DeChristopher called Sacrifice and Skiing.

We’re already starting to put together next year’s festival and would love your input. We haven’t decided on a theme yet and are curious to know what you think we should focus on in 2011. We’d also like to know any special guests you would like to see at Mountainfilm. Remember, it takes a village to make a Mountainfilm and you all are part of the process so, if you have ideas, tips, suggestions, please email our Program Director, Emily Long, at entries@mountainfilm.org.

Updates From Our Guests
Photographer Aaron Huey has a new TED Talk up about his work on the Pine Ridge reservation.

Author and abolitionist Ben Skinner has a piece in Time Magazine about modern day slavery on Washington’s Embassy Row.

The war documentary Restrepo lands in theaters across the country on Friday, June 25. A lengthy piece in the NY Times details the making of the film, while there is a fascinating interview with the film's co-director Tim Hetherington about how photography is dovetailing with film. 

The terrific film, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, will air on POV, Tuesday June 22nd.

The Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove, has put a lot of pressure on the Japanese to stop the slaughter of dolphins. Not surprisingly, that has raised the ire of some Japanese nationalists who are protesting the screening of the film in Japan.

Mountainfilm in Aspen
We are excited to put on another four-day festival in Aspen, August 26-29, at the stellar Wheeler Opera House. This is a great chance to see films that you missed in Telluride as well as some new programming.

Mountainfilm on Tour
Beginning in September, Mountainfilm on Tour brings the festival’s high-caliber films and commitment to social and environmental issues to audiences from California to Maine and all points between – and even makes an international stop or two.

Here is a list of tour stops we'll make this year.

Each show is custom-tailored to the venue, event and community, and is often used as a fundraiser for other non-profit organizations. If you would like to learn more about the tour and about bringing Mountainfilm to your community, please contact Justin Clifton, justin@mountainfilm.org or 970-708-1187.


Festival Awards
Alone on the Wall, about the free soloist Alex Honnold, received the Charlie Fowler Prize for Best Adventure Film while the Student Prize went to Tom Shadyac’s film, I Am.

The Festival Director’s Award went to Sons of Perdition (one of the boys from the film, Joe, is moving to Telluride and is looking for work – any ideas, please email us).

The Audience Award was—after several dramatic recounts—a tie between the films I Am and Bag It. The Moving Mountains Prize, which goes to a non-profit featured in a film, went to Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, an organization that works with disabled veterans and that was the subject of the short film Fish Out of Water.

July 5th in Telluride
We are hosting a fundraiser in Telluride on Monday, July 5 at the Historic Sheridan Opera House. Following a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., we will screen selections from our 2010 festival with special guest Q&A afterwards. Tickets are available for $50 online or at the door. Details of the films and guests will be announced shortly.

Outside TV

You may have seen a camera crew shooting during the festival for the new Outside TV network. Mountainfilm will be working with them to create a 4-night-per-week television show, built around our programming, called Mountainfilm Movie Night. We are working with both past and present Mountainfilm filmmakers now to license their films for the show, scheduled to premiere in November.

Mountainfilm Commitment Granting Program

We are getting letters of interest in every day about our new Granting Program that will fund up to a total of $25,000 in grant awards in its inaugural year. The deadline for these letters is Wednesday, June 30. We’ve just learned that Apple has agreed to donate five new Macbook Pros to award to our successful grant program applicants.

Extinction News
The famed biologist George Schaller has a powerful piece about the essential nature of conservation while another writer, George Monbiot, has his own solution to staving off the collapse of biodiversity.

Keeping in Touch with Mountainfilm
You can connect to Mountainfilm via our Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Cover photo by Tim Vierling; Picnic photo by Gus Gusciora; Prudence photo by Jennifer Koskinen; Awards, Press & Outside TV photos by Melissa Plantz; Mountainfilm on Tour in Watercolor, FL, photo by Brandan Babineaux


Worthwhile Stuff

The Great Power Race is a clean-energy competition between students in China, India and the United States.

NASA Scientist James Hansen, the first person to understand climate change, penned this piece, in he which inquires, “Just as when Abraham Lincoln faced slavery and when Winston Churchill faced Nazism, the time for compromises and half-measures is over. Can we find a leader who understands the core issue, and will lead?”

If you have ever seen documentary films like Dogtown and Z Boys, or Riding Giants, about the pioneers of skateboarding and surfing, check out this pitch-perfect trailer for a mockumentary called PoolJumpers.

The sharp-eyed but humorous film Bag It, by local filmmaker Suzan Beraza, addresses how a part of recycling relates to feeling good about the process when, in fact, the process is deeply flawed. This fascinating contrarian piece, from Slate Magazine, takes a deeper look at our own “greenwashing.”