Mountainfilm in Telluride

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Mountainfilm in Telluride is an international film festival that focuses on adventure, culture and environment. Since 1979, it has been hosted annually during Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado.

In addition to screening independent short and documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a full-day symposium on an issue, such as energy (2007), food (2009), population (2012) or climate (2013). The festival also includes art exhibits, book signings, student workshops and a forum for other nonprofit organizations that are aligned with Mountainfilm’s mission and programming. In 2000, Mountainfilm started touring internationally with its films and guests.

Founders include Royal Robbins, Lito Tejada-Flores, then president of American Alpine Club, Bob Craig and Telluride local Bill Kees, along with help from former Climbing magazine owner/publisher Michael Kennedy and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

Mountainfilm in Telluride has hosted such speakers as Bill McKibben, Chris Sharma, Wade Davis, Sandra Steingraber, Sir Edmund Hillary, Richard Holbrooke, Dianne Feinstein, Galen Rowell, George Schaller, Phil Borges, Frans Lanting, Lynn Hill, David Brower, Pete Athans, Timmy O'Neill, Subhankar Banerjee, David Breashears, Norman Vaughan, Martin Litton, James Balog, Maurice Herzog, Gretel Ehrlich, Timothy Treadwell, David James Duncan, Julia Butterfly Hill, John Grunsfeld, Angela Fisher, Rick Ridgeway and Carl Pope.

Some of the past films screened at Mountainfilm in Telluride include Chasing Ice, If a Tree Falls, Gasland, Sergio, Waste Land, The Cove, Taxi to the Dark Side, The Story of the Weeping Camel, Travellers and Magicians, Genghis Blues, Murderball, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and Grizzly Man.

Mountainfilm in Telluride is not to be confused with Telluride Film Festival, which is a different festival that is held in Telluride over Labor Day weekend.

The History of Mountainfilm[edit]

Mountainfilm began in 1979 when Telluride was completing its transition from a hard-rock gold and silver mining community to a destination resort and ski town. Lito Tejada-Flores, after screening his adventure and mountaineering film Fitzroy at the Trento festival in Italy, and Bill Kees, a local climber and avid outdoorsman, inaugurated the event. Over three nights, at the historic Sheridan Opera House, they screened a dozen films about mountains: mountain sports, mountain cultures and mountain issues. During the daytime, audience members took to the mountains for adventure themselves.

The first festivals attracted leading names in mountaineering and exploration: Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, David Breashears and others. With their help, the event became a tradition for a circle of pioneers in diverse fields — from athletes and environmentalists to scientists and poets. Mountains soon became also a metaphorical theme, and the festival expanded in size and recognition, its programming stretching to the edges of contemporary issues.


Mountainfilm’s motto is “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit.”

Mountainfilm on Tour[edit]

In 2000, Mountainfilm introduced Mountainfilm on Tour, which presents over 125 shows per year worldwide.

MF Mission Statement[edit]

Mountainfilm in Telluride is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.

External links[edit]