The 35th Annual Mountainfilm Festival is the first of two awe-inspiring fests that take place in Telluride, Colorado Memorial Day weekend. That means there will be more hiking boots, bike racks, and Subaru’s in the mountain town than celebrity sightings, entourages, and paparazzi.
Mountainfilm showcases filmmakers who focus on the outdoors—everything from documentaries about climbing epics like K2 and Everest to character studies and short films about skiing, surfing, climbing, cycling, photography, conservation, and cultural studies.
In addition to 91 independent films, there will be educational seminars, and Friday night (May 24), an in-town gallery tour that will showcase some of the best paintings, photography, and drawings inspired by the outdoors.
Here are a couple films we’re excited to see:
The Crash Reel
While training in Park City, Utah for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Halfpipe competition, snowboarder Kevin Pearce fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him to relearn basic daily functions. Oscar nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker tells the intimate story of the tight-knit Pearce family as they support Kevin through his long and arduous healing process and struggle with the fragility of his recovery.
Director Lucy Walker talks about the making of The Crash Reel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5czVHdYQvks
High and Hallowed: 1963
Fifty years ago this month, Jim Whittaker, Tom Horbein, and Willi Unsoeled became the first Americans to ever summit Mt. Everest. This film tells the step-by-step story of their harrowing and heroic journey, as well as the 2012 attempt by Charley Mace, Jake Norton, David Morton and Brent Bishop to replicate Horbein and Unsoeled’s first ever ascent of the West Ridge route.
Keeper of the Mountains
Elizabeth Hawley has never climbed a Himalayan mountain. Instead, she’s chronicled every detail of those who have for 50 years. The 87-year-old Hawley travelled to Nepal in 1960, and never left. She got the scoop on the first American team to climb Everest in 1963 while working for Reuters and is considered to be the most respected mountaineering journalist in the world. This short film by Allison Otto (2012 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant recipient) puts Hawley’s wit, determination and quirkiness on display.