October 24, 2016

Mountainfilm for Locals presents: The Great Alone

Two free screenings Thursday at the Wilkinson Public Library

Lance Mackey is an Alaska native who has won the Iditarod dog sled race — an iconic event that spans 1,000 barren, remote and grueling miles across Alaska — four times. To win, Mackey had to overcome challenges even larger than mushing his team of dogs from the Alaska Range to the Bering Sea Coast.

The Great Alone, a feature-length documentary that chronicles Mackey’s astounding life, screened at the 2016 Telluride Mountainfilm festival over Memorial Day Weekend. This week, Mountainfilm brings the film back for two free community screenings. These Mountainfilm for Locals shows take place at 5:30 and 8 p.m. in the Wilkinson Public Library’s program room.

“This film embodies so many things we care about at Mountainfilm — fortitude, a loyal dog and, of course, indomitable spirit,” said Festival Director David Holbrooke. “Lance Mackey has all of that, and he’s a multidimensional character with such a painful history that he jumps off the screen.”

With its sweeping footage of snowy, barren Alaska landscapes, The Great Alone is the perfect film to watch as Telluride prepares for winter’s arrival. The film follow’s Mackey’s trajectory from a young boy, who watched his father’s dramatic win of the Iditarod in 1978, to a hard-living young man and, finally, a dog-sled racer whose devotion to his dogs tops everything else. What Mackey overcomes to simply participate in the Iditarod, let alone win, is breathtaking.

The staff at Telluride Mountainfilm knows it’s impossible to catch every film during its annual four-day documentary smorgasbord. Mountainfilm for Locals, formerly Mountainfilm Presents, is a way for the nonprofit to offer selections of inspiring, uplifting, hard-hitting and adventure-filled documentaries to Telluride year-round. The series will continue through the ski season with screenings into March.

Visit www.mountainfilm.org for more information.