Mountainfilm

Ace the Desert Dog captured by Forest Woodward

Ace and the Desert Dog

Film Screening — Duration: 9 mins

Ace Kvale, a veteran photographer, and Ghengis, a blue heeler “dogger” (that’s canine for “blogger”), live together in the Utah desert. Their backyard: 2 million acres of canyons, redrock cliffs, dry washes, empty landscapes and desert wilderness.

For his 60th birthday, Kvale decided to go on a 60-day backpacking trip. Ghengis, naturally, joined him, along with friends who tagged along for sections.

Ace and the Desert Dog proves that while backpacking may not be sexy, what it lacks in glamor it makes up in meaning. Kvale and Genghis are living proof, plodding along to spectacular places only reachable by foot, following the cycles of the season and learning lasting lessons from one another. Namely: Slow down, spend as much time with your best friends as possible and don’t forget to play.

Mile 19

Film Screening — Duration: 10 mins

Since the inception of the Los Angeles marathon in 1986, 178 runners have completed every race. They’re called “Legacy Runners.” Johnnie Jameson is a member of this special group, but he’s not an elite runner: He’s a working man, a postal employee. But what he lacks in speed, he makes up in creativity. He ran his first marathon backward, finishing in last place. He dribbled a basketball the next year. Each race, wearing his signature Payless shoes, he stops and talks and takes his sweet time.

And over the years, the marathon has become a form of therapy for Jameson, who was scarred deeply from serving as an infantryman in Vietnam. The annual challenge of running 26.2 miles has helped him cope, grow and recover from those traumatic experiences. “It’s not about how long you out there, it’s about completing the race,” he says. “You gotta grind it out, because life ain’t nothing but a grind.”

This poignant film from Vincent DeLuca conveys a lifetime of lessons in 10 short minutes, spinning a powerful story of resilience, humor and healing. 

The Great Alone

Film Screening — Duration: 80 mins

After his father’s dramatic win of the 1978 Iditarod by a hair’s breadth, it seemed inevitable that Lance Mackey would one day mush his own dog sled team in the annual race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Mackey won the grueling event — which covers remote, barren and rugged stretches of the Alaska Range and the Bering Sea Coast — in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. To win, he had to overcome challenges larger than mushing a team of dogs 1,000 miles across the largest state in the Union. The Great Alone chronicles Mackey’s life, from his troubled adolescence and painful health crisis to the 2013 Iditarod, his twelfth attempt at the race. But whether he wins or loses, Mackey’s love for his canine companions means he’s never truly alone in the Arctic wilderness.