January 5, 2021

Mountainfilm Announces 2021 Guest Director

Telluride Local and Big Mountain athlete Hilaree Nelson named Guest Director for 2021 festival

Mountainfilm is honored to announce longtime festival guest, attendee, elite mountaineer, and Telluride local Hilaree Nelson as the Guest Director for 2021. In the position, Hilaree will be an ambassador for Mountainfilm, have programming input, as well as play a role in festival events.

“With a resume of big mountain ascents almost too lengthy to list, the subject of countless Mountainfilm films, and her far-reaching activism, Nelson is the perfect choice to guide us through this time,” said Suzan Beraza, Mountainfilm’s Festival Director. “We’re hoping to spend a lot of time together outside this year.”

In typical fashion, we caught up with Nelson while adventuring locally in the San Juans. “Having lived in Telluride for nearly 20 years, Mountainfilm means the world to me,” noted Nelson. “It marks the transition from winter to summer and, like the natural swing of the seasons, the festival is about growth, it’s about being inspired: a community seeking to change the world for the better through shared ideas and exploration. It’s a time when we come out of our winter shells and engage with people through films, on the sidewalk and on the trails.”

Nelson is not only an adventurer with expeditions to the far reaches of the globe, she’s also a dedicated activist working with Protect Our Winters Allegiance (POW), and a proponent of the wild places that she loves. Nelson holds to the philosophy that these places have huge significance to the well-being of both the planet and the human psyche.

After one year in Chamonix in her 20s led to five, Nelson discovered a calling that would take her to some of the world's tallest and most challenging summits. She is now The North Face's Athlete Team Leader and has several notable accomplishments, including the first ski descent of Lhotse, under her belt.

“What I love the most about Mountainfilm is it’s a special few days where I can see old friends and make new ones, hear stories and watch inspiring films. I love dragging my kids to the adrenaline films in the park and to the ice cream social, seeing their eyes go wide when they connect a person from a film to the person walking down the street of their little town,” Nelson adds.

“Mountainfilm is excited that Hilaree will join us as the guest director this year,” Program Manager Lucy Lerner said. “She is not only an icon as a world-renowned mountaineer but is an activist dedicated to making the world a better place. What could be more Mountainfilm? We look forward to collaborating with Hilaree on some really fun, engaging and impactful programming.”

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