Telluride, Colorado (May 14, 2013)- Mountainfilm in Telluride’s 35th annual festival celebrations will be boosted by what festival director David Holbrooke describes as an extraordinarily diverse and high quality line up.
"Our films are really strong this year across the board,” he said. “Whether they are climbing, environmental or just general interest films, we have been struck by how well-made they are. While there are always lots of compelling subjects for us to choose from, it’s very unusual to see such consistent high quality up and down the playlist."
At the heart of Mountainfilm’s mission, and reflected clearly throughout the final list of some 90 films that will screen at this year’s festival, are “issues that matter.” Holbrooke says there will be plenty of fun films, and thrilling adventure and adrenaline ones, but films that take a penetrating look at critical contemporary matters are at the forefront of his programming.
"I feel that our lineup encompasses a lot of what is happening right now around the world,” he said. “For instance, there is a strong group of films about the environment, particularly about how we get our energy. Then, we have three films that look at combat in Dirty Wars, Manhunt and Which Way is the Front Line from Here? Together they are a commentary on America's perpetual state of war.”
Holbrooke offered the following further examples of this year’s powerful and varied line up:
The Crash Reel– An unflinching film by Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker that chronicles the traumatic brain injury suffered by Olympics-bound snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his arduous road to recovery. Mountainfilm Commitment Grant recipient.
Dirty Wars- A disturbing story about American military might gone bad that weaves together the tragic effects of a drone strike intended for a cabal of terrorists that ended up hitting a Yemeni wedding party instead.
Gasland 2– Director Josh Fox takes us all around the world to show what is happening to the vast landscapes that are being fracked for natural gas. And he introduces us to the people – many of them reluctant environmentalists – who are organizing and fighting against fracking.
God Loves Uganda- After introducing the memorable Music by Prudence to Mountainfilm in 2009, Director Roger Ross Williams returns with a different look at Africa – virulent anti-gay legislation in Uganda that is systemically supported by American Christian missionaries.
High and Hallowed- In May of 1963, a team of brave Americans assembled on Mt. Everest in an effort to be the first from the U.S. to stand atop the world’s tallest mountain. This is primarily the story of those first Americans on Everest 50 years ago, but it also incorporates a modern-day attempt on the West Ridge in 2012. World Premiere.
Life According to Sam– Sixteen year-old Sam Berns is older than his years because he has progeria, a rare disease that ages the heart rapidly and kills most by age 13. Despite the challenges, he doesn’t stop trying to live the life of a normal teenager and, in the process, achieves extraordinary success.
Lunarcy- This film follows several characters who have gone completely bonkers for the moon: Alan Bean is one of the 12 men who have walked on the moon and is now creating moon art; Dennis Hope discovered a loophole in the 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty that would seem to allow individual ownership of extra-terrestrial bodies; and, Christopher Carson aims to be the first citizen of a colonized moon.
Maidentrip– The story of Laura Decker who, at age 14, after a long legal battle with the Dutch government over her right to do so, cast off to become the youngest person ever to sail alone around the world.
Pandora's Promise- A film that questions much of what we accept as fact about the negative side of nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels. Surprising, given that the director’s first film was an anti-nuclear weapons documentary called Radio Bikini, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1988
Rising from Ashes- In a year when cycling has suffered with the disgrace of Lance Armstrong, it’s a relief to see racers who recognize that it’s not all about the bike. This film relates the remarkable story of the Rwandan race team, cyclists who are pedaling away from the horror of genocide.
Uranium Drive-In– Some 50 miles northwest of Telluride is a cluster of dusty, hardscrabble towns where many locals hope a proposed uranium mill will bring back economic vitality. Given its potential health and environmental risks, however, the mill is controversial. Uranium Drive-In looks at this conundrum from both sides. World Premiere. Mountainfilm Commitment Grant recipient.
About Mountainfilm: Established in 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action, its flagship program is the legendary Mountainfilm Festival— a one-of-a-kind combination of films, conversations and inspiration. Mountainfilm also reaches audiences year round through its worldwide tour, on Outside Television, with its online Minds of Mountainfilm interviews and in classrooms through its educational outreach initiative, Making Movies that Matter. Mountainfilm has the power to change lives. To learn more, visit www.mountainfilm.org. To join the conversation, please visit the Mountainfilm in Telluride blog, follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.