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On the last weekend in May, filmmakers, athletes, environmentalists, photographers, and more will converge in Telluride, Colorado, for the annual Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. Each year, dozens of films—from documentaries to action flicks—are showcased in four theater venues across the small mountain town. We spoke to David Holbrooke, festival director, about this year’s lineup of ski films.
What is the festival theme for this year?
The theme is the extinction crisis. We’re living in this massive extinction and this is the first major extinction to be caused by humans. The rate at which we’re losing species is phenomenally high. When it’s happening so fast, there’s cause for concern. We have several films playing about this topic.
But there are light-hearted films—about, say, skiing—as well, right?
Yes, we have quite a few ski films playing this year. We’ll have a clip from Signatures, a ski movie shot all in Japan by Sweetgrass Productions. That’s made by a guy named Nick Waggoner, who’s a really talented young filmmaker. He won best cinematography at the Powder Video Awards this year. That’s the future, really the present, of filmmaking—guys like that. He picks up a camera and knows how to frame a shot and can edit as well.
What other ski movies are showing?
Mike Douglas will be in attendance showing a film he did with Salomon on big-wave skiing in Hawaii. A short film called 11 Degrees is about a Scottish ski instructor who’s talking about winter and climate change. There’s also Last Paradise, a film about New Zealand in the 60s and 70s and all these adventure sports that came out of this one time. We’re showing just a clip from this film, which features Jeff Campbell, a Telluride ski patroller who does a ski descent of the Tasman Glacier in the 70s. In jeans.
Yeah, in jeans. In the movie, he skis this really beautiful line down the glacier with a buddy. He also ski paraglides.
I hear Greg Stump [the filmmaker who created the 1987 ski film Blizzard of Aahhhs] is coming to town?
That’s right. Greg will be showing clips from several of his previous ski films as well as a preview of his new film the Legend of Aahhhs, which is supposed to come out in the fall.
Any other notable skiers who will be in attendance?
Big-mountain skier Lynsey Dyer will be selling t-shirts she designed. Ski mountaineer Kasha Rigby will be a judge for the festival and fellow ski mountaineer Hillaree O’Neil will also be doing a breakfast talk.
To purchase tickets or to plan a trip to Telluride during the festival, visit www.mountainfilm.org.