The festival boasts 128 films, including 23 world premieres during its first fully in-person fest since 2019
Telluride, Colorado (May 4, 2022) – One of North America’s oldest film festivals, Mountainfilm (dubbed one of the “coolest” fests in the world) has announced the full lineup for its 44th edition and first fully in-person event since 2019. Taking place this Memorial Day weekend, May 26-30 in the majestic Telluride Valley, attendees can look forward to 128 bold and inspiring films, including 31 features (19 of which are women produced or directed) and 97 shorts (43 of which are women produced or directed) curated into 11 programs, including award-worthy environmental, social justice and adventure-themed films.
“We’re thrilled to be showcasing over 80 international, U.S. and Colorado premieres, including a strong lineup of films featuring under-represented voices,” says Festival Director Suzan Beraza. “Mountainfilm continues its strong tradition of programming the very best in the genres of environment and sustainability, social justice, culture, activism, and, of course, the great outdoors and edge-or-your-seat adventure programming, with a special focus on films and subjects that celebrate indomitable spirit.”
Of the incredible lineup of films are 23 world premieres, including feature film Surf Nation, directed by Jeremiah M. Bogert, Jr. and Jessica Q. Chen and produced by Diane Quon and Nevo Shinaar (all in attendance at the festival). The film takes a deep dive into the world of competitive Chinese sport as the country trains and grooms up-and-coming surfers to make their bid for the first Olympic surf competition.
“It’s great to be returning to Mountainfilm,” says Surf Nation producer, Diane Quon. “Minding the Gap screened here back in 2018 and it was truly one of the highlights of the year. Our team knew that Mountainfilm would also be the perfect venue to premiere Surf Nation. We can’t wait for audiences to see and experience it on opening night!”
Additional world premieres include Chasing, the epic adventure of a rowing team’s race across the Atlantic and The Neighborhood Storyteller, the touching story of an impromptu classroom for girls in a Syrian refugee camp. Beyond world premiere features, Mountainfilm is thrilled to share the U.S. premiere of Sam Now with audiences. The film shares the intimate story of two half-brothers, director Reed Harkness and film subject Sam Harkness, as they embark on a life-changing journey to find answers, understanding and healing in the unexpected disappearance of Sam’s mother (filmmaker/subject in attendance). Short films billed to world premiere at the festival and expected to make waves this year include Dani’s Twins, Janwaar, Wood Hood, Eco-Hack!, Free to Care, Ibach, Skin Swimmer, Fight or Flight, Sheri, Elevated and Rural Runners.
This year’s lineup will also highlight important local Colorado stories, such as The Holly (executive producers include Adam McKay and Todd Schulman), examining gentrification and violence in downtown Denver’s Holly neighborhood; Anonymous Sister, an intimate portrayal of the opioid epidemic from within a tight-knit Denver family; the world premiere of Fight or Flight, chronicling the journey of the only female pilot employed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife; the world premiere of Sheri, featuring the legendary adventurer and designer who revolutionized the outdoor industry with the founding of Colorado’s Alpacka rafts; and Jacket, which transports viewers to a sheep ranch in Moffat County, Colorado, revealing age-old (and surprising) traditions during lambing season.
In addition to the festival’s film programming, Mountainfilm’s beloved Coffee Talks will be returning, plus the newly designed Minds Moving Mountains Speaker Series and DocTalks. The speaker series kicks off Friday morning at High Camp and features great adventurers Rick Ridgeway in conversation with Conrad Anker, and James Balog in conversation with the festival’s 2022 Guest Director Jeff Orlowski-Yang. The series will continue through the weekend with a special tribute to Mountainfilm’s late and beloved co-founder Bill Kees; New York Times, The New Yorker and Vox journalists discussing threats to American democracy; Dr. Len Necefer, producer of Spirit of the Peaks, will be joined by film subject and co-director Connor Ryan to discuss Indigenous perspectives in filmmaking and ski mountaineering; and a festival wrap-up conversation with 2019 Guest Director Cheryl Strayed and renowned filmmaker Tom Shadyac.
This year’s DocTalks fulfill the festival’s mission of bringing filmmaker support to the forefront with five workshop sessions focused on career development in the filmmaking industry by offering authentic support for what creatives are seeking in the current environment of a hyperconnected world. DocTalks will be hosted by Caitlin Mae Burke and Merrill Sterritt of IF/THEN Shorts, featuring an array of panelists that include Guest Director Jeff Orlowski-Yang, festival jury members, industry and filmmakers Kathryn Everett (XTR), Eric d’Arbeloff (Roadside Attractions), Stacy Peralta (The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez - Mountainfilm 2022), and Skye Fitzgerald (Academy Award-nominated filmmaker), along with representatives from Netflix, Vimeo, Kickstarter, among others.
“Audiences can expect to be stirred by this remarkable slate of filmmakers telling stories full of adventure, activism and the strength of the human spirit,” says Executive Director, Sage Martin, “As Mountainfilm aims to do each year, attendees will walk away inspired to take action.”
Bolstering the festival’s already-stacked program is this year’s cash awards. Passholders may cast their votes for their favorite feature films throughout the weekend to award a filmmaker with the $5,000 Audience Choice – awarded at the Closing Picnic on Monday afternoon at Town Park. Other jury-selected awards include Best Documentary Feature ($5,000), Best Short Film ($1,000), Charlie Fowler Best Adventure Film ($2,500), Moving Mountains ($2,500), Women in Film ($2,500) and the Student Choice Award ($1,000).
Passes for the festival are still available at www.mountainfilm.org. Palmyra, Ama Dablam and Patron passes include After the Fest Online access. For those unable to attend this year’s in-person festival, $99 After the Fest passes are available online, giving film lovers online screening access to nearly all films from May 31 through June 7, 2022.
For the full lineup and schedule, visit www.mountainfilm.org or download the festival’s app.
Established in 1979, Mountainfilm is dedicated to using film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action, its flagship program is the legendary Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado, a one-of-a-kind combination of films, conversations and inspiration. Mountainfilm also reaches audiences year-round through its worldwide tour and Mountainfilm for Students, an educational outreach initiative for youth. Mountainfilm has the power to change lives. To learn more, visit www.mountainfilm.org. To join the conversation, please read Mountainfilm’s news and follow Mountainfilm on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Jive PR + Digital