Last year we showcased a diverse mix of films from world class mountain climbers and adrenalin junkies – from animation to humor, inspirational to shocking. Filmmakers showcase “for the world to change for the better, everyone must get engaged and shoulder the burden” to preserve our environment, to turn around global warming and help social justice around the world.
The carefully selected 2014 slate of films will prove to top last year’s superb selection. We will show different films over the two day festival. Scroll down to read a synopsis of the 2014 films and watch film trailers. To see the actual schedule of films for Friday and Saturday please click on the 2014 Film Schedule button.
|SLOMO||How has John Kitchin found a way to connect physically to the center of the world and spiritually to the divine? By rollerblading. Sounds crazy, but before you write Kitchin off as certifiable, you should consider that his actual certifications are in neurology and psychiatry. If you’re someone who questions the sanity of daily life on the success treadmill, this film may push you to do what you want — and reap the rich psychic rewards that come with rolling through life.|
|The Burn||Every summer, forest fires burn wildly across the mountains. As destructive as they are, they have a purpose and beauty that often goes unappreciated: When winter arrives in these charred forests, so do skiers.|
|Duk County||Mountainfilm audiences have come to know the hyper-achieving Dr. Geoff Tabin, a world-class climber who has ascended the Seven Summits and who is best known for dramatically changing the rates of curable blindness in Nepal and Rwanda. Dr Geoff Tabin and his team took their operation to South Sudan to work with John Dau, one of the Original Lost Boys of Sudan whose remarkable story of survival was featured in the film God Grew Tired of Us – 2007. Duc County, tells the story of this collaboration in which the sight of more than 200 people was restored. Unfortunately -- and perhaps inevitably -- this triumph is tainted by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.|
|Split of a Second||Prepare for a mix of goose bumps and nausea as finely calculated risk meets pure insanity. Split of a Second gets inside the thoughts and motives of wingsuit world champion Espen Fadnes.|
|Honor the Treaties||Aaron Huey is a photographer whose evocative and richly textured work has graced Mountainfilm’s gallery walls more than once. This short piece profiles his work at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home to some 300 Lakota Sioux Indians. It’s a dark world of poverty and violence but one in which Aaron has allowed himself to be deeply drawn. Why? So that he can give voice to a people’s unspoken pain and suffering and the injustice that caused it and sustains it.|
|Keeper of the Mountains||It’s odd to consider that the one person who has exhaustively tracked, detailed and archived Himalayan expeditions of the past half century is someone who has never climbed a mountain herself. Elizabeth Hawley has interviewed thousands of expedition leaders and is a force of nature every bit as impressive and indefatigable as any alpinist, but she has never been interested in joining them on any of the routes that she’s come to know intimately in her mind’s eye. This portrait of Miss Hawley reflects the character it chronicles by being direct, sharp and not without a sense of humor.|
|Je Veux||You’ve never seen a climbing film like Je Veux. Joachim Hellinger, who has been bringing his inventive and well-produced mountaineering and adventure films to Mountainfilm in Telluride for 20 years, is a bit of a Francophile. He fell in love with the music of French singer Zaz (one of the most popular and identifiable musicians in France today) and was in the unique position to help her carry out her dream: performing on the top of the tallest mountain in Europe.|
|Cascada||When a crew of filmmakers and kayakers head to the Mexican jungle to hunt big waterfalls, they find a place of unrelenting rain, heinous insects, thick mud, scary viruses and utter perfection. Cascada, another gorgeous short film by Forge Motion Pictures, follows the crew as they explore a world beyond expectations, where biting flies, tangled vines and shoddy hotel rooms can’t detract from the unrivaled waterfalls and powerful rapids they discover.|
|Nord for Sola (North of the Sun)||Last winter, if you had happened upon a particular isolated and frigid beach north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, you might have been surprised to find two young men, two surfboards and a pile of garbage. Inge Wegge (age 25) and Jørn Ranum (age 22) spent nine months of the year — of which all could arguably be considered winter in the frozen north — testing a hypothesis that they could live happily, and even comfortably, off the waste of others.|
|The Freedom Chair||Josh Dueck was a passionate free-skier who found himself coaching world-class athletes, such as TJ Schiller and Justin Dorey, at a young age. But one day, he misjudged his speed as he approached a jump, and what could have been a harmless mistake, brought inextricable, life-altering consequences. When he crashed, his spinal cord was severed, leaving him paralyzed. Instead of giving up on skiing, however, Dueck refocused his passion into sit-skiing, and the experience allowed him to jump-start a new career and find a new way to do what he loves the best: ski.|
|Paper Shredder||A snowboarder shreds a sick line in this sweet stop-motion animation film.|
|High & Hallowed: Everest 1963||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. Jim Whittaker summited on May 1, planting the American flag for his teammates to see when they reached the top. Whittaker had climbed the traditional South Col route, but two of his comrades — Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld — attempted the daunting, and previously unclimbed, West Ridge. (The duos success is considered one of the most daring climbs in history.) High & Hallowed is primarily the story of the Americans on Everest 50 years ago, but it also incorporates a modern-day attempt on the West Ridge in 2012. The team of Charley Mace, Jake Norton, David Morton and Brent Bishop (son of Barry Bishop, one of the photographers on the 1963 expedition) try their luck, but given the hideous conditions in the Hornbein Couloir, their attempt is unsuccessful. This film, directed by Morton and Norton, mixes the present and past skillfully to tell a tale that spans five decades.|
|Paradise Found||Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes have spent nearly a decade documenting the 39 species of birds of paradise that live in Papua New Guinea. The birds — which are both gorgeous and silly — prove to be elusive prey for the cameras of Laman and Scholes, but, as usual, the adventure is as much about the journey as it is the destination|