Mountainfilm Style – Inspiration at a Whole New Level

Every­one says Moun­tain­film is inspiring–and it is, don’t get me wrong–but it’s so much more than that. It’s empow­er­ing, rous­ing, almost perturbing–but in a good way. It stirs some­thing inside of you that screams, “wake up!” Wake up to your life’s pur­pose and to what’s hap­pen­ing around you. Wake up to your pas­sion and then explore it and share it with the world. For some Moun­tain­filmers this means trav­el­ing around the world in search of the best rock with the most beau­ti­ful lines, or rais­ing aware­ness about tox­ic chem­i­cals in our drink­ing water, or pho­tograph­ing unique cul­tures of our world, and even kayak­ing through unknown waters. I was able to track down film­mak­er, Sarah Men­zies of Red Reel Videos who says, “Per­son­al­ly, each film leaves me want­i­ng to do more, to act more, and to be a more con­scious indi­vid­ual. Moun­tain­film push­es me to ask myself, ‘am I doing enough to make this world a bet­ter place?’ ”

Moun­tain­film invites you to add some adven­ture to your life and do what you can to make a dif­fer­ence. I’m sure I am not the only one who left Tel­luride day­dream­ing about what I might do next and how I can show my love for the out­doors and for the wild places of our world. For all you Clym­bers who didn’t make it to the fes­ti­val this year, I thought I would share some of the most awak­en­ing films at this year’s Mountainfilm:

Ai Wei­wei: Nev­er Sor­ry fol­lows a man who might be the bold­est, most pas­sion­ate artist of our time. Loathed by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and admired by the Chi­nese peo­ple, his artis­tic endeav­ors are shap­ing the cul­ture in Chi­na. This film won the 2012 Fes­ti­val Director’s Award this year.

If you remem­ber Tim DeChristo­pher and his stance against the oil and gas industry–or you are a fan of Edward Abbey’s The Mon­key Wrench Gang–check out the trail­er for Bid­der 70–a mov­ing film that doc­u­ments DeChristopher’s civ­il dis­obe­di­ence case and the unwa­ver­ing sup­port from his orga­ni­za­tion, Peace­ful Upris­ing.

And if all you need is some inspi­ra­tion to find the next big wave, don’t miss Code Red–an incred­i­ble surf­ing film that dis­plays what hap­pens when the Tahit­ian Coast Guard calls a “code red” and tries to keep every­one out of the water and away from a mas­sive swell.

The week­end was filled with incred­i­ble films, sto­ries and exhibits. It is impos­si­ble to choose the best–but if I had to, it would be the super secret screen­ing of what might be the next best climb­ing film. I promised I wouldn’t say too much, but I can tell you that it doc­u­ments Yosemite climb­ing cul­ture and the icons that have evolved the sport, med­i­ta­tion and chal­lenge of pure rock climb­ing bet­ter than any climb­ing film to date. For the first view, stay con­nect­ed with Sender Films–you don’t want to miss this one.

I learned a lot from this year’s Moun­tain­film. For exam­ple, there are hun­dreds of bikes in Tel­luride but zero bike locks. Also, with enough adren­a­line and inspi­ra­tion soar­ing through your body it’s pos­si­ble to pull back-to-back all nighters and func­tion on not much more than caf­feine, bread and alco­hol. But most impor­tant­ly, there are peo­ple around the world who are doing incred­i­ble, adven­tur­ous and pas­sion­ate things. Things many of us lim­it to day­dreams and wild imaginations–and I can’t think of one good rea­son not to join them. Inspir­ing? Yes. But also a loud wake-up call to do what you love.

I’m already mak­ing plans for next year’s festival–this time hope­ful­ly book-end­ed with an epic road trip through the South­west. Hope­ful­ly some of you Clym­bers will fol­low the inspi­ra­tion and join me.